War of the Rebellion: Serial 116 Page 0810 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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paymaster of this ship and of Mr. T. T. Tunstall, a citizen of the Confederate States. The Moorish authorities have evidently been imposed upon by false representations as to the character and status of these gentlemen. I hear that the U. S. consul demanded their imprisonment under some extradition treaty. The absurdity of such a claim will of course be apparent to you. We are recognized belligerents. Our acts of war are legal therefore so far as all neutrals are concerned, and it cannot be pretended that any officer of this ship can have committed any offense in any act of war in which he may have participated against the United States which Morocco can take cognizance of or bring under the terms of any extradition treaty.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,


Commander, C. S. Navy.]

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]


Bay of Gibraltar, February 25, 1862.


Her Majesty's Charge d'Affaires, Tangier, Morocco.

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of yesterday's date in reply to mine of the 23rd informing me that-

You (I) must be aware that Her Britannic Majesty's Government have decided on observing a strict neutrality in the present conflict between the Northern and Southern States. It is therefore incumbent on Her Majesty's officers to avoid anything like undue interference in any questions affecting the interests of either party which do not concern the British Government; and though I do not refuse to accede to your request to deliver the letter to the Moorish authorities I think it my duty to signify distinctly to the latter my intention to abstrain from expressing an opinion regarding the course to be pursued by Morocco on the subject-matter of your letter.

While I thank you for the courtesy of delivering my letter as requested I must be permitted to express to you my disappointment at the course which you have prescribed to yourself of refraining from expressing any opinion to the Moorish Government of the legality or illegality of its act. The Confederate States having ample ability to maintain themselves in the war in which they are engaged with the United States do not request or expect neutral powers to interfere in their behalf; nor can I conceive how your compliance with my request would have compromised you or your Government.

I had supposed that the Trent affair of so recent occurrence had settled not only the right but the duty of the civilized nations of the earth of "interfere" in a friendly manner to prevent wars between nations. It cannot escape your observation that the course pursued by Europe in that affair is precisely analogous to that which I have requested of you. In that affair a quarrel arose between the United States, one of the belligerents in the existing war, and Great Britain, a neutral in that war, and instead of refraining from offering advice all Europe made haste to volunteer it to both parties. The United States were told by France, by Russia, by Spain that their act was illegal and that they could without a sacrifice of honor grant the reparation demanded by Great Britain. Neither the nation giving the advice nor the nation advised supposed for a moment that there was any breach of neutrality in this proceeding; on the contrary it was the general verdict of mankind that the course was not only legal but eminenty humane and proper as tending to allay excitement and prevent the effusion of blood.

If you will run a parallel between the Trent case and the case in hand you will find it difficult I think to sustain the reasons you have