here consort had been in progress for amany months; that two or more rifled cannon, to be mounted on here, with samll- arms and ammunition for ehre equipment, had, in disguised packages, been shipped up the coast; here officers and crew, detailed and in different squaes or divisions, were, under vaious pretexts, hovering near, waiting to concentrate and meet the ship at some concerted time and place.
On reaching themouth of the bay, about 100 miles from Panama, the prisoenrs were formally arrested and transferred to the Lancaster, in which ship they remained until sent by the steamer Sginaw to San Frandcisco for trial. The proof of the charge specified against the prisoners was perfectly conclusive. The most important document presented in evidence was the letter of mr. S. R. Mallory, styling himself "Secretary of the Confederate Navy." Its genuineness was poved and subsequently admitted by the prisoenrs, who, so far from denying their purpose and intent to foloow its instrutions by capturing the Salvador without fail at whatever cost of blood and suffering to the unarmed and peaceful officers and crew of this merchnat ship or to their unsuspecting fellow- passentgers, seemed rather to glory in that purpose as entitling them to share the onors of that indomitable little Confederate navy, which, as they boasted in their defense before the court, "had swept the ocean, lit battle fires in many a sea, and illumined the darkness of night with many a burning wreck." Nothing could more fully dislclose the animuns of these men than this vainglorious boasting of what they style, " the whole frarful and tragic scene," mainly enacted by the Alabama and the Shenandoah in robbing and burning whole fleets of defenseless fishing wessels without firing a gun or incurring the smallest risk of "tragic" consequences to themselves; a work of heartless plunder and destruction which, aside from its guilt, should cover every one engaged in it with shame, and at which every sentiment of honor and manhood revolts with scorn.
It was contended by the accused, in their defense before the court, that the act charged agaisnt them as a crime, even had it been carried fully into execution, "was a strategem in war, perfectly allowable under the laws ad usages of war," which they, as recognized belligerents, had a right to execute, but that, admitting the criminality of the act, if it had been executed, it having been frustrated, adn havbing existed only in intention, the law allowed them a locus penitentive (place or time for repentance), ad as they had committed no overt act, they were not properly hargeable with any crime. It was clearly shown by major-General McDowell in his review of the case in Geenral Orders, No 52, promulgating the findings and sentence of the court, that these positions were utnenable; that the laws and usages of war allowed no othere stratagems than su h as were "without perfidy and consistent with good faith;" whereas these prisoenrs treacherously entered upon the Slvador as peaceful passengers, under the implied pledge that they would conduct themselves as such, and not as enemies. Their guilty enterpirse had been many moths in preparation, had involved long voyages and various arrangemetns at places distant- from each other, during all which they had opportunity for repentance and the relinquishment of their guilty purpose. But when in pursuit of that purpose, with arms and manacles concealed in their baggage and on their persons, they entered on the Slavador for its consummation, the locus penitentive had ceased to exist, and it was too late for them to claim its benefits.
This office is of the opnion that the cahrge,a s specified, is fully sustained by the testimoeny, and tahat, in view of the fearful consequances