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DELEGATES from the seceded States met at Montgomery, Alabama, in February, 1861, and on March 11th unanimously adopted the "Constitution for the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America." This Constitution, and the one afterwards adopted as the permanent Constitution of the Confederate States, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy," and made the President the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy.
The first statute enacted by the Confederate Congress continued in force all the laws of the United States not inconsistent with the Constitution of the Confederate States, until altered or repealed by Congress. By that legislation, law and order were maintained in the midst of a total change of foreign and domestic relations, the public business continued without interruption, and private intercourse experienced no shock. All officers connected with the customs revenue were continued in office, and the existing postal arrangements were left undisturbed. Thus the people in the Confederate States passed into their new relations without the least interruption of their business affairs.
Before either of the Cabinet departments were constituted by law, Congress, on February 14th, passed a resolution authorizing "the Committee on Naval Affairs to procure the attendance at Montgomery of all such persons versed in naval affairs as they may deem advisable to consult with." C. M. Conrad, the Chairman of the Committee, immediately upon the passage of the resolution, addressed telegrams to a number of United States navy officers whose sympathies were with the South, requesting them to repair to Montgomery at their earliest convenience. Among those who received a telegram from the chairman of the committee was Commander Raphael Semmes, who was still at his post, in Washington, performing his duties at the Lighthouse Board. Commander Semmes immediately tendered his resignation, which was accepted on the loth, and on the 18th he arrived at Montgomery, where a number of navy officers had preceded him. On the following day he attended a joint session of the military and naval committees, which discussed the military and naval resources of the country, and devised such means of defence as was within their reach to enable the Confederacy to meet the most pressing exigencies of the situation. But few naval officers of any rank had as yet withdrawn from the old service: Rousseau, Tatnall, Hollins, Ingraham and Randolph were all the captains, and Farrand, Brent, Serames and Hartstene were all the commanders. Of those who were
?resent before the committees, besides Serames, was Rousseau, ngraham, and Randolph, of the old navy. As the result of the deliberations of the committee, Congress, on the 20th, passed an act to "provide munitions of war," by purchase and manufacture. Jefferson Davis having been inaugurated President on the 18th of February, on the 21st dispatched Commander Semmes to the United States, and at the same time sent Caleb Huse to Europe to purchase arms and munitions of war.1
On the same day, "the act to establish the Navy Department" was passed, providing for a Secretary of the Navy, a chief clerk, and such other clerks as may be authorized by law.2
The Secretary of the Navy, under the President, was to have charge of all matters and things connected with the navy. Bureaus of ordnance and hydrography, of orders and details, of medicine and surgery, of provisions and clothing, were also provided; and the Secretary of the Navy was required to prepare and publish regulations for the general government of the navy, and all laws of the United States relating to the navy and its officers, and not inconsistent with this act. were enacted as laws for the government of the Confederate navy.
t The letter of instruction to Com. Sonimes was written by Mr. Davis, who then was without Cabinet officers or even a private secretary, and is full, precise, and much in detail, exhibiting a minute acquaintance with bureau duties, with the resources of the North, and with the men there who would furnish the supplies needed. Com. Semmes found " the people everywhere not only willing but anxious to contract" with him, and he purchased large quantities of percussion-caps in the city of New York, and m-nt them by express without any disguise to Montgomery. He made contracts for batteries of light artillery, powder and other munitions, and succeeded in getting large quantities of the powder shipped, and it was agreed between the contractors and Com. Semmes that when the telegraph was used certain sign or agreed words should be substituted for those of military import—to avoid suspicion. He made a contract for the removal to the South of a complete set of machinery for rifling cannon, and with the requisite workmen to put it in operation. "Some of these men," says Com. Semmes, *' who would thus have sold body and soul to me for a sufficient consideration, occupied high social position and were men of wealth." In
social intercourse, at their private residence*. Com. Semmes found them ready to help on the cause of the Confederate states with their **aid and comfort," and in a much more efficient manner than was charged against Secretary of War, Floyd, who merely sent to the Southern States the proper quota of their arms.
While in New York, on that mission. Com. Remittee received from Secretary Mallory, who had been appointed to the Navy Department, a letter of date March 13th, directing him toeelect and purchase two steamers of strength and light draft. But Com. Semmes could find none. The month of March was closing, and as the newFederal Administration became fixed in their positions the hopes of peace departed and the clouds of war began to thicken; yet curiously enough, the New York and Savannah steamers continued to run, " carrying the Federal flag .it the peak and the Confederate flag at the fore." in one of which steamers, on the last day of March, Com. Semmes embarked, and arrived in Montgomery on the 4th of April, 1861.
3 The act of March 8th established the clerical force of the Navy Department to consist of a chief clerk, a corresponding clerk, and three other clerks, and a messenger.
The act of March 16th authorized the President to appoint four captains, four commanders, thirty lieutenants, five surgeons, five assistant surgeons, six paymasters, and two chief engineers, and to employ as many masters, midshipmen, engineers, naval constructors, boatswains, gunners, carpenters, sailmakers, and other warrant and petty officers and seamen, as he may deem necessary, not to exceed in the aggregate three thousand. The act also made provision for a marine corps, to consist of one major, one quartermaster, one paymaster, one adjutant, one sergeant-major, one quartermaster-sergeant, and six companies, each company to consist of one captain, one first and one second lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals, one hundred men and ten musicians, with pay and allowance the same as in the infantry.
Under the law passed February 21st?the President immediately called to the Navy Department, as Secretary of the Navy, Hon. Stephen Russell Mallory, of Florida.l
Secretary Mallory immediately organized his department by assigning Capt. Franklin Buchanan to the Bureau of Orders and Detail; Commander George Minor to that of Ordnance and Hydrography; James A. Semple, paymaster, to that of Provisions and Clothing, and W. A. W. Spotswood, surgeon, to that of Medicine and Surgery. Capt. Raphael Semmes was, upon his return to Montgomery, appointed to the Lighthouse Board, which had been made a bureau of the Treasury Department. Edward M. Tidball was appointed Chief Clerk of the Navy Department, March 13, 1861.
!Mr, Mallory was born in the Inland of Trinidad, near the coast of Venezuela, in the year 1813. He was the second son of Charles Mallory, and Ellen his wife, who at the time of his birth were living in or near the town of Port of Spain, in Trinidad. Charles Mallory, his father, was from the town of Beading. Conn., a civil engineer by profession, and for some years before the birth of Stephen had been engaged as a civil engineer on some public work at Fort of Spain.
Ellen Russell, the mother of Stephen'Russell Mallory, was born at Carrick-on-Suir, County Waterfowl, Ireland. When about thirteen years of age she was adopted by two bachelor uncles, her mother's brothers, who were planters in Trinidad, and taken by them to their home in that ialand, where she met Charles Mallory, and was married to him when she was not more than sixteen years of age. Charles and Ellen Mallory bad but two children-John, who wag born about 1811, and Stephen. -John died when he was about fourteen years old, at Key West.
When Stephen was about a year old his parents left Trinidad and came to the United States. Charles Mallory "a health was feeble, and after trying the climate of Havana for a short time, he removed to Key West about 1820, when the island was inhabited by only a few fishermen. He died of consumption at Key West about two years afterwards, leaving his widow and the two boys. Before settling at Key West, or going to Havana, Mr. and Mrs. Mallory visited Mobile, Ala., and while there concluded to place the youngest boy, Stephen, at a school on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, at a place that was known as "the village." Stephen, who could not have been more than six or seven years old, remained there for six months or a year, and then went over to Key West, where his parents were then living. He remained at Key West until he was about fourteen years of age, when his mother, who was then a widow and had lost the oldest boy John, sent him to the Moravian School for boys at Nazareth, Pa. He was at that school about three years, and returned to Key West when abont sixteen or seventeen. This was all the schooling he ever had.
When about nineteen years of age he received
the appointment of Inspector of Customs at Key West, which he held for several years, and was subsequently appointed Collector of Customs at Key West. While Inspector of Customs he studied law with Judge William Marvin, at that time Judge of the United States District Court at Key West, and was admitted to the Bar about 1839. During the Indian war in Florida he volunteered and served for those years in active operations against the Seminoles.
In 1838 bo married Angela Moreno, daughter of Francisco Moreno of Peusacola, Fla,; she Is still (1880) alive. After leaving the office of Collector of Customs at Key West, and having attained a high reputation as a skillful practitioner of the law, and enjoying a large and lucrative practice, in 1850 he was selected as a delegate to the great commercial convention which met at Nashville; but, though heartily favoring its purpose, was compelled by other engagements to decline the honor. In 1851 he was elected by the Florida Legislature to the United State's Senate for six years, his opponent being Hon. David L. Tulee. Mr. Mallory was at Key West at the time, and did not even know that he was a candidate for the office. Mr. Yulee contested his election before the United States Senate, having a** his attorney the late Kdwin M. Stanton, afterwards the Federal Secretary of War; but failed to make good his contest. The Senate unanimously awarded the position to Mr. Mallory, and he took his seat in December following. At the expiration of his term as Senator, Mr. Mallory was again elected by the Florida Legislature to succeed himself in 1857, and continued to represent Florida in the Senate until the secession of his State in 1861, when he resigned his sent and at once took an open and active part with the States of the South. He returned to his home at Peusacola, to which place he had removed from Key West in 1858. During most of his service in the Senate he was Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, a position his familiarity with marine mattera qualified him to fill. He was also a member of the Committee on Claims. As a speaker he never gained a high reputation in
The appointment of Mr. Mallory has been criticised with great severity, but no single good reason has been shown as to his incompetencv or unfitness; his loyalty to the Confederacy was by innuendo impeached, but the malice which invented the aspersion was too apparent to give it probability. He could not command success, but he deserved it by faithful and diligent labor, and by intelligent and discreet effort.
When a Senator of the United States, he had been Chairman of the Naval Committee, where the information derived from his previous employment at Key West soon enabled him to obtain a thorough knowledge of the organization, equipment and general disciplinary rules of the U. S. navy. He found himself at the head of a naval department on the eve of a great war, without a ship or any of the essentials of a navy; he had not only to organize and administer, but to build the
the Senate. Ho was not a showy orator, but occasionally delivered speeches showing careful preparation and a clear knowledge of the subject treated. His vote was always for the South on every question, and lie could be counted upon to support any measure his more able leaders proposed. In 1868 Mr. Buchanan tendered him the appointment of Minister to Spain, which he declined. On the secession of Florida he was appointed Chief Justice of the Admiralty Court of the State, but declined the high honor.
During the time he was at his home he took an active part in all matters relating to the defence of his State, and on January 28, 1861, sent the following warning letter to the United States authorities through the " Hon. John Slidell, or Hint. R. M. T. Hunter, or Governor Bigler": *' We bear the Brooklyn is coming with reinforcements for Fort Pickens. No attack on its garrison is contemplated, but, on the contrary, we desire te keep the peace, and if the present status be preserved we will guarantee that no attack will be made upon it; but if reinforcements be attempted, resistance and a bloody conflict seem inevitable. Should the Govcrnient thus attempt to augment its force—when no possible call for it exists, when we are preserving a peaceful policy—an assault may be made on the fort at a moment's warning. All preparation are made. Our whole force—1,700 strong—will regaixijt u--> a hostile act. Impress this upon the President, and urge that the inevitable consequence of reinforcements under present circumstances is instant war, as peace will bo preserved if no reinforcements bo attempted. If the President wants an assurance of all I say from Colonel Chase, commanding the forces, I will transmit it at once. / am determiwd to stave off war if j>os~ sible."—Official Records, Series 1, Vol. II., p. 354. But that not being possible, he accepted the portfolio of Secretary of the Confederate Navy of President Davis and held it continuously through tho war. He was a gentleman of excellent sense, unpretending manners, and probably conducted
his department as successfully as was possible with the limited naval resources of the South.
Mr. Mallory left Richmond in company with Mr. Davis on the abandonment of that city by the Confederate Government, and accompanied the President to Washington, Ga., whore tbey separated, Mr. Mallory going to La Grange, Ga-, where his family was then living. He was in La Grange about a week, when he and Hon. Benjamin Hill, who was also there, were arretted, taken to Atlanta, and thence carried to Fort Lafayette in New York Harbor. He was arrested on May 20, 186C, and his devoted wife iu a letter written at the time thus describes the event:
"Night before last, at half-past twelve o'clock, we were aroused from sleep by a heavy knock at the door, and a threat of breaking it oi>en followed before any one had time to answer. When a light was procured the servant opened the door, and some twenty armed men entered to arrest my husband; at the same time another party went to Senator Hill's house, at which Mr. Mallory was staying, and there arrested him. Mr. Mallory was hurried off like a malefactor, without being given even enough time to put on proper clothing. They would not listen to the tears and entreaties ot his wife and children to let him remain with them only until daylight. I sent Buddie to Atlanta as soon as it was daylight with clothing and money."
Mr. Mallory was confined in Fort Lafayette ten months, being released on parole in March. 1866.
Ho returned to Pensacola in July, 1866, still under parole, and resumed the practice of law. and successfully continued it until his death, November 9, 1873.
Mr. Mallory was a hard student all his life, and though his three years at Nazareth were about all the real schooling he ever had, he. nevertheless, at the age of thirty-five, was able to speak French and Spanish correctly and fluently. His mother lived to see hiin in the United States Septate, she dying at Key West about the year 1855.