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II.-Correspondence relative to the Affairs of Cuba in the English Supplement to the Counter Case of the United States.

The Spanish gun-boats
The case of the Orientale
The case of the R. R. Cuyler

Mr. Herron to Mr. Browning

Mr. Evarts to Mr. Courtney

Mr. Fish to Messrs. Pierrepont and Barlow



Correspondence of Messrs. Potestad, Davis, Milledge, and Hoar..

II. Correspondance relative aux affaires de Cuba dans le supplément en anglais au contremémoire des États-Unis.

Les canonnières espagnoles
L'affaire de l'Orientale.
L'affaire du R. R. Cuyler

Pages 454-485 3-6 12-16 17

Mr. Herron à Mr. Browning

Mr. Evarts à Mr. Courtney

Mr. Fish à M. Pierrepont et Mr. Barlow'.

Mr. Fish à M. Pierrepont et Mr. Barlow

Correspondance de MM. Potestad, Davis, Milledge et Hoar

103 107-116

.454-455 3-6 12-16




The "special question as to supplies of coal in British ports to Confeder ate ships," necessarily involves an examination of the facts and circumstances under which permission to take such supplies was granted.

It is not contended by the Counsel of the United States, that all sup plies of coal in neutral ports to the ships of war of belligerents, are necessarily violations of neutrality, and, therefore, unlawful. It will be sufficient for the purposes of this controversy, if it shall be found that Great Britain permitted or suffered the insurgents" to make use of its ports or waters as the base of naval operations against the United States," and that the supplies of coal were obtained at such ports to facilitate belligerent operations.

1. All naval warfare must, of necessity, have upon land a "base of operations." To deprive a belligerent of that is equivalent to depriving him of the power to carry on such a warfare tons essential to successfully for any great length of time. Without it he cannot maintain his ships upon the Ocean.

A base of operanaval warfare.

What it is.

2. A "base of operations" for naval warfare is not alone, as seems to be contended by the distinguished Counsel of Great Britain, (sec. 3, chap. iii, of his Argument,) "a place from which operations of naval warfare are to be carried into effect." It is not, of necessity, the place where the belligerent watches for, and from which he moves against, the enemy; but it is any place at which the necessary preparations for the warfare are made; any place from which ships, arms, ammunition, stores, equipment, or men are furnished, and to which the ships of the navy look for warlike supplies and for the means of effecting the necessary repairs. It is, in short, what its name implies-the support, the foundation, which upholds and sustains the operations of a naval war.

This was the doctrine recognized by Earl Russell on the 25th of March, 1862, three days after the Florida got out from the port of Liverpool, and while the correspondence in reference to her construction and outfit was fresh in his mind. In writing to Mr. Adams, at that time, in reference to complaints made of the treatment of the United States vessel of war Flambeau at Nassau, in the month of December previous, he used this language:

On the other hand, the Flambeau was avowedly an armed vessel in the service of the Federal Government. She had entered the port of Nassau, and had remained there for some days, without any apparent necessity for doing so, and the authorities had not been informed of the object of her visit. To supply her with coal might, therefore, be to facilitate her belligerent operations, and this would constitute an infraction of the neutrality prescribed by the Queen's proclamation of the 13th of May last. (Am. App., vol. i, p. 348.)

3. This "base of operations" must be within the territory ligerent or of his ally. A neutral which supplies it violates his neutrality, and may be treated as an ally. A bellig

of the bel

It should not be in neutral territory.

erent using without permission the territory of a neutral for such a purpose, commits an offense against the laws of neutrality, and subjects himself to the forcible expulsion of his ships of war, and to all other means of punishment and redress which may be requisite for the vindication of the offended neutral sovereign.

The insurgents had

4. After the end of the summer of 1861, the insurgents never had any available base of operations for naval warfare within the no such base within limits of their own territory. From that time forward until their own territory. the end of the contest, the United States maintained a blockade of all the insurgent ports, which was recognized by all neutral nations as lawful, and was so far effective as to prevent any vessel of war (unless the Tallahassee and Chickamauga, with perhaps some other small vessels, should be excepted) from using these ports as a base for hostile operations upon the sea. No supplies for such operations were ever obtained there, nor were any repairs effected.

It is true, the Nashville escaped through the blockade from the port of Charleston, but when she escaped she was in no condition for war, and within three days was at Bermuda in want of coal. After there taking on board a full supply, she was enabled to make her voyage of eighteen days to Southampton. The Florida ran the blockade inwards and reached Mobile, where she was detained, more than four months, by the naval forces of the United States. At the end of that time she effected an escape, but with only a short supply of coal, for within ten days after her escape she appeared at Nassau "in distress for want of coal." After having been fairly set upon her cruise from Nassau, she not unfrequently remained at sea two months and more without renewing her supply.

5. This was at all times known to the British Government. The blockade was the subject of frequent correspondence between Mr. Adams and Earl Russell, and was acknowledged to be suffi ciently effective to bind neutrals.

The advantages of

6. By depriving the insurgents of the use of their base of naval operations at home, the United States obtained a decided these facts to the and important advantage in the progress of the war. It was United States a war, on the part of the United States, for the suppression of a wide-spread rebellion against the authority of the Government. At the outset, the power of the insurgents appeared so great, and their organization was so complete, that, in the opinion of the British Government, it was proper they should stand before the world and be recog nized as beligerents. The territory, which they claimed as their own and sought to control, embraced a large extent of sea-coast, well sup plied with ports and harbors, available for all the purposes of commerce and naval warfare. In fact, it embraced two out of the five navy-yards of the United States, and a port at which extensive preparations had been made for the establishment of a sixth.

Great Britain knew this.

The people of the States not in rebellion, but remaining loyal to the Government, were a commercial people, and largely engaged in navigation. At the commencement of hostilities, the insurgents proclaimed their intention of making war upon this commerce. To prevent this, and to keep such ports as were in the possession of the insurgents from being used as bases of the operations for such a war, the United States at once determined to establish and effect their blockade. With the superior power and resources under the control of the Government, it was able to accomplish this work; and before the insurgents could supply themselves with ships of war, their ports were closed against all effective operations from their own territory as a base.

This advantage was one the United States had the right to retain if within their power so to do. No neutral nation could interfere to prevent it.

surgents to obtain

7. The loss which the insurgents had thus sustained at home, they endeavored to repair by the use of the ports and territorial Efforts of the inwaters of neutral nations; and, in point of fact, they did carry bases of operations in on substantially their entire naval warfare against the com- neutral territory. merce of the United States from a base of operations outside of their own territory. This fact is not denied. It is entirely separate and distinct from that of "permission" or "sufferance," which only becomes important when it is sought to charge the neutral, whose territory is used, with the consequences of the use.

8. Toleration by a neutral of the use of its ports and waters by the ships of war of a belligerent to facilitate the operations of his naval warfare, is equivalent to a permission to use such equivalent ports and waters as a base of naval operations.

Toleration of use to jer


This principle was recognized by the Emperor of Brazil in his instructions to the presidents of his provinces on the 23d of June, 1863, (Brit. App., vol. i, p. 292.) It was adopted by Earl Russell on the 12th of June, 1862, after the original escape of the Florida from Liverpool, and before the commencement of the correspondence in reference to the construction and outfit of the Alabama, when, in a letter addressed to Mr. Adams, he said:

Attempts on the part of the subjects of a neutral government to take part in a war, or to make use of the neutral territory as an arsenal or barrack for the preparation and inception of direct and immediate hostilities against a state with which their government is at peace, as by enlisting soldiers or fitting out ships of war, and so co converting, as it were, neutral territory into a hostile depot or post, in order to carry on hostilities therefrom, have an obvious tendency to involve in the war the neutral government which tolerates such proceedings. Such attempts, if unchecked, might imply, at least, an indirect participation in hostile acts, and they are, therefore, consistently treated by the government of the neutral state as offenses against its public policy and safety, which may thereby be implicated. (Am. App., vol. i, p. 665.)

If such proceedings by subjects, when " tolerated" or "unchecked," may imply an indirect participation by the neutral in the hostile acts of a belligerent, how much stronger is the implication when the proceedings are those of the belligerent himself.

9. It will not be denied that "toleration," "permission," or "sufferance," by a neutral, in this connection, implies a knowledge Toleration implies of the act or thing tolerated, permitted, or suffered; or, that knowledge. which is equivalent, a culpable neglect in employing the means of ob taining such knowledge.

10. As early as the escape of the Florida from Liverpool, on the 22d of March, 1862, the British Government had knowledge, or, to say the least, had "reasonable grounds to believe," that an effort was being made by the insurgents to supply, in part, the loss of their own ports, for all the purposes of war upon the Ocean, by the use of those of Great Britain. From that time forward it knew that the insurgents relied entirely upon the ports and waters of neutral nations for the success of their naval warfare. This fact was so notorious, and so well understood in Great Britain, that it was made the subject of special comment by Earl Russell in the House of Commons during the progress of the war. (Am. App., vol. v, p. 535.)

11. All the really effective vessels of war ever used by the insurgents were obtained from Great Britain. This is an undisputed fact. Two, certainly, the Florida and the Alabama, were sels of war constructed and specially adapted for warlike use in Great

Their effective ves


from Great Britain,

Great Britain had

reasonable ground to

believe that the insurgents intended to use its ports.

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