Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Confederate Government Should Take Over the Blockade-Running Business

JANUARY 16, 1864: Henry Hotze, commercial agent of the Confederate States, wrote from London to Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin suggesting complete government opeartion of blockade running: "The experiments thus far made by the Ordnance, Niter, and other Bureaus, as also the Navy Department, demonstrates that the Government can run the blockade with equal if not greater chances than private enterprise. //// But the public loses the chief advantages of the system, first by the competition of private exportation; secondly, by the complicated and jarring machinery which only serves to grind out large profits in the shape of commissions, etc.; thirdly, by confounding the distinctive functions of different administrative departments. //// If blockade running was constituted an arm of the national defense, each would perform only to appropriate work, which therefore would be well done. //// The Treasury would procure without competition the raw material and regulate the disposition of the proceeds; the Navy, abandoning the hope of breaking the blockade and throwing all its available energies into eluding it, would purchase, build, and man the vessels for this purpose...." //// Plus, often the private blockade-runners carried supplies in that were not essential to the war effort and this business also caused much inflation. As the war, progressed, more and more Naval officers did command blockade-runners. //// --Old B-R'er

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