Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Importance of Pilots to the Confederacy
APRIL 13TH, 1864: John S. Begbie, an agent of the Albion Trading Company of London, with which the Confederacy dealt, wrote Confederate States Commissioner John Slidell in Paris regarding Southern regulations on pilots (who were needed to guide the blockade-runners in and out). He said that he had been informed of these three things: "1. Pilots are liable to the conscription. 2. If losing their ship are forced to enlist. 3. If demanding or receiving more than the Government regulation pilotage they are, if found out, deprived of their license and obliged to serve." //// He protested against these regulations and continued: "It is desirable and in the interest of the Confederate Government that staemers should run in with stores and out with cotton, paying the Government debts and influencing greatly their credit, surely pilots are more usefully employed to the States as pilots than as fighting men."