OFFICIAL RECORDS

OF THE

UNION & CONFEDERATE NAVIES

IN THE

WAR OF THE REBELLION

SERIES II, VOLUME 3



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  





      

    No. 66.]                                                   Rome, November, 1863

    Sir: As I expected at the date of my no. 65, I reached here on the 9th    instant, late in the afternoon.

    On the 11th, at half past 1 p.m., I sought and promptly obtained an interview with his Eminence, the Cardinal
Secretary of State, Antonelli.  I at once explained to him the object of my mission to Rome and he instantly assured
me that he would obtain for me an audiance of the sovereign Pontiff.      

    His Eminence then remarked that he would not withhold from me an expression of his unbounded admiration of
the wonderful powers which we had exhibited in the field in resistance to a war which had been prosecuted with an
energy, aided by the employment of all the recent improvements in the instruments for the destruction of life and
property, unparalleled, perhaps, in the worlds history.  He asked me several questions with respect to President
Davis, at the end of which he observed that he certainly had created for himself a name that would rank with those of
the most illustrious statesmen of modern times.  He manifested an earnest desire for the definitive termination of
hostilities, and observed that there was nothing the government of the Holy See could do with propriety to occasion
such a result that it was not prepared to do.  I seized the utterance of this assurance to inform him that but for the
European recruits received by the North, numbering annually something like 100,000, the Lincoln Administration; in
all likelihood, would have been compelled some time before this to have retired from the contest, that nearly all those
recruits were from Ireland, and that Christianity had cause to weep at such a fiendish destruction of life as occurred
from the beguiling of those people from their homes to take up arms against citizens who had never harmed or
wronged them in the slightest degree. He appeared to be touched by my statement, and intimated that an evil so
disgraceful to humanity was not beyond the reach of a salutary remedy.

    His Eminence, after a short pause, took a rapid survey of the affairs of the nations of the earth, and drew a rather
somber picture of the future, particularly of Europe.  He did not attempt to conceal his dislike of England, his want of
sempathy with Russia, his distrust of any benefits which might be expected from the congress proposed by France.  
"If old guaranties," said he, emphatically, "are of no value, new ones will be to feeble to resist expediency when
sustained by might."

    This is but a short and otherwise imperfect outline of one of the most interesting official interviews I ever enjoyed,
an interview which was of lengthened duration and marked from beginning to end with extreme cordiality and
courtesy by the destinguished functionary by whom it was accorded.  I will add, lest I may not have been sufficiently
explicit on that point, that it took place in his office in the Vatican, where he receives all the foreign ministers.

    I have the honor to be , sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                                                                                                   A.  DUDLEY  
MANN.                                                                      

    Hon.  J.  P.  BENJAMIN,    

      Secretary of  State, C. S. A., Richmond, Va.







                                    

                                                                        

No. 67.]                                                                     Rome, November 14, 1863        

    Sir: At 3 o'clock on the afternoon of yesterday I received a formal notification that his Holiness would favor me with
an audience, embracing my private secretary, Mr. W. Grayson Mann, to-day at 12 o'clock.

    I accordingly proceeded to the Vatican sufficiently early to enable me to reach there fifteen minutes in advance of
the designated hour.  In five minutes afterwards-ten minutes prior to the appointed time-a message came from the
sovereign Pontiff that he was ready to receive me, and I was accordingly conducted into his presence.

    His Holiness stated, after I had taken my stand near to his side, that he had been so afflicted by the horrors of the
war in America that many months ago he had written to the Archbishops of New Orleans and New York to use all the
influence that they could properly employ for terminating with as little delay as possible the deplorable state of
hostilities; that from the former he had received no answer, but that he had heard from the latter and that his
communication was not such as to inspire hopes that his ardent wishes would be speedily gratified.

    I then remarked that "it is to a sence of profound gratitude of the Executive of the Confederate States and of my
countrymen, for the earnest manifestations which your Holiness made in the appeal referred to, that I am indebted
for the destinguished honor for which I now enjoy.  President Davis has appointed me special envoy to convey in
person to your holiness this letter, which, I trust, you will receive in a similar spirit to that which animated its author."   

    Looking for a moment at the address and afterwards at the seal of the letter, his Holiness took his scissors and
cut the envelope.  Upon opening it he observed: "I see it is in English, a language which I do not understand."  I
remarked: "If it will be agreeable to your holiness, my Secretary will translate its contents to you."  He replied: "I shall
be pleased if he will do so."  The translation was rendered in a slow, solemn, and emphatic pronunciation.  During its
progress, I did not cease for an instant to carefully survey the features of the sovereign Pontiff.  A sweeter
expression of pious affection, of tender benignity, never adorned the face of mortal man.  No picture can adequitely
represent him when exclusively absorbed in Christian contemplation.  Every sentence of the letter seemed to
sensibly affect him.   At the conclusion of each, he would lay his hand down upon the desk and bow his head
approvingly.  When the passage was reached wherein the President states, in such sublime and affecting language,
"We have offered up at the footstool of our Father who is in Heaven prayers inspired by the same feelings which
animate your Holiness," his deep sunken orbs visibly moistened were upturned toward that throne upon which ever
sits the Prince of Peace, indicating that his heart was pleading for our deliverance from that causeless and merciless
war which is prosecuted against us.  The soul of infidelity--if, indeed, infidelity have a soul-- would have melted in
view of so sacred a spectacle.  

    The emotion occasioned by the translation was succeded by a silence of some time.  At length his Holiness asked
whether President Davis was a Catholic.  I answered in the negative.  He then asked if I was one.  I assured him that I
was not.  

    His Holiness now stated, to use his own language, that "Lincoln & Co." had endeavored to create an impression
abroad that they were fighting for the abolition of slavery, and that it might perhaps be judicious in us to consent to
gradual emancipation.  I replied that the subject of slavery was one over which the Government of the Confederate
States, like that of the old United States, had no control whatever; that all ameliorations with regard to the institution
must proceed from the States themselves, which were as sovereign in their character in this regard as were France,
Austria, or any other continental power; that true philanthropy shuddered at the thought of the liberation of the slave
in the manner attempted by "Lincoln & Co."; that such a procedure would be practically to convert the well-cared-for
civilized negro into a semibarbarian; that such of our slaves as had been captured or decoyed off by our enemy
were in an incomparably worse condition than while they were in the service of their masters; that they wished to
return to their old homes, the love of which was the strongest of their affections; that if, indeed, African slavery were
an evil, there was a power which, in its own good time, would doubtless remove that evil in a more gentle manner
than that of causing the earth to be deluged with blood for its sudden overthrow.

    His Holiness received these remarks with an approving expression. He then said that I had reason to be proud of
the self- sacrificing devotion of my countrymen from the beginning to the cause for which they were contending.  
"The most ample reason," I replied, "and yet, scarcely so much as of my countrywomen, whose patriotism, whose
sorrows and privations, whose transformation in many instances from luxury to penury, were unparalleled and could
not be adequetly described by any living language.  There they had been from the beginning--there they were still
more resolute, if possible, than ever, emulating in devotion, earthly though it was in its character, those holy female
spirits who were last at the cross.

    His Holiness received this statement with evident satisfaction, and then said: "I would like to do anything that can
be effectively done, or that even promises good results, to aid in putting an end to this most terrible war, which is
harming the good of all the earth, if I knew how to proceed."

    I availed myself of this declaration to inform his Holiness that it was not the armies of  Northern birth which the
South was encountering in hostile array, but that it was the armies of European creation, occasioned by the Irish and
Germans, chiefly by the former, who were influenced to emigrate (by circulars from "Lincoln & Co." to their numerous
agents abroad) ostensibly for the purpose of securing high wages but in reality to fill up the constantly depleted
ranks of our enemy; that those poor unfortunates were tempted by high bounties (amounting to $500, $600, and
$700) to enlist and take up arms against us; that once in the service they were invariably placed in the most exposed
points of danger in the battle field; that in consequence therof an instance had occurred in which an almost entire
brigade had been left dead or wounded upon the ground; that but for foreign recruits the North would most likely
have broken down months ago in the absurd attempt to overpower the South.  

    His Holiness expressed his utter astonishment, repeatedly throwing up his hands, at the employment of such
means against us, and the cruelty attendant upon such unscrupulous operations.

    "But, your Holiness," said I, "Lincoln & Co. are even more wicked, if possible, in their ways than in decoying
innocent Irishmen from homes to be murdered in cold blood.  Their champions, and would your Holiness believe it
unless it were authoritatively communicated to you, their pulpit champions have boldly asserted as a sentiment:  
'Greek fire for the families and cities of the rebels and hell fire for their chiefs.' "      

    His Holiness was startled at this information, and immediately observed: "Certainly no Catholic could reiterate so
monstrous a sentiment."  I replied: "Assuredly not.  It finds a place exclusively in the hearts of the fiendish, vagrant,
pulpit buffoons whose number is legion and who impiously undertake to teach the doctrines of Christ for ulterior
sinister purposes."

    His Holiness now observed: "I will write a letter to President Davis, and of such a character that it may be
published for general perusal."  I express my heartfelt gratification for the assertion of this purpose.  He then
remarked, half inquiringly: "You will remain here for several months ?"  I, of course, could not do otherwise than
answer in the affirmative.  Turning to my secretary, he asked several kind questions personal to himself and
bestowed upon him a handsome compliment.  He then extended his hand as a signal for the end of the audience
and I retired.

    Thus terminated one among the most remarkable conferences that ever a foreign representative had with a
potentate of the earth.  And such a potentate!  A potentate who weilds the conciences of 175,000,000 of the civilized
race, and who is adored by that immence number as the vice regent of Almighty God in this sublunary sphere.  

    How strikingly majestic the conduct of the government of the Pontifical State in its bearing toward me when
contrasted with the sneaking subterfuges to which some of the governments of western Europe have had recourse
in order to evade intercourse with our commissioners.  Here I was openly received by appointment at court in
accordance with established usages and customs and treated from beginning to end with a consideration which
might be enveid by the envoy of the oldest member of the family of nations.  The audience was of forty minutes
duration, an unusually long one.                

    I have written this dispatch very hurriedly and fear that it will barely be in time for the monthly steamer which goes
off from Liverpool with the mails from the Bahama Islands next Saturday.

    I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

                                                                                                                                  A.  DUDLEY  MANN.

    Hon.  J. P.  BENJAMIN,

      Secretary of State, C. S. A., Richmond, Va.













No. 68.]                                                                                                                      Rome, November 21, 1863

    Sir: I confidently trust that my Nos. 66 and 67, giving detailed accounts of my audience with the sovereign pontiff
and of my interview with the cardinal seceratary of state, will have been in your possession some days previous to
the arrival of this.  Lest, however, they may have been delayed on their way to their destination, I will state that my
reception at the Vatican was cordial in the broadest sence of the word, and that my mission has been as successful
as the President could have possibly  desired it to be.

    On the 19th I had a second interview with Cardinal Antonelli.  I intended it to be of short duration, but he became
so much interested in the communications which I made to him that he prolonged it for nearly an hour.  He took the
occasion to inform me, at the commencement that the acting representative of the United States had obtained an
interview of him the day before to remonstrate against the facilities afforded by the government of the holy see to
"Rebels" for entering and abiding in Rome; and that he, the cardinal, promptly replied that he intended to take such
"Rebels" under his special protection, because it would be making exactions upon elevated humanity which it was
incapable of concientiously complying with, to expect them to take an oath of allegiance to a country which they
bitterly detested.  I may add, in this connection, that such passports as you may issue will receive the visa of the
nuncio at Paris or Brussels, and that there is now nowhere that the nationality of a citizen of the Confederate States
is not as much respected as that of the United States except in the dark hole of the North of Europe.

    We have been virtually, if not practically, recognized here.  While I was in the foreign office the day before
yesterday, foreign ministers were kept waiting for a considerable length of time in the antechamber in order that my
interview might not be disturbed.  Frequently the cardinal would take my hand between his and exclaim: "Mon cher
your government has accomplished prodigies, alike in the cabinet and in the field."

    Antonelli is emphatically the State.  He is perhaps the very best informed statesman of his time.  His channels for
obtaining intelligence from every quarter of the earth are more multifarious and reliable than even those of the
French.  His worst enemies accord to him abilities of the very highest order.  They say that he is utterly unscrupulous
as to the means which he employs, but that no other man could have saved the temporal power of the Pope.  He is
bold, courageous, resolute, and is a great admirer of President Davis, because he is distinguished by those
qualities, qualities which, if supported by good judgement, will, in his opinion, ever win the object to which they are
devoted.

    Of course I can form no conjecture when the letter of his holiness to the President will be ready for delivery.  
Weeks, perhaps months, may elapes first.  With my explanations to him upon the subject of slavery, I indulge the
hope that he will not allude, hurtfully to us, to the subject.  As soon as I receive it I will endeavor to prevail with him to
have the correspondence published in the official Journal here, or to give me permission to bring it out in the Paris
Moniteur.  Its information would be powerful upon all the Catholic governments in both hemispheres, and I would
return to Brussels and make an appeal to King Leopold to exert himself with Great Britain, Prusia, etc., in our behalf.  
Thus I am exceedingly hopeful that before spring our independence will be generally acknowledged.  Russia alone
will most probably stand aloof until we are recognized by the North, as she has now, at least ostensibly, identify her
fortunes with that distracted and demon-like division of the old Union.

    So far my mission has not found its way into the newspapers.  I wish to keep it secret in order that the publication
of the letters may, from the unexpectedness, cause a salutary sensation everywhere when it occurs.

    I have reason to believe that what I have said in high places in relation to Irish emigration to New York were words
in season.  

    I have the honor to be sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                                                                                                     A.  DUDLEY  MANN.

    Hon.  J.  P.  BENJAMIN

      Secretary  of  State,  C.  S.  A.,  Richmond,  Va.







                                                              



No. 69.]                                                                                                                          Rome, December 9, 1863

    Sir: The cardinal secretary of state, Antonelli, officially transmitted to me yesterday the answer of the Pope to the
President.                In the very direction of this communication there is a positive recognition of our
government.         

    It is addressed "to the Illustrious and Honorable Jefferson Davis, President of ther Confederate States of
America."                               

    Thus we are acknowledged, by as high an authority as this world contains, to be an independant power of the
earth.       

    I congratulate you, I congratulate the President, I congratulate his cabinet; in short, I congratulate all my
true-hearted countrymen and countrywomen, upon this benign event.  The hand of the Lord has been in it, and
eternal glory and praise be to His holy and righteous name.       

    The document is in the latin language, as are all documents prepared by the Pope.  I can not incure the risk of its
capture at sea, and, therefore, I shall retain it until I can convey it , with entire certainty, to the President.  It will
adorne the archives of our country in all coming time.

    I expect to receive a copy of it in time for transmission by the steamer which carries this (via New York) at Nassau.

    I shall leave here by the 15th instant, and will proceed to Paris and from thence to Brussels and London.

    The example of the sovereign pontiff, if I am not much mistaken, will exercise a salutary influence upon both the
Catholic and Protestant governments of western Europe.  Humanity will be aroused everywhere to the importance of
its early emulation.     

    I have studiously endeavored to prevent the appearance of any telegraphic or other communications in the
newspapers in relation to my mission.  The nature of it, however, is generally known in official circles here, and it has
been mentioned in one or more journals.  The letters, in my opinion, ought to be officially published at Richmond,
under a call for the correspondence by the one or the other branch of Congress.  In the mean time I shall
communicate to the European press, probably through the London Times, the substance of those letters.

    I regard such a procedure as of primary importance in view of the interests of peace, and I am quite sure that the
holy father would rejoice at seeing those interests benefited in this or any other effective manner.

    I have the honor to be, sir, very respectively, your obedient servant,

                                                                                                                                  A.  DUDLEY  MANN.

    Hon.  J. P.  BENJAMIN,

      Secretary  of  State,  C. S. A.., Richmond, Va.











No. 70.]                                                                                                                          Rome, December 12, 1863

    Sir: Herewith I have the honor to transmit the copy sent to me yesterday of the orginal, in Latin, of the letter of the
sovereign pontiff to President Davis.  I have taken a duplicate of it.  A period of more than a week elapsed between
the date of the letter and the delivery of the copy.

    I shall repair to Paris immediately where, after conferring with Mr. Slidell and Mr. Mason (from each of whom I
have just received the kindest of letters), I shall proceed to Brussels.  After a stay there of a day or two, I shall go to
London.  The Christmas season will be a propitious period for exciting the sympathies of the British public in behalf
of the sublime initiative of the Pope.  The people of England are never better in heart than during the joyous
anniversary of the birth of Him whose cause was "Peace on earth, good will toward men."

    Strange to say, a recent number of the Court Journal of London contains one of the most beautiful encomiums
ever written upon the eminent purity of character of his Holiness.

    I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

                                                                                                                                      A.  DUDLEY  MANN.

    Hon.  J. P. BENJAMIN,

      Secretary  of  State, C. S. A.., Richmond, Va.



                                                               [TRANSLATION.]

Illustrious and honorable sir, greeting:

    We have lately received with all kindness, as was meet, the gentlemen sent by your Excellency to present to us
your letter dated on the 23d of last September.  We have received certainly no small pleasure in learning both from
these gentlemen and from your letter the feelings of gratification and of very warm appreciation with which you,
illustrious and honorable sir, were moved when you first had knowledge written in October of the preceding year to
the venerable brethren, John, archbishop of New York, and John, archbishop of New Orleans, in which we again and
again urged and exhorted those venerable brethren that because of their exemplary piety and episcopal zeal they
should employ their most earnest efforts, in our name also, in order that the fatal civil war which had arisen in the
States should end, and that the people of America might again enjoy mutual peace and concord, and love each
other with mutual charity. And it has been very gratifying to us to recognize, illustrious and honorable sir, that you
and your people are animated by the same desire for peace and tranquility, which we had so earnestly inculcated in
our aforesaid letters to the venerable brethren above named.  Oh, that the other people also of the States and their
rulers, considering seriously how cruel and how deplorable is this intercine war, would receive and embrace the
councels of peace and tranquility.  We indeed shall not cease with most fervent prayer to beseech God, the best and
highest, and to implore Him to pour out the spirit of Christian love and peace upon all the people of America, and to
rescue them from the great calamities with which they are afflicted.   And we also pray the same most merciful Lord
that he will illumine your Excellency with the light of His devine grace and unite you with ourselves in perfect charity.

    Given at Rome at St. Peters on the 3d December, 1863, in the eighteenth year of our Pontificate.

                                                                   PIUS  P. P.  IX. Illustrious  and  Hon.  JEFFERSON DAVIS,

                    President of the Confederate States of America, Richmond.
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