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Alleged Enlistment of British Subjects for the Federal Army

The Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1201, p. 478.

May 2, 1863

Alleged Enlistment Of British Subjects For The Federal Army.--We learn from a bluebook just issued that some correspondence has passed between Earl Russell and Mr. Adams on the subject of the alleged recruiting in the United Kingdom for the Federal army. As far back as the 20th of November last, the Foreign Secretary intimated to the United States' Minister that the Government had been informed by persons "to whom they were disposed to give credit" that recruiting for the Northern service was being carried on in this country by agents who offered large bounties. Mr. Adams gave a general denial to the report, and Earl Russell subsequently informed his Excellency that further inquiries showed that the statements as to the "alleged recruiting in London" were without foundation. On the 18th inst., however, the noble Earl called Mr. Adams's attention to the extensive emigration from Ireland--remarking that a report which had reached the Government on the subject was to the effect that "it cannot be doubted that the emigrants are intended for the United States' army, and that, in fact, many of them do not deny it." Mr. Adams replied that numerous applications had been made to him for a free passage, and that a considerable proportion of these contained offers to enlist in the service of the Northern Government. But he had uniformly rejected these proposals, and had instructed the consular agents of the Federal States to decline all such offers. "I have no reason to believe," he added, "that any American citizen in England, clothed with authority, has ventured to act in any other way." Mr. Adams also appears to have complained of the Confederate loan and the supply of arms to the South, but Earl Russell maintained for his countrymen a right, which the Americans themselves have always asserted, to lend money or sell munitions of war to a belligerent. Another grievance of the Federal Minister was that English sailors had entered the naval service of the Confederate States; but Earl Russell retorted with a request that "before you repeat your complaints that British sailors have entered the service at the so-called Confederate States, you will furnish me with proofs that all British subjects serving in the Federal army or navy have been discharged, and orders given not to enlist or engage such persons to serve in arms contrary to the tenour of her Majesty's proclamation."

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