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Trip to England




letter, McIlvaine, Chase, England


Bp. McIlvaine

[?] April 11, 1862

Paris Ap. 11, 1862

My dear friend,

As the French, after their Revolution, dated their events from that event, so I might now date from the day of the Revolution made by the Monitor and [?], a revolution in all the world. For literally such a revolution has taken place, and we-- the US is now, not only all at once a first class naval power, but probably in a few months will be strongest, because most made of iron. I have been in Europe but in a most remarkable parish. I came into the Church of the [?] [?] when war with the US was way [?]. However deprecated by the many and the good especially, the power of England to crush our navy and bombard our towns was unquestioned. The first affair passed away but not the exacerbating and impudent style of much of the English [?] and the arrogant talk of many about humbling our forces and breaking our country. The blockade war threatened. There was little appreciation of the effect of irritating us. Then the tide of glorious success of our army began to roll in, victory on victory, the fighting qualities of our troops, the courage of our officers, the [?] and determination of our people, the certainty that the rebellion will be put down and then the consideration that we shall have 600,000 men thoroughly disciplined and equipped with a tremendous artillery and a formidable cavalry-- for what? For any thing a foreign nation, with colonies near us, choose to provoke us to do-- the reflection was salutary and could be seen. Lastly comes the administration, loud and strong, uttered by the two guns of the Monitor. [?] all at once. England is talking about her Black Warrior as were egg shell to our little Advisor-- the great ship that could sink our whole navy, a piece of paper which we could crumple up in our hand. English coast fortification is of no use any more-- her navy reduced to her few iron ships and they all provincial [?]. What a comfortable thing it is for me, (believe you me) to see all this. What a strength it gives me for speech. How easy has become the argument about the rebellion. But there is another great element in the change of feeling. The admirable name of the Pres. about Emancipation has taken away the last refuge of excuse for England’s [?] of our earnest sympathy with our cause. Before it was “We do not see that if you succeed, slavery will not be just the same as ever-- your Pres. shares not our feelings about it.” Now he does-- and it is acknowledged that the step is wise, that it indicates the desire and will to do all that can be wisely done and that whatever comes of it, that evidence will stand. I have heard men of standing who talked this way before, say “now we have no excuse for want of sympathy. England must feel with the Gov’t.” How thankful I am for the [new ally].

Brother writes one in the strangest terms of the folly of the farmer [?] [?] at having Dr. Linal hold a high place in the present world, for wisdom, [?], justice and [?]. How proud you must all feel of our brave soldiers, and you and Dr. Stanton as this-- men of our Ohio troop and of [?] prodigious battle and how proud Gov. [?] must be of his Burnside. Our last news is of the Fr. Macon, Nashville and Bearport matter, the same action near Winchester (of which we have scarcely any details yet) and the going on still of the siege of [?]. We take it for granted that McAdams in his deep strategy is maneuvering some great point. I feel indignant at the attacks on him by some of our papers. The correspondents of the [?] and standard (Lord) have made a most evil infraction here about him. They are [?] set of [?]/ I trust not a thought of doubt of his ability and sufficing and all that has been relied upon in him, has entered the mind of the Pres. The retreat from [M[?]] I consider a greater victory than if the navy had been fought and [?] and we had lost 3000 killed and wounded. It was a victory of strategy, and that covering an area of [?] which the world never knew before. I believe in Mr. [?] more than ever, and very much in proportion as a set of men who measure such operations by the scale of the workings of some twenty regiments ever a good sized [?] [?] [?] [?]. There are many strong brothers here and more strong Gov’t men and some may milk and water southerners. I held a conference yesterday in the principal English Ch. house. It was an American [Compremation] principally, for our [?] Ep. Congregation heard the Bp. of Lond. asked me to talk in connection with it. The English we had therefore 145 candidates from 8 congregations, all English but one, of Paris, 3 of neighboring towns. For a sufficiently large church I took the English Ch. as the Rev. Dr. [?] asked the Am.service. Some days before, the Rector of the Ch. suggested that as he had in his congregation some 20 Southern families, detained here by the war, perhaps I would not use the Prayer for the Poor. Think of such an idea for me-- of course, you know what I did. Our own clergymen, Dr. Landon [?] the service and gave us the Prayer for the Pres. in full measure and after that, I at my directive [?] the prayer for the Queen, as in the Eng. but look with such changes as wise [?] for American use. The service was [?] by the way English present as a most happy union of the nations and Churches. Thus, as I was the first Am. Bp. that ever took part in the consecration of an English Bp. (the present Bp. of London) so I am the first that ever administered [?] in an English Ch. and to English Candidates.

By the way, did ever Dr. Landon know that he is an Abbe? The French paper translates the low style of our paper in calling him Abe into Abbe.

I shall not be on my return till the beginning of July. I found I was too much pressed in England with exacting work [?] concluded-- talking, speaking, all day, wherever I went, and must get where such [?] are not. Then I [?] going to have a [?] new [?] by Generic and Miles to Munich and so to England reaching the latter about the middle of May.

I said my bit, I wished you could get Dr. Seward to allow me a credit of 100 more to carry me through.

We feel anxious about the iron ships of the navy, lest they should be more numerous than we are aware of and should get to sea before we can multiply opponents. My hope as to the [M[?]] is strengthened by there being no tidings of any [?] of [?] by [?] the harbor of Norfolk, which I suppose would be [?] of there were not confidence in ability to overpower her.

It is measured here that Slidell applied for an audience with the Emperor, and in an answered that he must apply through his Minister.

In your last, written some two weeks before, the Roanoke [?] you said you would write soon again. When is soon?

Yours affectionately,

Charles P. McIlvaine

Letter from C.P. McIlvaine to S.P. Chase



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