Confederate States President Jefferson Davis called for applications for "letters of Marque and Reprisal," the traditional authority countries gave to privateers to attack enemy shipping. On receiving the letters, independent privateers would be able to prey on United States commerce shipping in the name of the Confederate States. Two days later President Lincoln declared that such privateers would be considered pirates and ordered a coastal blockade from South Carolina to Texas. (By John Osborne)
"Proclamation by Jefferson Davis," in Frank Moore, The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1861), I: 71.