Monday, September 12, 2016

Memorandum of Capt. Gustavus V. Fox to Lieutenant-General Winfield Scott, February 8, 1861

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 8, 1861.
Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT,
U. S. Army, Washington, D.C.:

GENERAL: The proposition which I had the honor to submit fully in person is herewith presented in writing. Lieutenant Hall and myself have had several free conferences, and if he is permitted by the South Carolina authorities to re-enter Fort Sumter, Major Anderson will comprehend the plan for his relief. I consider myself very fortunate in having proposed a project which meets the approval of the General-in-Chief, and I ask no reward but the entire conduct of the part, exclusive of the armed vessels. The commander of these should be ordered to co-operate with me, by affording protection and destroying their naval preparations near the bar, leaving to me, as the author of the plan, the actual operations of relief. I suggest that the Pawnee be immediately sent to the Delaware Breakwater to await orders; the Harriet Lane to be ready for sea, and some arrangement entered into by which the requisite steamer and tugs should be engaged, at least so far as not to excite suspicion. I would prefer one of the Collins steamers. They are now being prepared for sea, and are of such a size and power as to be able fearlessly to run down any vessels which might attempt to capture us outside by a coup de main. I could quietly engage one and have her ready to start in twenty-four hours' notice, without exciting suspicion. I shall leave for New York at 3.10 p.m., and any communication previous will find me at Judge Blair's. If the Pawnee pivot-gun is landed it should certainly be remounted.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
 G. V. FOX.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 1 (Serial No. 1), p. 203

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