Sent a letter to the two naval committees on the subject of filling vacancies in the Naval School. Members of Congress are disposed to evade all responsibility, and yet to carp at and criticize those of us who under imperious public necessity are compelled to act. The school should be full now if ever. I propose to fill it. The Members individually with few exceptions urge it. I ask them to give me at least the expression of their official, Senatorial opinion, but they shrink.
Received a telegraphic dispatch from Admiral Porter via Cairo of the capture of Dunnington and force at Arkansas Post. It is dated the 11th of January, — a long and protracted transit.
Baldwin of the Vanderbilt came up to-day from Hampton Roads, where he arrived yesterday from an unsuccessful cruise for the Alabama, his vessel having been detained by Wilkes, which defeated the Department's plan.
There are rumors of the movement of the army at Falmouth. Incipient steps have doubtless been taken, but the storm has retarded operations.
SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 224-5