Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, April 15, 1863

No full reports yet from Du Pont. Am pained, grieved, distressed by what I hear; and that I hear from him so little. We learn that after all our outlay and great preparations, giving him about all our force and a large portion of the best officers, he intends making no farther effort, but will abandon the plan and all attempts to take it. A fight of thirty minutes and the loss of one man, which he witnessed, satisfies the Admiral.

The Ironsides, the flagship, was suspiciously remote from the fight, yet sufficiently near to convince the Admiral he had better leave the harbor. Down to the day of the conflict I had faith in him and his ability, though grieved at his delays. When here last fall, expressly to consult and concert measures for the capture of Charleston, he was as earnest and determined as any of us, did not waver a moment, and would not listen to a suggestion of Dahlgren as an assistant.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 273

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