Great apprehension prevails. The change of commanders is thus far well received. No regret is expressed that Hooker has been relieved. This is because of the rumor of his habits, the reputation that he is intemperate, for his military reputation is higher than that of his successor. Meade has not so much character as such a command requires. He is, however, kindly favored; will be well supported, have the best wishes of all, but does not inspire immediate confidence. A little time may improve this, and give him name and fame.
Naval Order No. 16 on the death of Foote and the congratulatory letter to Rodgers have each been well received. The allusion to the character of the monitors was a questionable matter, but I thought it an opportunity to counteract Du Pont's mischief which should not pass unimproved. Some of the Rebel sympathizers assail that part of it, as I supposed they probably would. Of Foote I could have said more, but brevity is best on such occasions.
SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 351