Sunday, June 4, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, June 24, 1863

Admiral Foote still lingers, but there is no hope of his recovery. Dahlgren took leave this morning for the South Atlantic Squadron. I admonished him that his detachment from the Bureau was only temporary and for a special purpose, and wished him a prosperous and successful time.

No definite or satisfactory information in regard to military movements. If it were clear that the Secretary of War and General-in-Chief knew and were directing military movements intelligently, it would be a relief; but they communicate nothing and really appear to have little or nothing to communicate. What at any time surprises us, surprises them. There is no cordiality between them and Hooker, not an identity of views and action, such as should exist between the general in command in the field and the Headquarters and Department, separated only a few miles. The consequence is an unhappy and painful anxiety and uncertainty, the more distressing to those of us who should know and are measurably responsible, because we ought to be acquainted with the facts. Were we not in that position, we should be more at ease.

None of our vessels have succeeded in capturing the Rebel pirate Tacony, which has committed great ravages along the coast, although I have sent out over twenty vessels in search. Had she been promptly taken, I should have been blamed for such a needless and expensive waste of strength; now I shall be censured for not doing more.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 342-3

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