Saturday, January 5, 2019

Commandant Samuel F. DuPont to Gustavus V. Fox, November 15, 1861

Wabash, 15, Nov. 61
Port Royal.     
Dear Mr. Fox,

The Atlantic goes to-morrow to return. She takes my detailed official report and correct map of the battle. Instead of our work wearing away with time, the achievement seems more appreciated by visitors to the forts than ever.

We were rejoiced by O. M. Pettit and Ellen coming in yesterday, they are worth their weight in Gold.

I send you a facsimile of the S. C. Ordinance of Secession with the Cartes de visite of the conspirators, for Mr. Welles, taken from Gen. Drayton's headquarters. We have his military map too, with the forts marked on the rivers &c.

Sherman sent a flag of truce yesterday to a place called the ferry, 7 or 8 miles from Beaufort where I sent his messengers by gun boat. They were cooly recd and it was not wise to send the message. It was elicited by some one a Br [sic] subject asking for protection.

Ought Sherman to have issued a proclamation without my knowledge? I like him but I think Stevens a tortuous man and very smart.

If we were to withdraw our naval and physical protection this army would be prisoners of war in 4 weeks. I don't believe a white man who robs a negro of his subsistence will fight.

Missroon came in to-day, (not his ship) and he has gone off again. I was glad to see him and sent for John Rodgers. The Tybee Isl is fortified and requires a 9-ft draft to approach it and they deem it impossible to put the stone there except under very strong covering with many gunboats, no covering with the frigates. We can put the vessels on the outer bar and you can send them here. I will see further tomorrow.

Curlew must go home. It would be throwing away 45000$ to give that for her. Watmough is grieved at losing his command but in character with himself pronounces her unfit. Will you say to Mr. Welles and to yrself that I would esteem it a particular favor if you will give Lt. Watmough a Gunboat and send him out immediately to me?

I look upon him as the first man afloat of his age — he will be very important.

Connecticut in to day—R Island yesterday. I will write an official letter about Beaufort. Waiting for soldiers to go to Fernandina. I doubt if they dare leave. I think I can hold it with the Marines. Very tired. Excuse this hurried letter.

Ever yrs faithfully
S. F. DP.

I asked Sherman to call Fort Walker, Fort Welles. I think he will do it. Davis saw this fort for the first time yesterday and says they ought to have whipped us.

SOURCE: Robert Means Thompson & Richard Wainwright, Editors, Publications of the Naval Historical Society, Volume 9: Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 71-3

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