Thursday, February 13, 2020

Flag Officer Samuel F. Dupont to Gustavus V. Fox, March 14, 1862

Off St. Augustine
14 March 62
My Dear Sir

All these reports are interesting. Do have them published, they encourage the officers more than anything else.

The great want of the Govt. is an official Organ for National effect, if not for Political. The Nat, Intellg will publish everything. I think the Ass. Press concern a curse.

I hope to catch the Casslin—but I have nothing to cross that Mosquitoe Inlet bar, but this ship's launches and they are away up at Jacksonville—and lucky they are there. I am sending to Wright to hurry troops there—he thought it ought not to be occupied—but it must be to secure loyal people.

I recd the Dept's mail—will take an early oppy. to write about the blockade. None of those vessels reported from London and Liverpool ever dare approach the coast, showing what they think of the blockade— but transship at Nassau N.P. aided and abetted by those English hypercritical scoundrels—into vessels about the size of our launches.

The Fingal was the last foreign vessel that got into Savannah, after the gale of the 24, but has never got out and is sold to the rebels.

The Isabel and Nashville, with local Pilots of extraordinary skill, fogs and accident, and Steam have eluded us—but how many have been kept out? Skiddy run through Lord Cochrane's whole fleet blockading one port. Steam has quadrupled the advantage to those who run the blockade, over those who cover the ports.

But the game is up with them now, I promise you. The merchants ought to be glad the Nashville is in. This place Smyrna which I knew nothing about, has let in good many arms I am now satisfied.

Much disappointed about the Vermont, but expected nothing less. A clever old Port Captain would have taken that place.

Now my friend for the last time let me implore you to send coal. I have begged in vain. Two weeks more and this whole fleet will be laid up. Lardner writes only one vessel has arrived and this gulf people swallow that up.

The coming Equinoxial gales, will upset half the ships I have—all their Paddle wheels are nearly out of the water.

I can't tell you how I feel about it. I have written and begged Lenthall and you—but it produces nothing —two miserable schooners on the way, which will not both of them fill up the Bienville.

Yrs faithfully
S. F. DUPONT

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. 112-3

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