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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 10: naval engagement at South-West pass.--the Gulf blockading squadron in November, 1861. (search)
onsulted Messrs. George W. Blunt, Wm. H. Aspinwall and Charles H. Maxwell with regard to the necessary preparations. There were many delays in getting off the expedition, caused principally by everybody's desire to avoid a war. As late as the 4th of April the President informed Mr. Fox that he would allow the expedition to start for Charleston, but that he would in the meantime write a letter to the authorities of that place and promise that no attempt would be made to land troops if vessels weed on the Powhatan to assist him, and considers her absence to be the cause of failure. On the 2d of April he had not even received the written authority to undertake this expedition, and no decision had been come to by the President until April the 4th, and it was not until the morning of April 6th that a telegraphic dispatch was received by Captain Foote (commanding New York Navy Yard) as follows: Prepare the Powhatan for sea with all dispatch. (signed) Gideon Welles. On April 1st Presid
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 16: operations on the Mississippi. (search)
two impediments had been removed the passage of the enemy's batteries was considered practicable, and Com. Walke, of the Carondelet, volunteered to perform this perilous duty. His ingenuity and that of his officers was taxed to the utmost to prepare the Carondelet to resist the enemy's shot. First-Master Hoel of the Cincinnati, one of the best pilots on the Mississippi, whose gallantry finally placed him in command of an iron-clad, volunteered to pilot the vessel. On the night of the 4th of April, in storm and darkness, the Carondelet got underway. She might have drifted down the river without a shot being fired at her, yet there was danger that she might run ashore and be found at daylight a fair mark for the enemy, or the pilot, in the intense darkness, might mistake the channel, or the plunging fire from the enemy's batteries might penetrate the boilers, in which case a horrible fate awaited many of her crew. It was the first venture in running batteries, and therefore more c