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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., Du Pont's attack at Charleston. (search)
rom the Navy Department, and declined the proposition they brought him. After leaving the admiral's cabin, these distinguished staff-officers sought the naval chief-of-staff and wished him to urge their proposal. He again showed them the order from the Navy Department directing the transfer of the iron-clads to the Mississippi, and asked them if any right-minded officer in his position, in the face of such an order, could urge his chief to do what they proposed. The chief-of-engineers, Colonel Duane, replying, frankly admitted he could not. The monitor Weehawken capturing the Confederate iron-clad ram Atlanta (formerly the blockade-runner Fingal ), Wassaw Sound, Georgia, June 17, 1863. Before leaving Port Royal, General Hunter had constantly insisted that with his force he could do nothing until the navy should put him in possession of Morris Island by the capture of its batteries. At that time [Spring, 1863] it was known that thirty thousand or more troops were at Charlest
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., The battle of the Petersburg crater. (search)
oper place, the explosion would have no practical effect. Therefore I wanted an accurate instrument with which to make the necessary triangulations. I had to make them on the farthest front line, where the enemy's sharp-shooters could reach me. I could not get the instrument I wanted, although there was one at army headquarters, and General Burnside had to send to Washington and get an old-fashioned theodolite, which was given to me. . . . General Burnside told me that General Meade and Major Duane, chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac, said the thing could not be done — that it was all clap-trap and nonsense; that such a length of mine had never been excavated in military operations, and could not be; that I would either get the men smothered, for want of air, or crushed by the falling of the earth; or the enemy would find it out and it would amount to nothing. I could get no boards or lumber supplied to me for my operations. I had to get a pass and send two companies of my