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Pope Walker, to whom its administration was intrusted, was scarcely known beyond the borders of his own state; but those who did know him prophesied that he would early stagger under the heavy responsibility that would necessarily fall upon him in event of war. Many averred that he was only a man of straw to whom Mr. Davis had offered the portfolio, simply that he might exercise his own wellknown love for military affairs and be himself the de facto Secretary of War. The selection of Mr. Mallory, of Florida, for the Navy Department, was more popular and was, as yet, generally considered a good one. His long experience as chairman of the committee on naval affairs, in the United States Senate, and his reputation for clearness of reasoning and firmness of purpose, made him acceptable to the majority of politicians and people. Of Mr. Reagan the people knew little; but their fate was not in his hands, and just now they were content to wait for their letters. The Treasury Depart
n, long after midnight, the red glow from his office lamp, shining over the mock-orange hedge in front of his dwelling, told of unremitting strain. Thus early in the drama, Mr. Benjamin had become one of its leading actors; having more real weight and influence with Mr. Davis than any, or all, of his other advisers. The President did not believe there was safety in a multitude of counsellors; and he certainly chose the subtlest, if not the safest, head of the half-dozen to aid him. With Mr. Mallory, too, he seemed on very friendly and confidential terms. These two he met as friends and advisers; but beside them, the Cabinet — as such-had scarcely a practical existence. Mr. Davis very naturally considered that the War Department had become the government, and he managed it accordingly. The secretaries were, of course, useful to arrange matters formally in their respective branches; but they had scarcely higher duties left them than those of their clerks; while Congress remained a
Who the southern sailors were regular and provisional Navy-bills popular estimate of Mr. Mallory iron-clads vs. cruisers the parole of Pirate Semmes what iron-clads might have done Treabordinate officers, for shore duty in its work-shops and navy-yards. The acceptability of Mr. Mallory to the people, at the outset of his career, has been noted. They believed that his long expethe counsel and aid of some of the most efficient of the scientific sailors of the Union. Mr. Mallory took charge of the Navy Department in March, 1861. At this time the question of iron-clads hned against. The old adage about giving a bad name, however, was more than illustrated in Mr. Mallory's case. He had no doubt been unfortunate; but that he really was guilty of one-half the erro result of circumstance, every accident, every inefficiency of a subordinate was visited upon Mr. Mallory's head. Public censure always makes the meat it feeds on; and the secretary soon became the
tals; and he was, of course, in envied possession of brilliant uniform and equipment. At a certain ball, his glittering blind-spurs became entangled in the flowing train of a dancing belle-one of the most brilliant of the set. She stopped in mid-waltz; touched my friend on the broidered chevron with taper fingers, and sweetly said: Captain, may I trouble you to dismount? Another noted girl-closely connected with the administrationmade one of a distinguished party invited by Secretary Mallory to inspect a newly-completed iron-clad, lying near the city. It was after many reverses had struck the navy, causing — as heretofore shown-destruction of similar ships. Every detail of this one explained, lunch over and her good fortune drunk, the party were descending the steps to the captain's gig, when this belle stopped short. Oh! Mr. Secretary! she smiled innocently-You forgot to show us one thing! Indeed? was the bland query--Pray what was it? To which came the start
Thomas C. DeLeon, Four years in Rebel capitals: an inside view of life in the southern confederacy, from birth to death., The firing under the white flag, in Hampton Roads. (search)
ampton Roads. Reference has been made in these pages, to the peculiar circumstances of the wounding of Flag-Lieutenant Robert D. Minor, in the Merrimac fight on the 8th March, 1862. The official report of Fleet-Captain Franklin Buchanan distinctly states the facts and formulates the charge, accepted by the author. From that lengthy and detailed official document is reproduced verbatim this Extract from report of flag-officer Buchanan. Naval Hospital, Norfolk, March 27, 1862. To Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy: While the Virginia was thus engaged in getting her position, for attacking the Congress, the prisoners state it was believed on board that ship that we had hauled off; the men left their guns and gave three cheers. They were soon sadly undeceived, for a few minutes after we opened upon her again, she having run on shore in shoal water. The carnage, havoc and dismay, caused by our fire, compelled them to haul down their colors, and to hoist a white flag at
ng to cut off Johnston's southward march, but made no great haste, thinking Johnston's cavalry superior to his own, and desiring Sheridan to join him before he pushed the Confederates to extremities. While here, however, he received a communication from General Johnston, dated the thirteenth, proposing an armistice to enable the. National and Confederate governments to negotiate on equal terms. It had been dictated by Jefferson Davis during the conference at Greensboro, written down by S. R. Mallory, and merely signed by Johnston, and was inadmissible and even offensive in its terms; but Sherman, anxious for peace, and himself incapable of discourtesy to a brave enemy, took no notice of its language, and answered so cordially that the Confederates were probably encouraged to ask for better conditions of surrender than they had expected to receive. The two great antagonists met on April 17, when Sherman offered Johnston the same terms that had been accorded Lee, and also communi
ee. Gen. Butler, accompanied by acting Adjutant-Gen. Tallmadge, and his aids, made a dashing reconnoissance several miles between the James and York Rivers. A picket guard of rebels fled on their approach. Three fugitives, the property of Col. Mallory, commander of the rebel forces near Hampton, were brought in to Fortress Monroe by the picket guard yesterday. They represent that they were about to be sent South, and hence sought protection. Major Cary came in with a flag of truce, and claimed their rendition under the Fugitive Slave law, but was informed by Gen. Butler that, under the peculiar circumstances, he considered the fugitives contraband of war, and had set them to work inside the fortress. Col. Mallory, however, was politely informed that so soon as he should visit the fortress and take a solemn oath to obey the laws of the United States, his property would promptly be restored.--N. Y. Tribune, May 27. The New Orleans Picayune of to-day says: One week henc
of to-day, contains the following notice: Plans and offers for the construction of four seagoing, iron-clad, and ball-proof steam ram-ships, to carry at least four heavy guns each, are invited by the Navy Department, up to the 1st of December, 1861. Parties making offers are requested to accompany their plans by descriptive drawings and specifications; and a proper compensation for the labor of preparing such plans and drawings as may be submitted will be made by the Department. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy. Ford's Ferry, eight miles below Caseyville, Ky., was visited by one hundred rebel cavalry, under command of the notorious Capt. Wilcox, who was supposed to have been killed in the skirmish at Saratoga, Ky. The rebels seized upon three casks of bacon, five sacks of coffee, twelve barrels of salt, and five hundred empty sacks, and announced their determination to take in future whatever they desired. Ford's Ferry is the terminus of an excellent road which lea
his vessel when the Cora was captured.--National Intelligencer. The bodies of Col. Slocum, Major Ballou, and Capt. Tower, all of Pawtucket, R. I., recovered from the battle-field near Manassas, were placed on the cars this afternoon for transportation to Rhode Island.--(Doc. 104.) The new Cabinet of President Davis was confirmed by the rebel Senate this morning, as follows: Secretary of State,J. P. Benjamin, La. Secretary of War,Geo. W. Randolph, Va. Secretary of the Navy,S. R. Mallory, Fla. Secretary of the Treasury,C. G. Memminger, S. C. Attorney-General,Thomas H. Watts. Postmaster-General,Mr. Reagan, Texas. President Davis declared martial law over the counties of Elizabeth City, York, Warwick, Gloucester, and Matthews.--Norfolk Day Book, March 24. Three hundred privates and fifty-eight officers, the first detachment of prisoners taken at Pea Ridge, arrived at St. Louis, Mo. This day Gen. Parke's brigade of Gen. Burnside's division, took possessi
n in the reeds and bushes of swamp, and offered little resistance. Each man was armed with a carbine, cutlass, and pistol of English manufacture. They had with them a twelve-pounder breech-loading brass howitzer, which, however, they had previously concealed in the woods. A sloop, with which they intended to commit depredations on passing vessels, was discovered up a creek, and burned. They were expecting to capture a large vessel, and eventually to attack one of the mail-boats plying between Fortress Monroe and Baltimore, from which city Webb and nearly all of his gang of pirates hailed. In the possession of Webb was found his commission as master in the rebel navy, together with a letter of instructions from Secretary Mallory, ordering him to proceed to the rivers and creeks of Eastern Virginia, organize his party, and annoy commerce as extensively as possible. The One Hundred and Forty-eighth returned to Yorktown to-day with their prisoners, who were sent to Fort Norfolk.
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