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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)
ffairs, and demanded the ship restored to him. Secretary Seward was sent for in haste, and when he came into the President's presence he found Secretary Welles in as great a state of excitement as his placid temperament would admit of. Give up the ship, Seward, said Mr. Lincoln, we will get another. And Mr. Seward consenting to do so, a telegram was sent to Lieut. Porter as follows: Give the Powhatan up to Capt. Mercer. April 6, 1861. Seward. While the ship was lying off Tompkinsville, Staten Island, waiting for the boat to return that had carried Capt. Mercer on shore, a swift little steamer came alongside, and Lieut. Roe of the Navy delivered Mr. Seward's telegram. Lieut. Porter read it, and decided that there was only one thing for him to do, and that was to disobey it. The artillery for the troops was on board the Powhatan, the steamer Atlantic, with the troops on board, he supposed had sailed at 12 o'clock, and was ten miles ahead of him. His stopping to resto