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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 20. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.1 (search)
arcely repress a smile in reading the Federal telegrams of that day. Welles's Scare. Secretary Welles of the United States Navy, reports Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War, as saying in a Cabinet meeting, called in consequence of the destruction of the Cumberland and Congress on March 8th: The Merrimac will change the whole character of the war. She will destroy seriatim every naval vessel. She will lay all cities of the seaboard under contribution. I shall immediately recall Burnside. Port Royal must be abandoned. I will notify the Governors of States, and the municipal authorities in the North to take instant measures to protect their harbors. He had no doubt but that the Merrimac was at this moment on her way to Washington, and not unlikely we shall have a shell or cannon-ball from one of her guns in the White House before we leave this room. On March 9th Mr. Stanton telegraphed the Governors of New York, Massachusetts and Maine to protect their harbors with large timber raf