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he line of fire. It was thought that the guns in the masked battery were rifled and of very heavy calibre [?]as their projectiles were thrown beyond the Richmond. At the end of the first day's bombardment the ships retired, uninjured. On the second day they took up about the same positions, but their shells failed to reach the forts, while the Commander says, the enemy's shells fell thick about us, some passing over the ships, and far beyond them. Therefore, says the Flag Officer, I deemedor the present. This indifference arose from the fact that they had no ammunition to use in the guns which they had found in the Navy Yard — but they were biding their time and would no doubt be heard from when the opportunity offered. On the second day after the arrival of the Powhatan, a flotilla, composed of steam tugs, schooners and large launches, filled with soldiers, was seen to be coming from the direction of Pensacola, and heading for the two ships lying outside of Santa Rosa Island
ced on her. On April 5th she went into commission, and on April 6th sailed for the relief of Fort Pickens, under the command of Lieut D. D. Porter. On the day (April 6th) when a telegram came for Mr. Welles to prepare the Powhatan for sea with all dispatch, that vessel was about to sail on another mission. On the 7th, came orders for Captain Mercer to take command of the expedition to Charleston. Supposing that the Powhatan had been taken in hand from her sheer-hulk condition on the 6th, and working on the best time, she could not have more than been ready by the 11th. She could only at the best make eight knots an hour. Charleston being 630 miles distant would require 79 hours, or three days and seven hours, to make the passage. This would have brought them to Charleston only on the evening of the 14th, when Sumter was past all help. Mr. Fox says he depended on her splendid launches and 300 sailors. The Powhatan had two wheel-house launches in the shape of a half wat
to dock! Mr. Fox states that the Powhatan, Captain Mercer, sailed on the 6th of April; the Pawnee, Commodore Rowan, on the 9th; the Pocahontas, Captain Gillis, on the 10th, the Harriet Lane, Captain Faunce, on the 8th, the tug Uncle Ben, on the 7th, the tug Yankee on the 8th, and the Baltic, Captain Fletcher, on the 8th; rather an unusual way for an expedition to start out, and calculated to cause a failure even if there were no other obstacles in the way. Three army officers accompanied theled for the relief of Fort Pickens, under the command of Lieut D. D. Porter. On the day (April 6th) when a telegram came for Mr. Welles to prepare the Powhatan for sea with all dispatch, that vessel was about to sail on another mission. On the 7th, came orders for Captain Mercer to take command of the expedition to Charleston. Supposing that the Powhatan had been taken in hand from her sheer-hulk condition on the 6th, and working on the best time, she could not have more than been ready
n Mercer, sailed on the 6th of April; the Pawnee, Commodore Rowan, on the 9th; the Pocahontas, Captain Gillis, on the 10th, the Harriet Lane, Captain Faunce, on the 8th, the tug Uncle Ben, on the 7th, the tug Yankee on the 8th, and the Baltic, Captain Fletcher, on the 8th; rather an unusual way for an expedition to start out, and c8th, and the Baltic, Captain Fletcher, on the 8th; rather an unusual way for an expedition to start out, and calculated to cause a failure even if there were no other obstacles in the way. Three army officers accompanied the troops. Soon after leaving Sandy Hook a heavy gale set in, and continued during most of the passage to Charleston, and the Baltic, the fastest and staunchest vessel, only arrived off Charleston harbor on the 12th of8th; rather an unusual way for an expedition to start out, and calculated to cause a failure even if there were no other obstacles in the way. Three army officers accompanied the troops. Soon after leaving Sandy Hook a heavy gale set in, and continued during most of the passage to Charleston, and the Baltic, the fastest and staunchest vessel, only arrived off Charleston harbor on the 12th of April, and communicated with the Harriet Lane, the only vessel that had arrived before her. At 6 A. M. the Pawnee arrived, and Mr. Fox went on board of her and informed Commander Rowan of his orders to send in provisions, asking him to stand in towards the bar. Commander Rowan replied that his orders required him to remain ten
ficers granted leave of absence, crew sent to the receiving ship, and the vessel put out of commission. To read the account of the naval historian (Boynton), the Navy Department depended on the Powhatan for the success of this expedition, yet on the 2d of April she was lying at the Navy Yard a sheer hulk, preparing to go into dock! Mr. Fox states that the Powhatan, Captain Mercer, sailed on the 6th of April; the Pawnee, Commodore Rowan, on the 9th; the Pocahontas, Captain Gillis, on the 10th, the Harriet Lane, Captain Faunce, on the 8th, the tug Uncle Ben, on the 7th, the tug Yankee on the 8th, and the Baltic, Captain Fletcher, on the 8th; rather an unusual way for an expedition to start out, and calculated to cause a failure even if there were no other obstacles in the way. Three army officers accompanied the troops. Soon after leaving Sandy Hook a heavy gale set in, and continued during most of the passage to Charleston, and the Baltic, the fastest and staunchest vessel, onl
elief of Sumter. The records do not say who proposed this scheme — for what chance could this slow-moving vessel have had under a fire which eventually caused the surrender of the fort itself? Fortunately this plan was also abandoned, and on the 14th Major Anderson evacuated, and with his troops was taken north on the steamer Baltic. This ended the Sumter expedition. It is no more than justice to Mr. Fox to state what his plan really was, and we will give his own words: My plan for s the 11th. She could only at the best make eight knots an hour. Charleston being 630 miles distant would require 79 hours, or three days and seven hours, to make the passage. This would have brought them to Charleston only on the evening of the 14th, when Sumter was past all help. Mr. Fox says he depended on her splendid launches and 300 sailors. The Powhatan had two wheel-house launches in the shape of a half watermelon, which were perfectly useless for want of repair, and sank when they
nteer crew from the frigate Santee, under command of Lieut. James E. Jouett. done to show that there was any hostile feeling between the Federal and Confederate forces at Pensacola. Both the Niagara and Richmond were vessels of heavy draft; the former could not enter the harbor, and the latter, to co-operate with her, would have to lie a long way outside of the fort and earthworks. The Niagara was lightened as much as possible and her draught reduced to 21 feet. During the night of the 21st, a position had been selected and a buoy placed to mark the spot where the ships were to anchor. On the following morning at 10 o'clock, Fort Pickens fired the signal gun and the Niagara stood in, followed by the Richmond (Captain F. B. Ellison); both ships came to an anchor with springs on their cables, the Niagara in four fathoms and the Richmond in 20 feet of water, fort McRae bearing from the Niagara north, distant two miles. The vessels opened fire, but finding that the Niagara's she
ficers not only a debarkation, but an act of war; it would be a serious thing to bring on, by any precipitation a collision which may be against the wishes of the Department. Both sides are faithfully observing the agreement entered into by the U. S. government with Mr. Mallory and Col. Chase. This agreement binds us not to reinforce Fort Pickens unless it shall be attacked or threatened; it binds them not to attack it unless we should attempt to reinforce it. I saw Gen. Bragg on the 30th ultimo, who reassured me that the conditions on their part should not be violated. While I cannot take on myself, under such insufficient authority as Gen. Scott's order, the fearful responsibility of an act which seems to render civil war inevitable, I am ready at all times to carry out whatever orders I may receive from the Hon. Secretary of the Navy. In conclusion, I beg you will please to send me instructions as soon as possible, that I may be relieved from a painful embarrassment. Ve
before President Lincoln that had been offered to President Buchanan, Mr. Blair informing Mr. Fox at the same time that General Scott had advised the President that Fort Sumter could not be relieved and would have to be given up. Having been introduced to the President by Mr. Blair, Fox unfolded his plans and was directed to call upon General Scott and discuss the matter with him. The General did not approve Mr. Fox's plans, and informed Mr. Lincoln that it might have been-practicable in February, but owing to the increased number of Confederate forts and guns it was not possible then. These difficulties in carrying out his plans for the relief of Sumter, induced Mr. Fox to go in person to Charleston to see if he could not ascertain by the visit something that would strengthen his argument. He also wished if possible to visit Major Anderson. In consequence, with the consent of the President, Secretary of War and General Scott, he proceeded by way of Richmond and Wilmington to
February 4th (search for this): chapter 10
provisions necessary for the supply of the fort you will land. The Brooklyn and other vessels of war on the station will remain, and you will exercise the utmost vigilance and be prepared at a moment's warning to land the company at Fort Pickens, and you and they will instantly repel any attack on the fort. The President yesterday sent a special message to Congress, communicating the Virginia resolutions of compromise. The commissioners of the different States are to meet here on Monday, February 4th, and it is important that during their session a collision of arms should be avoided, unless an attack should be made or there should be preparations for an attack. In either event the Brooklyn and the other vessels will act promptly. Your right and that of other officers in command at Pensacola freely to communicate with the Government by special messenger, and its right in the same manner to communicate with yourselves and them, will remain intact as the basis of the present instr
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