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or falsehood of the received reports of her character.
There might also be some cause for reflection on the conduct of the Federal commander in remaining quietly at anchor in the Bay of Corunna, instead of going outside with his two vessels in the same neutral water, and there making observations of the Stonewall's speed, power of turning, etc.; and he might, with propriety, have consulted with his junior commander, Captain Henry Walke, of the Sacramento, who had boldly engaged on the Mississippi River a much more powerful ram — the Arkansas--while in command of the Carondelet, a much inferior vessel — at least, he might have formed with his consort some plan of attack.
This was not done, perhaps for the reason that, as, in his judgment, no engagement should take place, it was useless to form plans he did not propose to undertake.
Some of these ideas were evidently paramount in the mind of the Secretary of the Navy when the commander of the Niagara returned to the United States,