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[527] communication with the Mississippi. It cannot be possible that the country would be willing have eight iron-clads, three or four other gunboats, and many transports sacrificed without an effort to save them. It would be the worst thing that has happened this war. I beg leave, most respectfully, to call your earnest attention to this matter. I shall remonstrate with all the energy I am capable of against being left here and having to destroy my vessels, and I hope, sir, that you will see, in the position wherein I am placed, strong reasons for holding this country, and reenforcing the army with troops, to do it with a certainty. Two months are left yet in which to expect a rise; but many say it will not come; the wish, perhaps, being father to the thought. It would be hard, indeed, after cooperating with the army, and the navy performing successfully all that was required of it, to be left in a position where we would have to surrender or blow up. I will promise you the latter. I have no hope of getting the Eastport down, though the commander is still very sanguine. If we could get her within forty miles of Alexandria, we could save her; or if it rises there will be no trouble at all. If the enemy bring on their heavy artillery, the people on the steam-pumps will not be able to work at all. With the gunboats alone and untrammelled, I should not be afraid of any force the rebels could bring to bear upon us, being confident that we could beat them off, if they came in strong force. Whatever may happen, I shall hope for the best, but consider it my duty to anticipate events, and run no risk of losing this squadron. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

David D. Porter, Rear-Admiral. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

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