him with the details of department work.
, as assistant secretary, was appointed Gustavus V. Fox
, a brilliant naval officer, whose eighteen years in the service had well fitted him for the work he was to take up, and whose talents and foresight later provided valuable aid to the secretary.
At the head of the bureau of yards and docks was Joseph Smith
, whose continuous service in the navy for nearly a half-century and whose occupancy of the position at the head of the bureau from 1845 had qualified him also to meet the unlooked — for emergency of war.
Under the direction of the secretary, there were at this time a bureau of ordnance and hydrography, a bureau of construction, equipment, and repair, a bureau of provisions and clothing, and a bureau of medicine and surgery.
It was soon found that these bureaus could not adequately dispose of all the business and details to come before the department, and by act of Congress of July 5, 1862, there was added a bureau of navigation and a bureau of steam engineering.
The bureau of construction, equipment, and repair was subdivided into a bureau of equipment and recruiting and a bureau of construction and repair.
In William Faxon
, the chief clerk
of the Navy Department, Secretary Welles
found the ablest of assistants, whose business ability and mastery of detail were rewarded in the last months of the war by his being appointed assistant secretary while Mr. Fox
With the organization of the new Navy Department, steps were taken at once to gather the greater number of the ships of the Federal
fleets where they could be used to the utmost advantage.
Work on the repairing and refitting of the ships then laid up in the various navy-yards was begun, and orders were given for the construction of a number of new vessels.
But in the very first months of the actual opening of the war, the Navy Department dealt itself the severest blow that it received during the whole course of hostilities.