no less prodigality than care, and upon them centred the anxious attention of both sections of the country.
It was the conviction of the North
that no opposing force could resist such an expedition.
must inevitably fall, and Charleston
Sharing in this belief, the Federal Government
was convinced that the fears of Mr. Adams
, United States
Minister to England
, to the effect that the current of opinion, in both Houses of Parliament, was then leaning towards ‘recognition of the insurgents,’ would be quieted by such a victory, and the power, authority, and resources of the United States
clearly demonstrated to the world.
Hence the disappointment at the repulse of Admiral Dupont
The Northern press was extremely bitter on the subject; so much so that efforts were made to conceal the extent of the defeat, by speaking of the movement in front of Charleston
as having been a ‘simple reconnoissance
,’ not an attack.
But the facts of the case were soon spread abroad.
It was known that, thirty minutes after the action commenced, Admiral Dupont
became ‘convinced of the utter impracticability of taking the city of Charleston
with the force under his command,’ and that all his officers were of a like opinion.
He had even declared that ‘a renewal of the attack on Charleston
would be attended with disastrous results, involving the loss of this (the South Carolina
The revulsion of feeling in the North
was complete, and exaggerated hope was changed into despondency, openly expressed.
The New York Herald
characterized the repulse of the monitors, ‘though almost bloodless, as one of our most discouraging disasters.’
The Baltimore American
, denounced it as ‘a shameful abandonment of the siege.’
When day dawned on the morning of the 8th, ‘says General Ripley, in his report,’ the enemy's fleet was discovered in the same position as noticed on the previous evening.
About nine o'clock the Keokuk, which had been evidently the most damaged in the action, went down, about three and onehalf miles from Fort Sumter and three-fourths of a mile from Morris Island.
The remainder of the fleet were repairing damages.
Preparations for repulsing a renewed attack were progressed with, in accordance with the instructions of the Commanding General, who visited Fort Sumter on that day. * * * Towards evening of the 9th a raft, apparently for removing torpedoes or