Poor Old Dupont.
, who was kicked overboard for failing to take Charleston
, in response to an invitation to partake of a public dinner in Philadelphia
very significantly says:
It is very gratifying to me, gentlemen, that you propose to acknowledge, by a public dinner, services which in another quarter have been appreciated so differently.
A life dedicated to my profession entitled me to a field of duty where arduous service was to be rendered; how arduous and varied that service has been my countrymen can now very imperfectly judge.
But till history shall lift the veil which transient interests, public or personal, throw over the events of that period, I owe it to my companions in arms to say that the country cannot over estimate the obligations due the officers and men, who, under my command, were always crowned by victory when my professional experience was consulted and respected, and who showed themselves more heroic in their failure before Charleston
than when victorious at Port Royal
For myself, even if passing events have not already vindicated me,
I can await the verdict of history, and in the meantime shall hear with me the grateful recollections of your kindness.
The New York World
has the following comment on the above:
It will be remembered that after the unsuccessful attack upon Fort Sumter
, Admiral Dupont
was very violently assailed in several widely-circulated Administration papers.
It was alleged that on that occasion the monitors guns had irreparably damaged the walls of Sumter
, and that had the fight been renewed the next day Charleston
must inevitably have fallen.
It was these statements which confessedly led to the substitution of Admiral Dahlgren
for Admiral Dupont
in the command of the South Atlantic squadron.
The experience of the past month is a triumphant vindication of Admiral Dupont
It is now clear that he could no more have taken the monitors abreast of the city of Charleston
without the cooperation of the army, than he could have made a voyage with them to the moon.