should not consent to take any of the naval appropriation to cut off water communication, unless so ordered by the President; but should protest against obstructing the channel of — the river.
Our conversation was very earnest, and the President attentively listened, but with an evident inclination to guard in every way against the Merrimac, but yet unwilling to interrupt ocean communication, so essential to Washington.
Giving the interview a pleasant turn, he said that it was evident that Mars not only wanted exclusive control of military operations, (Stanton had manifested much dissatisfaction with McClellan as General-in-Chief,) but that he wanted a navy, and had begun to improvise one.
Having already got his fleet, the President thought he might as well be permitted to finish his work, but he must not destroy communication on the Potomac, or cripple Neptune.
The boats purchased might be loaded and sent down the river, but not sunk in the channel until it was known that the Me