correspondent of the New York Times
, writing to that paper on the 21st inst., gives the following facts relative to the attitudes of the naval and land commander at Charleston
People are deceived when they the temporary full of operations before Charleston
is the result of a difference of opinion between the army and navy commanders.
Nothing could be wider of the mark.
It is only the importance of individuals, who in their eager desire ave Charleston
in our possession, have been compelled to witness a necessarily slow, but thus for prosperous siege, that has led them to assign cause for a delay, the nature of which must be, for prudential reasons, withheld from them.
It is of no use to deny that so far as the cooperation of the navy and army is concerned the relation is as firm as the military situation can possibly make it. Admiral Dahlgren
will probably take the next forward step, which he has intimated his intention to do as soon as his fleet can be placed in proper condition.
The understanding between the Government
and Admiral Dahlgren
and the Government
and Gen. Gillmore
is a point which deserves attention.
The war records clearly set forth the plan of operations to be pursued by both commanders either singly or in conjunction.
The plan itself was conceived for the most part by Gen. Gillmore
The lamented Admiral Foote
was present at the council to which the plan was submitted, as were also General Halleck
and Assistant Secretary Fox
Those gentlemen, in fact, were members of the council.
In that document General Gillmore
plainly indicates what he is able to do and will do. His views were fully endorsed by the members of the Board, all agreeing at the time that if he succeeded in his designs the navy would find it a comparatively easy task to ascend the harbor of Charleston
That plan, so far as it relates to General Gillmore
's operations, embraced — firstly, the occupation of the southern portion of Morris Island
; secondly, the capture of Wagner
; thirty, the reduction of Sumter
With the reduction of Sumter
the navy was to advance.
The course marked out for Gen. Gillmore
was not adhered to in the particular of capturing Wagner
before demolishing Sumter
, it becoming apparent to him, after the unsuccessful assault of Wagner
on the 18th of July, that it would be feasible to reduce Sumter
over the heads of Wagner
He was induced to adopt that course more readily from the fact that the fall of Sumter
was the principal object aimed at by the expedition.
So by destroying Sumter
before capturing the works on Morris island Gen. Gillmore
offered to the navy an opportunity of greatly accelerating their movements.
The archives unmistakably indicate that Sumter
was considered by the army and navy authorities at Washington
to be the chief obstacle in the way of our reaching Charleston
On the 23d of August Sumter
was demolished, and is admitted to have been by the War Department.
According to the terms of the plan drawn up, then was the time for the navy to attempt a passage up the harbor.
The attempt was not made, and why not I do not propose to decide.
Several days later a second bombardment of Sumter
by Gen. Gillmore
, at the suggestion of Admiral Dahlgren
, did not elicit a single reply, and proved, beyond all doubt, that the fort did not contain one mounted gun that could be used.
Letters from Secretary Stanton
, General Halleck
, and other officials, which have been read by my informant, complimenting Gen. Gillmore
on the complete success of his enterprise, have been forwarded to him: and, if it be necessary to adduce further evidence of the demolition of Sumter
, I will state that Gen. Gillmore
's commission of Major General
dates from the 23d of August, the day on which he claims to have achieved his victory.
letters reecived here from officers of the fleet say that Admiral Dahlgren
has not delayed his movements because he believes Sumter
able to resist the iron-clads, but for other reasons, with which the Admiral
, and not the General
, has more particularly to deal.
It is believed the Admiral
will renew operations as soon as the fleet is in perfect fighting trim.