Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Diary of Gideon Welles.

Diary of Gideon Welles.

August 24, 2012

Diary of Gideon Welles

August 24, Sunday. Have a dispatch from General Burnside at Falmouth, calling earnestly for five or six gunboats in the Potomac at Acquia Creek. Mentions having made a personal application at the Navy Department. Nothing has been said to me by him or any one, nor has any requisition been made. I find, however, on inquiry, that in a general conversation in the room of the Chief Clerk he expressed something of the kind. The General feels that a heavy responsibility is upon him, and in case of disaster desires like others the protection of the gunboats. It is honorable to him that, unlike some other generals, he willingly gives credit to the Navy. The protection he now seeks is a wise precaution, perhaps, but, I apprehend, wholly unnecessary. I have, however, ordered Wilkes to send round five gunboats from James River. The War Department sends me a letter from Major-General Curtis to General Halleck, requesting more gunboats on the Western rivers. Wrote Admiral Davis that the navigation of the Mississippi should be kept unobstructed, not only between Memphis and Arkansas River but elsewhere, and to cooperate with and assist the army.

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