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 25, 2012

Diary of Gideon Welles

August 25, Monday. Wrote Wilkes, preparatory to discontinuing the organization of the James River Flotilla as a distinct organization. Received from him, after it was written, an unofficial letter communicating a plan of offensive operations. Directed him in reply to engage in no scheme whereby the gunboats would be detained in James River longer than the army absolutely needed them to divert the attention of the Rebels and prevent them from sending their whole force against General Pope before General McClellan could reach him. The change of the plan of operations is a military movement, suggested and pushed by Chase and Stanton. It will be a great disappointment to Wilkes as well as others, but there is no remedy. As soon as the gunboats can be released we want them elsewhere. They have been locked up in James River for two months, when they should have been on other duty. McClellan’s tardy policy has been unfortunate for himself and the country. It has strengthened the combination against him. Faxon[1] showed me a letter from Admiral Foote which I was sorry to read, evincing a petulance that is unworthy of him, and proposing to relinquish his bureau appointment, if he cannot control the selection of certain clerks.

[1] William Faxon, Chief Clerk of the Navy Department.

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