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.

September 25, 2013

Diary of Gideon Welles

September 25, Friday. The President was not with us to-day at the Cabinet-meeting, being at the War Department with Stanton. All were present but them. Little known of army movements, but anxiety on the part of each. The English Government has interposed to prevent the armored rams built by the Lairds from coming out. Seward announced the fact, and also that he had placed me under injunctions of secrecy. This was the reason why no explanation had been given for my non-action, for which I have been much blamed.

Things look a little threatening from France, but Louis Napoleon may not persist when he learns that England has changed her policy. Should we meet with defeat at Chattanooga, it is by no means certain England will not again assume unfriendly airs, and refer the question of the departure of the armored ships to the “law officers of the Crown.” Our own ironclads and the fear of privateers which would ruin her commerce are, however, the best law, and our best safeguards.

The Russian fleet has come out of the Baltic and are now in New York, or a large number of the vessels have arrived. They are not to be confined in the Baltic by a northern winter. In sending them to this country at this time there is something significant. What will be its effect on France and the French policy we shall learn in due time. It may moderate; it may exasperate. God bless the Russians.

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