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 17, 2013

Diary of Gideon Welles

September 17, Thursday. Unpleasant rumors of a disagreement between Dahlgren and Gillmore and that the latter had requested to be relieved of his present command. This, I think, must be a mischievous rumor, — perhaps a speculative one.

A new panic is rising respecting the ironclads in England, and some of our sensation journals fan the excitement. It does not surprise me that the New York Times, Raymond’s paper, controlled by Thurlow Weed, and all papers influenced by Seward should be alarmed. The latter knows those vessels are to be detained, yet will not come out and state the fact, but is not unwilling to have apprehension excited. It will glorify him if it is said they are detained through protest from our minister. If he does not prompt the Times, he could check its loud apprehensions. I am under restrictions which prevent me from making known facts that would dissipate this alarm. The Evening Post, I am sorry to see, falls in with the Times and its managers, and unwittingly assists those whom it does not admire. Both these journals are importunate, and insist that the Roanoke shall be returned to New York. But the Navy Department is not under newspaper control, though they have the cooperation of distinguished men. To station a steam frigate in New York would involve the necessity of stationing one also in the Delaware, and another at Boston. There would be no limit to the demand for naval defenses, yet it is claimed the coast defenses belong exclusively to the military.

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