February 26, Friday. Only three of us were at the Cabinet council to-day. Some matters of interest were touched upon, but there was soon a discussion on recent political movements. The President has been advised of the steps taken to forward the Chase operations. Circulars were put in his hands before signed.
A spicy debate sprung up yesterday on the passage of the Navy Bill. Holman, a Copperhead partisan, made an attack on me, — sprawling, personally vituperative, and abusive. H. Winter Davis sustained him, but flung his vindictive spite more malignantly at Fox, whom he called a “cotton-spinner,” than at me. He eulogized Du Pont, whom the Navy Department had withdrawn from the command of the South Atlantic Squadron, and denounced the Balaclavian order compelling him to attack Sumter, etc., etc. Kelly and Griswold defended the Department, but Frank Blair made the best points, and told Davis that, while he was active in getting up investigations against the Navy Department, he opposed all investigation of the Treasury. Things took such shape that I perceive the instructions to and correspondence with Du Pont will be called for.