that he is merely awaiting fine weather, all his preparations being complete in so far as the means at his disposal will permit. On the first day that is clear and calm he will move into action.
I have the honor to be, general, with the highest esteem, your very obedient servant,
IRONSIDES, April 8, 1863.
Major General D. HUNTER:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I attempted to take the bull by the horns, but he was too much for us. These monitors are miserable failures where forts are concerned fire, and five of the eight were wholly or partially disabled.
I write this tit say that the Flambeau will leave this morning, or as soon as you may be ready, for Fortress Monroe. She has very small accommodations, but if you desire to send a staff officer home I will direct Captain Upshur to give him a passage.
I have sent the Patapsco to help take care of Part Royal.
I am, general, yours, most truly,
S. F. Dupont.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
U. S. Transport Ben De Fort, April 8, 1863.
Admiral S. F. DUPONT,
Steamship New Ironsides, off Fort Sumter:
ADMIRAL: Not knowing yet what have been the results of your attack of yesterday, so far as Fort Sumter is concerned, I cannot but congratulate you on the magnificent manner in which the vessels under your command were fought. A mere spectator, I could do nothing but pray for you, which, believe me, I did most heartily, for you and for all the gallant men under your command who sailed so calmly and fearlessly into and under and through a concentric fire which has never heretofore had a parallel in the history of warfare. That you are uninjured and so many of your vessels still fir for service is a cause of deep gratitude to Almighty God. I confess when the Weehawken first ran under Sumter's funs, received the caseate and barbette broadsides from that work simultaneously with the similar broadsides from Fort Moultire and all the other works within range, I fairly held my breath until the smoke had cleared away, not expecting to see a vestige of the little vessel which had provoked such an attack. With each of the others the same scene was re-enacted, my interest in the fate of the Ironsides being perhaps the keenest from the knowledge of her comparative vulnerability and of the deep loss the country would sustain if anything were to happen to you.
Thank God for the results so far as they go, and may He have you in His keeping through whatever chances are yet before you. no country can ever fail that has mean capable of facing what your iron-clads had yesterday to endure. God bless you and keep you safe, admiral,