Today in History:

64 Series I Volume LIII- Serial 111 - Supplements

Page 64 S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C. Chapter LXV.

traitors. No expenses or care should therefore be spared to achieve this success. The appreciation of our stocks will pay for the most lawish outlay to make it one. Nor will the result be materially different to the nation if the attempt fails and its gallant leader and followers are lost. It will in any event vindicate the hardy courage of the North and the determination of the people and their President tomaintain the authority of the Government, and this is all that is wantingin my judgment to restore it. You should give no thought for the commander and his comrades in this enterprise. They willingly take the hazard fro the sake of the country and the hono rwhich, successful or not, they will receive from you and the lovers of free government in all lands.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



Report of a conference in reference to the occupation of points on the Atlantic coast.

WASHINGTON, D. C., July 5, 1861.


Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: We have the honor to inform you that the conference, in compliance with your wishes, communicated through Captain Du Pont, has had under consideration that part of your letter of instructions of the 25th ultimo which relates to the necessity of occupying two or more points on the Atlantic coast, Fernandina being particularly mentioned as one of these points. It seems to be indispensable that there should exist a convenient coal depot on the southern extremit Atlantic blockade, and it occurs to the conference that, if this coal depot were suitably selected, it might be used not only as a depot for coal, but as a depot for provisions and common stores, as a harbor of refuge, and as a general rendezvous or headquarters for that part of the coast. We separate in our minds the two enterprises of a purely military expedition and an expedition the principal object of which is the establishment of a naval station for promoting the efficiency of the blockade. We shall have the honor to present plans for both expeditions; but we will begin with the latter, premising, however, that we think both of them should be conducted simultaneously.

Fernandina is by its position obviously the most suitable point for a place of deposit, answering at one end of the line to Hampton Roads at the other. In addition to its position in this respect it enjoys several other advanteges almost peculiar to itself, and well suited to the object in view. It has fourteen feet of water on the bar at low water and twenty at high water a convenient depth for all steam vessels of the Navy, either propelled by screws or side wheels, rated, as second-class steam-sloops and under; for all of those rated as first-class steam-sloopsk which are propelled by screws and by most of the same class propelled by side wheels, when light, and by all the newly purchased and chartered steamers of every description, with the exception, perhaps, of one or two of the very largest mail picket steamers, when deeply loaded. These depths are perfectly convenient for the new sloops and gun-boats now on the stocks, and for the ordinary merchant vessels chartered for freight. The main ship-channel over Saint Mary's Bar into Fernandina Harbor, though not direct, is by no means or difficult. It is

Page 64 S. C., S. GA., MID. & E. FLA., & WEST. N. C. Chapter LXV.