Letter signed, dated 17 January 1864, on board USS Hartford at Penscaola. To Rear Admiral Porter (Commander Mississippi Squadron). Reports that Buchanan says he can raise the blockade at Mobile Bay with only the iron-clad ram Tennessee. Anxiously wants to know the status of completion of US rams as he needs "at least" two in order to become the "assailant."
U.S. Flagship Hartford
Pensacola Navy Yard, January 17, 1864
I find that Admiral
Buchanan of the Rebel Confederacy
has impressed the Government of the
United States with the idea that he
will be able to raise the Blockade of
Mobile with the "Tennessee," a ram
recently constructed at Selma.
The Admiral considers her superior
to the "Merrimack." I am therefore anscious[sic]
to know if your monitors; at least two
of them are not completed and ready
for service, and if so, can you not
spare them to assist us? If I had
them I should not hesitate to become
the assailant instead of awaiting
the attack. I must have iron-clads
enough to be in the Bay to hold the
Gun-boats and Rams in check, in the
shoal water. Please let me hear from
you at as early a day as possible.
I will be glad to get the"
small boats of light draft for operating
in the shallow waters of Texas, &c.
I have just arrived here and
will be in New Orleans, I hope, in a
day or two.
Very truly yours
/s/ D.G. Farragut
Comdg Mississippi Squadron