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We see by this letter that there can be anger in celestial minds, and that our naval heroes, like those of the Homeric fleet, had their little bickerings and rivalries among themselves; but these letters from Foote's officers, and those that follow, prove how deep a hold their late commander had of their affections. They show how kind-hearted and great-hearted was the man who could call forth such expressions. He still led them in spirit; they still looked to him for encouragement and inspiration. There is a genuine ring of the heart in these letters; they are not servile flatteries of one who no longer controlled them, or from whom they expected to gain any thing. They came from real esteem and love, and from the grateful memory of long-continued kindness and friendship. It is not often that a military leader has such a profound personal relationship to those under him, which shows something more than a confidence in his ability or an admiration of his courageit shows the possession in him of high moral qualities. We will give at this time but one other brief extract from the letters of his officers-from the brave Captain Gwin, who soon after was killed in a naval combat on the Mississippi :
“You may rest assured that the laurels won by the flotilla under your command will never be tarnished.”
Those who saw Commodore Foote when he first returned from the West were struck by the excessive pallor of his face, the unnatural brilliancy of his eyes, and the sternness of his expression. It seemed as if he had passed through a fiery ordeal, and had not yet escaped the sense of its tremendous press
He had come home with a work unfulfilled. He had come with a prophet's burden on him to arouse the country to greater exertions for its salvation. While cheerful and gentle, and courteous far beyond his strength in seeing and entertaining his friends, it was evident that his mind was preoccupied with a great purpose; and this, combined with his ill-health
Thanks of Congress.
and constant suffering from his wound, produced a high-strung state of mind and body, which both awed and saddened those who knew and loved him best.
Public invitations, honors, and ovations began to pour in upon him, some of which will be noticed in the following chapter; but he declined most of them, or those of them which did not have a direct bearing upon popular sentiment, and the stirring up of the public mind to more devoted love of the Union and to greater sacrifices in carrying on the war.
In the beginning of July the President sent to the Senate and House of Representatives the following recommendation:
“I most cordially recommend that Captain Andrew H. Foote, of the U. S. Navy, receive a vote of thanks of Congress for his eminent services in organizing the flotilla on the Western waters, and for his gallantry at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Island No. Ten, and at various other places, while in command of the naval forces, embracing a period of nearly ten months.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. * Washington, July 1, 1862.”
This was acted upon in the following resolution:
“ Resolced by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the thanks of Congress be, and the same are hereby tendered to Captain Andrew H. Foote, of the United States Navy, for his eminent services and gallantry at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, and Island No. Ten, while in command of the naval forces of the United States.
“Sec. 2. And be it further resolved, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby requested to transmit a certified copy of the foregoing resolution to Captain Foote.
" Approved July 16, 1862.”
APPOINTED CHIEF OF BUREAU OF EQUIPMENT AND RECRUITING.
SPEECHES AND LETTERS AT ENLISTMENT MEETINGS.
CORRESPONDENCE. -ALUMNI MEETING AT YALE
On the 22d of July Commodore Foote was made Chief of the “Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting;" but he did not go at once to his post in Washington. Ilis physical system was in a totally unstrung and wretched state, and he hoped by good nursing at home to be brought into a better condition for public service. The government, as will be seen by the following letter, was, under the circumstances, willing to wait for him :
" WASHINGTON, July 24, 1862. “MY DEAR SIR, -I have yours of the 22d, and am glad to learn that you are so rapidly improving. Under the circumstances, I should advise that you should remain until the time specified by you—the 6th of August. We should be glad to have you here, but there is no sufficient reason to jeopard or retard your permanent cure. Until you come, the Construction Bureau will discharge the duties of Equipment as heretofore, and we will attend to Recruiting in the Department proper; so that you can remain satisfied and undisturbed. I shall be glad to have your counsel and advice on many matters, for concentrated wisdom and the results of many good minds strengthen measures and insure good action.
“How effective light-draft boats, which can not carry heavy armament, may be on the Western rivers, in low stages of the water and the banks high, is a question. They can do some service doubtless; but more, I apprehend, would be expected than they could perform. Instead of being incidental to land operations, the Navy is, from events, considered primary and indispensable to Army operations. They tell us the Navy took New Orleans; why can it not take Richmond ? It overcame
Presiding at an Enlistment Meeting.
obstructions on the Mississippi ; why can it not overcome them on James River? Having done more than was expected, it is now expected we will do impossibilities. “But to revert to the object of this letter. It is best that you
should take your own time to come on. I know you will do it at such time as you are satisfied it will be best for yourself and the service. “Very respectfully,
But our wearied veteran was not suffered to enjoy perfect rest even at home. It was a time of uncommon excitement, uncertainty, and despondency in war matters. The cry was “On to Richmond;" but the Union armies seemed to advance no nearer to Richmond than they had done months before. Vast preparations and expectations had been bitterly foiled. Great numbers of troops were needed to fill up the voids made by sickness and battles in our hosts. Immense war-meetings were organized in all our large cities, and every means was taken to arouse popular enthusiasm and to swell enlistment. At one of these great enlistment meetings, called on the evening of the 8th of July, in New Haven, Commodore Foote presided. In the newspaper account of this meeting the presiding officer is thus spoken of:
“The meeting in Music Hall last evening, called by a number of prominent citizens, to take into consideration the subject of raising the Connecticut quota of the troops called for by the President, was fully attended and very enthusiastic. Commodore A. H. Foote, as before announced, presided. His entrance upon the stage was the signal for prolonged and vociferous cheering. The meeting was called to order by N. D. Sperry, who proposed three cheers for the gallant commodore of the Western waters, which were given with a will.
“ Commodore Foote briefly addressed the audience. He was pleased to see so many ladies present. It was an encouraging sign. He felt diffident in attempting to preside at so large an assembly. His life had been mostly upon the water, and his speaking had been confined to giving a few peremptory orders. He spoke in complimentary terms of Governor Buckingham, who sat near him. He spoke in terms of highest praise of Secretary Welles. Connecticut was honored by such a son. He referred
to Commodore Gregory, who regretted that he could not be here tonight — his duty in superintending some monitors, that will give the English, French, and every body else who may have the temerity to interfere with us, a warm reception, calling him away from the city. The commodore concluded his remarks with an expression of his belief in the justice of the cause of the Union, and his firm reliance upon divine Providence for ultimate success."
Earnest and patriotic speeches were made by Governor Buckingham and others, and at the close the following resolution was passed :
• Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due, and are hereby most heartily tendered to our presiding officer, Commodore Foote-not only for his dignified and courteous demeanor this evening, but also for the invaluable services which he has rendered to our country.”
In a day or two after, a similar war-meeting was held in Hartford, during which the president of the evening read, amid great applause, this letter:
"NEW HAVEN, July 9, 1862. “MY DEAR SIR,—Your kind and complimentary note of invitation, in behalf of the committee, to attend a meeting in the city of Hartford tomorrow evening for the purpose of encouraging enlistments, has been received.
" In view of the condition of the country, requiring immediate reinforcements to the Army of the Potomac to secure the possession of Richmond, the great stronghold of the rebels, I would, under other circumstances, most joyfully be with you, and add my mite toward forwarding the grand object of your meeting ; but having been forced away from my command on the Mississippi, on the eve of consummating its grand object-of clearing the Western rivers of all rebel obstructions—in consequence of a wound received at Fort Donelson; and suffering to-day from the effects of presiding at the large, enthusiastic meeting here last evening, render it my duty to decline your kind invitation. But, although necessarily absent, I shall be with you in sympathy; and in another field I hope soon, in action, to do my part, as I hope and beg that every citizen will also do his, either in person or by finding a substitute, toward speedily and forever crushing this wicked, causeless rebellion.