"For God’s sake don’t let us fail"

David Dixon Porter (1813-1891), in the hand of a clerk, to Montgomery C. Meigs (1816-1892), May 14, 1862. Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

This place is the great Hydra of Rebellion, you know I always told you that to Conquer New Orleans and get possession of the Mississippi was to conquer Jeff Davis, and so you see it will be if we have at the head of affairs a man of firmness and ability—They know Butlers Caliber at home better than I do, still he dont strike me as the man for the position, neither does Phelps, both are too erratic for these times, for Gods sake dont let us fail for want of a good military head.

This blog complements the Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil War in America.” This series of posts chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865. To learn more about the object featured in this blog entry, visit the online exhibition.