-- Final Orders --

Thursday April 4, 1861

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Fox's Orders

That night, Fox was given formal orders "to succor Fort Sumter." He was instructed to enter Charleston Harbor and deliver supplies. However, if he were opposed, he was to cooperate with naval officers on the scene "to use his entire force to open a passage," and, if possible, "place both the troops and supplies in Fort Sumter."

The expedition was to consist of a merchant steamer, the Baltic, carrying troops and supplies. Three steam-tugs were to be chartered to run in the supplies if conditions warranted. There would also be two warships, the Pocahontas and the Pawnee, and a revenue cutter, the Harriet Lane, to convoy and support the mission. Secretary of the Navy Welles placed an additional warship, the Powhatan, at Fox's disposal. In preparation for Fox's venture, Welles had, on April 1, ordered the ship to be readied for duty. Its boats would run in supplies, and its crew would staff both the tugs and the boats. Because of its essential role in the landing, Fox considered the Powhatan the "whole strength" of the mission.

Bibliography: ORN, pp. 229-33, 248; Fox, Confidential Correspondence, 1: 39-40; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, pp. 97-98.

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