Mostly Cloudy
66°FMostly CloudyFull Forecast

From our archives: Confidence strong in Union’s ironclad fleet

What we thought: 150 years ago

Published: Monday, April 15, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorial appeared in the Gazette on April 18, 1863.

Affairs at


All are doubtless familiar with the incidents connected with the late attack on the forts and batteries at the entrance of Charleston [S.C.] harbor.

We are sorry to see that some look upon the unsuccessful attempt of our fleet to reach the city as evidence of the impossibility of its capture.

In our opinion, it is evidence of directly an opposite nature.

The attack has certainly demonstrated the almost invulnerability of our Monitor fleet, and that they can pass through the concentrated iron hail from three hundred guns of the largest calibre, comparatively unharmed, when the obstructions in the channel are removed. 

These obstructions, which consist of piles and a network of chains across the channel, are between Fort Sumter and the city.

The monitor Weehawken passed Moultrie, the Cummings Point and Sullivan Island batteries, and so far beyond Sumter as to reach and inspect these obstructions; and their exact nature and location being ascertained, preparations are now being made for their removal, which will doubtless be effected ere long.

Differing from those who look upon the attack as a failure, we think there is just cause for congratulation that our commanders have ascertained how, and what is necessary, to make the capture of the rebel stronghold certain.

When we take into consideration the fact that the rebels have been strengthening and fortifying Charleston harbor for more than two years, a place which, without any artificial defenses, is one of the most treacherous on the coast for vessels to enter, it cannot be expected that its possession can be effected in a few hours, or even days – time is necessary.

Compare it with Sebastopol, and think how long it took the combined fleets of England and France to force the Russian stronghold to capitulate, and then draw your conclusion as to how long a time it may take to obtain control of Charleston and its approaches. We think the place more strongly fortified than was Sebastopol; if it is not, it speaks illy for the enterprise and industry of the rebels.

Of one thing all may be assured, Charleston will be taken; when, no one can tell, but we think before long.

British warned

Secretary Seward has forwarded dispatches to Minister Adams in England, remonstrating with  the British government as to the course taken by some of its subjects in building and fitting out vessels for the rebels, with which they can prey upon our commerce. It is said these dispatches are decidedly terse and to the point, going so far as to say that if rebel pirates are sent out from English ports, the British government “ought to be held responsible for their acts.”

Dems repudiated

Springfield, Ill., the home of President Lincoln, on Tuesday last elected an anti-Democratic mayor, Marshal, and three out of five aldermen. This is the first time, since the organization of the city, the Democratic ticket has been repudiated.

It must be consoling to the opponents of the administration and government to figure up the election returns as they are now coming in from different parts of the North.

Previous Page|1|2|Next Page

National video

Reader Poll

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot would block Illinois from spending money collected through transportation taxes for non-transportation purposes. What do you think?
I support the amendment
I don't
Not sure
No opinion