Excerpt from Memoirs of Henry Villard, Journalist and Financier, 1835-1900, Vol. 2 of 2: 1863-1900
I made it my first business to become acquainted with the officers of the ﬂeet, not one of whom I knew. Assistant Secretary Fox had kindly given me a letter to Rear Admiral Dupont, in chief command of the South Atlantic blockading squadron, which I presented, two days after my landing, on board the ﬂagship Wabash. The Admiral received me most courteously, and introduced me at once to Captain C. R. P. Rodgers, his chief of staff, and the other members of his official household, as well as the of ficers of the frigate. The Admiral was one of the stateliest, handsomest, and most polished gentlemen I ever met. He looked the ideal naval commander. Captain Rodgers also had a fine presence, and was most courteous and obliging. It will always be a source of pride to me that I won the lasting friendship of these two distinguished officers. Be sides the ﬂagship, there was, riding at anchor near it, the New Ironsides, an iron-plated frigate under command of Commodore Thomas Turner, with thirty-two Dahlgren guns in broadside. The very next morning we had a stirring surprise in the appearance of the Montauk, a re production of the original Ericsson monitor, in tow of the war-steamer Rhode Island, and commanded by John L. Worden, the hero of the ever-memorable fight between the Monitor and the rebel ram Merrimac. The Montauk was the forerunner of the ﬂeet of eight ironclads of the monitor and other types that were expected from the North.
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