JUNE 9TH, 1865: Secretary Welles ordered that the East Gulf and West Gulf squadrons be combined and redesignated as the Gulf Squadron. He directed Rear Admiral H.K. Thatcher to relieve Rear Admiral C.K. Stribling and assume command of the new squadron with headquarters at Pensacola.
Welles also directed the North and South Atlantic squadrons be combined and redesignated the Atlantic Squadron. At the same time he ordered Rear Admiral Dahlgren to return to Washington and Rear Admiral William Radford to assume command of the new squadron.
Dahlgren recorded in his diary under the date 17 June: "And so ends a command of two years of one of the largest fleets ever assembled under American colors-- as many as 96 at one time."