JANUARY 11TH, 1862: Responding to inquiries from the Navy Department on the mortar boats, Flag Officer Foote wrote: "I am aware that an officer of great resources can overcome almost insuperable difficulties."
Foote had an enormous problem of being thrown into a region without naval bases or the usual resources of the seacoast. In his own words, the western rivers area was "this wilderness of naval wants."
Foote's long report revealed some of these problems. A large problem was outfitting and manning his ships. However, these problems often accompany the transition from a peace to war economy.