JANUARY 2ND, 1862: Flag Officer Foote wrote secretary of Navy Welles: "I hope to be able to send 60 men on board of each gunboat within the week. We are waiting on 1,000 men to fill up our complement ... The carpenters and engineers are behindhand in their work."
Eads completion of the gunboats had been much delayed beyond his contract time. This placed a great strain upon the wooden gunboats, whose daily service in the rivers was demonstrated by General Grant's typical communication with Foote: "Will you please direct a gunboat to drop down the river ... to protect a steamer I am sending down to bring up produce for some loyal citizens of Kentucky."