ALS, DNA WR RG 107, Presidential Telegrams, I, 270. Grant replied on the same day: ``The Wilmington expedition has proven a gross and culpable failure. Many of the troops are now back here. Delays and free talk of the object of the expedition enabled the enemy to move troops to Wilmington to defeat it. After the expedition sailed from Fort Monroe three days of fine weather was squandered, during which the enemy was without a force to protect himself. Who is to blame I hope will be known.'' (OR, I, XLII, III, 1087).
The joint expedition under Admiral David D. Porter and General Benjamin F. Butler was abandoned on December 25 when Butler and General Godfrey Weitzel decided that Fort Fisher at Wilmington, North Carolina, could not be carried by assault.