The Powhatan had been placed under command of David D. Porter on secret orders (q.v., April 1, supra). Fox's report, April 19, 1861, on the failure of the Sumter expedition, emphasized the storm of April 12-13 and the expectation of the arrival of the Powhatan, which was to play a leading role in the attempt to relieve the fort. Fox commented with understandable bitterness, ``I learned on the 13th instant that the Powhatan was withdrawn from duty off Charleston on the 7th instant, yet I was permitted to sail on the 9th, the Pawnee on the 9th, and the Pocahontas on the 10th, without intimation that the main portion---the fighting portion---of our expedition was taken away.'' (OR, I, I, 11).
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