Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 6

Friday. 18th.

Sunday. 20th.

Saturday. 19th. CFA Saturday. 19th. CFA
Saturday. 19th.

Morning clear and severely cold for the Season. I went to the Office and was occupied very attentively in Accounts and in Diary—Also in a general clearing out of papers which becomes necessary every little while.

The Accounts from Florida are somewhat alarming. There has been miserable blundering from the beginning as well in the plans as in 355the execution. General Gaines appears to have introduced himself without reason or authority and to have committed a gross imprudence which is likely to carry with it the fate both of Tom Adams and Robt. Buchanan. Bad enough to lose one’s life in action but to be the victim of blundering and little jealousies is a little too grievous.1

Nothing of consequence. Walk and call upon Mr. Brooks. Home to read Livy. Afternoon, Niebuhr and de la Motte Fouqué. Evening, at home reading to my Wife from Madame Junot—After which the Life of Swift.


The prosecution of the war in Florida against the Seminoles had been marked by numerous allegations of blundering against those in command. Gen. Scott had been placed in charge of operations, but Gen. Gaines’ presence greatly complicated matters since the two generals were “notoriously hostile to each other, and each ... claims to rank the other.” Gaines had mounted an expedition unauthorized by Scott; he had run short of provisions and his situation had so deteriorated that he needed aid. It was affirmed and denied that Scott had refused to send help. Gen. Clinch did effect a jointure of the two forces on 5 March (Columbian Centinel, 19 March, p. 2, col. 3; 21 March, p. 2, col. 3; 23 March, p. 2, col. 2). The whole matter became the subject of official investigation in 1837.