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Gustavus Vasa Fox had, among the men of his day, the reputation of being a great man, yet he occupied a minor position, and the only expedition that he commanded—namely, the expedition for the relief of Fort Sumter—failed, although through no fault of his own. But he commanded the boat that brought away the embattled garrison from that fort.

The great value and interest of these letters are that they were written in confidence during a time of great national peril—the American Civil War. Fox is frank about his hopes and anxieties, his opinions of the talents of other men, and the overwhelming events of his day.

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