Lieutenant Garlington's Serious Mistake
[The Evening Post, 1883]
WASHINGTON, September 14. - No additional reports have been received to-day either at the War Department or the Navy Department from the officers of the returned Greely Relief Expedition at St. Johns.
It seems to be generally conceded by those who have given most attention to the subject that the complete and disastrous failure of the Relief Expedition was mainly due to the omission of Lieutenant Garlington to land his stores and house at Littleton Island or some other accessible point  near the mouth of Smith's Sound before attempting the hazardous navigation beyond. If he had done this  the distruction of the Proteus would have been a comparatively trifling misfortune, and would not necessarily have imperilled the lives either of her crew or of the party they were sent north to rescue. Garlington and his men could then, after the destruction of their ship, have retreated to the secure base of supplies thus established, and could have carried out the remainder of their plan for the relief of the Lady Franklin Bay party by means of a sledge expedition up the coast of Grinnell Land. As it is now there is no party at the mouth of Smith Sound to cooperate with Lieutenant Greely, and no considerable supply of food there for him to retreat upon.
The fatal mistake, it is said, which Lieutenant Garlington made was in plunging into the extremely dangerous ice of Smith Sound, without having established at the mouth of that sound a depot of provisions and a house upon which he could fall back in case of disaster. There would seem, however, to be some justification for the course pursued by him in the orders issued to him by General Hazen on the 7th of June.
The attention of the Acting Chief Signal Officer was called to-day to this part of General Hazen's original orders to Lieutenant Garlington, and he was asked whether the particular instruction in question had ever been revoked or modified. He repied that it had by supplemental orders sent to Lieutenant Garlington just before the departure of the relief expedition from St. Johns last summer.
ource: The Evening Post, Volume 82,Evening Post Publishing Co.,210 Broadway, corner of Fulton Street,
New York, Friday, September 14, 1883
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