Charles Wilkes, in thoughtful retrospect

Wilkes was something of a loose cannon in the American navy. James McPherson, War on the Waters, 2012, p. 44

"This was the last straw for Navy Secretary Gideon Welles, who now considered Wilkes a dangerous loose cannon." Item description, Raab Collection, 2011.

"CHARLES WILTS [sic] IS A LOOSE CANNON ON A ROLLING DECK." - comments section, C-Span "Person of the Year, 1861" program, 2011.

"Captain Wilkes was what one might call a bit of a 'loose cannon,' so to speak." Paul Culliton, "What Might Have Been," 2010.

"Wilkes was a loose cannon..." Kirkus Reviews on Sea of Glory, 2004

"It wasn't until years later, finally promoted first to captain then rear-admiral, that [Wilkes] this 'loose cannon' finally became too much of a liability ..." Discussion board, 2004

"Wilkes was an egotist, a little bit of a loose cannon..." James McPherson, interview, World Socialist Website, 1999