Published 1883, 1885





Raid of the Confederate Ironclads Off Charles­tonAttack on Fort M’allister


EARLY in the morning of January 31, 1863, two ironclad ves­sels, known afterward as the Palmetto State and the Chicora, built and lying in Charleston, came out of the main channel. A thick haze and an entire calm favored the movement. The Powhatan and the Canandaigua, the two most powerful vessels on the blockade, were temporarily absent, coaling at Port Royal, leaving only one vessel of size built for war pur­poses, the Housatonic, with nine other vessels blockading. The others, except the gunboats Ottawa and Unadilla, were purchased vessels whose steam-pipes, chimneys, and mach­inery were much exposed when under fire. Such vessels, built of iron, if penetrated by a shot or shell would receive little injury from the ingress, but if it were not arrested by some solid body within, on its egress a whole sheet would be carried away, perhaps at the water-line, and the vessel might sink at once, as did the Hatteras, after an engagement with the Alabama off Galveston, Texas. The Mercedita, Captain F. S. Stellwagen, just such an iron vessel as described, was the first approached by a ram. In the early part of the evening she had overhauled a transport passing with troops and afterward returned to her position and anchored. About 4 A.M.., one of the armor-plated vessels (the Palmetto State) suddenly appeared through the mist. She was hailed and an order given to fire, but it was found the ram was so close that the guns of the Mercedita could not be sufficiently depressed to strike her. A heavy shell from a rifled gun on the ram entered the starboard side of the Mercedita, passed through the Normandy condenser and the steam-drum of her port boiler, exploding against the port side of the vessel and tearing a hole four or five feet square. The shell killed the gunner in his room, and the escape of steam three fire­men and coal-heavers, and badly scalded three others. The enginery was disabled, and as demanded, an officer was sent on board of the attacking vessel and gave a parole for the officers and men "not to take up arms against the Confederate States during the war, unless legally and regularly exchanged as prisoners of war." Repairs of a temporary character enabled the Mercedita to reach Port Royal during the day without being towed.

The rams then approached the Keystone State. An ex­tract of the log-book of that vessel, over the signature of her commanding officer, is more circumstantial than his official report given also in the appendix to the Report of the Sec­retary of the Navy, and therefore forms the basis of what appears below.

Between 4 and 5 A.M.. a gun, supposed from the Mercedita, was heard, lights were seen, and soon a dark object a little ahead of her, and a column of black smoke rising as was supposed from a tug; another column of black smoke was seen more to the north and east. The suspicions of the cap­tain were aroused, and he ordered the forward rifle trained upon the vessel approaching from the Mercedita. The bat­tery was made ready, engineer directed to have steam, the cable was slipped and the vessel was under steerage way. The vessel was hailed, a reply of Halloo" with unintelligible words following, and a gun was fired which was at once responded to by the ram. The order was given to fire the starboard battery as the guns would bear, the helm was put aport for a northeast course, when a ram was seen on each quarter. The shell from the enemy had entered forward and there was fire in the fore-hold; in ten minutes it was found the water was shoaling and the course was changed to south­east for about ten minutes longer, to extinguish the fire, which was supposed to have been effected, but it broke out again. After it was extinguished, full steam was ordered, a black smoke was seen and steered for, with the intention of running the vessel down, and approaching exchanged shots rapidly with the ram, striking her repeatedly but making no impression, while every shot from her was striking. About 6:17 a shell entering on the port side forward of the forward guard destroyed the steam-chimneys, filling all of the forward part of the ship with steam. The port boiler emptied, the ship heeled to starboard nearly to the guard, and the water from the boilers and two shot-holes under water led to the impression that the vessel was sinking; eighteen inches of water was reported in the well. The steam forward cut off the supply of ammunition for the time. Boats were got ready for lowering, the signal-books thrown overboard, and also some small arms. "The ram being so near, and the ship helpless, and the men slaughtered by al­most every discharge of the enemy, I ordered the colors to be hauled down, but finding the enemy were still firing upon us directed the colors to be rehoisted and resumed our fire from the after battery. Now the enemy, either injured or to avoid the squadron approaching, sheered off toward the harbor, exchanging shots with the Housatonic, which vessel was in chase. Fore and aft sail was put on the ship, sent yards aloft and bent sails; the Memphis took the vessel in tow for Port Royal. The port battery was run in to heel the ship, to prevent inflow from shot-holes at the water-line."[1] Surgeon Gotwold and 19 men were killed and 20 wounded, the greater number of the casualties being caused by the steam.

The Housatonic, Captain William Rogers Taylor, senior officer present on the blockade, was at anchor farthest to the north and east, near Rattlesnake Shoal. The firing bad been heard, but as it was a very usual occurrence, no appre­hension of attack was entertained; the cause of the firing was conjectured to be due to an attempt to run the blockade. At early dawn the Housatonic got under way and shaped her course for three vessels, one of which was known as the Augusta, next in station on the line of blockade. Some time previous this vessel had made a night signal which was not understood. As the Housatonic proceeded, a black smoke was seen ahead, and as the light increased, "an ironclad ram bearing the Confederate flag" was made out, steering toward the entrance of the harbor, and the Augusta was firing; later, another ram was seen to the southward and westward, also making for the harbor. The Housatonic was sheered in as near as the soundings would permit, and opened fire on the nearest ram, which deviated twice from her course in order to return the fire. The Housatonic was not struck, however, and it was supposed she had injured the pilot-house of the ram and shot away her flag-staff.

The rams entered Charleston Harbor, and were not seen until late in the afternoon, when the mist partially lifted and showed them at anchor in the Maffitt Channel, near Fort Moultrie, visible from the assigned anchorage of the Housatonic.

The following proclamation was issued


CHARLESTON, S. C., January 31, 1863


At the hour of five o'clock this morning the Confederate States naval forces on this station attacked the United States blockading fleet off the harbor of the city of Charleston, and sunk, dispersed, or drove off and out of sight, for the time, the entire hostile fleet. Therefore, we, the undersigned commanders, respectively, of the Confederate States naval and land forces in this quarter, hereby formally declare the blockade by the United States of the said city of Charleston, S. C., to be raised by a superior force of the Confederate States, from and after this 31st day of January, A.D. 1863.


General Commanding.


Commanding Naval Forces in South Carolina.

Official: THOMAS JORDAN, Chief-of-Staff.


The results of the engagement are: two vessels sunk, four set on fire, and the remainder driven away.

Yesterday afternoon General Beauregard placed a steamer at the dis­posal of the foreign consuls to see for themselves that no blockade ex­isted. The French and Spanish Consuls accepted the invitation. The British Consul, with the commander of the British war-steamer Petrel, had previously gone five miles beyond the usual anchorage of the block­aders, and could see nothing of them with their glasses.

Late in the evening four blockaders reappeared, keeping far out. This evening a large number of blockaders are in sight, but keep steam tip ready to run. The foreign consuls here held a meeting last night. They are unanimously of the opinion that the blockade of this port is legally raised. [This information appended is not attested.]


In relation to this extraordinary proclamation, Colonel Leckler and others wrote Admiral Dupont as follows:



ST. HELENA SOUND, S. C., February 21, 1863.

SIR: Having seen a proclamation issued by General Beauregard and Commodore Ingraham to the effect that upon the morning of the 31st ult. they had, by force of arms, succeeded in dispersing the blockading fleet which was lying off Charleston Harbor, and also a statement pur­porting to have come from the English Consul for that port, and the commanding officer of the English man-of-war Petrel, that they had gone out to a point five miles beyond the usual anchorage of the block­ading fleet, and that not a single vessel could be seen, even with the aid of powerful glasses, and that, consequently, the blockade had been most effectually raised, and knowing, as we do, the above statement to be utterly false in every particular, we feel constrained to tender our evidence as corroboratory of that already furnished.

On the evening of January 29th, the One Hundred and Seventy-­sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Militia (with which we are connected) left Morehead City, N. C., on board steamer Cossack, destined for Port Royal. Upon the morning of the 31st, when near Charleston, could hear firing distinctly. Upon our arrival off the harbor, which was at about 8:30 A.M.., found lying there the blockading squadron, some of which were at anchor, and also the prize steamer Princess Royal. The distance from land at which they were was estimated to be from four to five miles; and although the morning was somewhat hazy, yet the land could be plainly seen on each side of the harbor. Vessels could be seen in the inlets, and by the aid of a glass a fort, said to have been Sumter, was visible. We were right in the midst of the fleet, so near as to be able to carry on a conversation with the Housatonic-were boarded by officers from it and the Quaker City. We remained there until about nine o'clock. Shortly after we departed, the Princess Royal followed.

Being thus near the site of the engagement, and so soon after it came off, we do not hesitate in the least to pronounce the statement that the blockade was raised not only absurd, but utterly and willfully false in every particular. And the statement of the English Consul and the commander of the Petrel, that the squadron could not be seen even with the aid of powerful glasses, is one equally false, and one that im­pels us to conclude that it would require a powerful glass, truly, to be able to discover one particle of truth or honesty in the composition of these gentlemen.

The entire regiment can substantiate the above facts, and burn with indignation that gentlemen occupying high stations, as they do, should resort to such base fabrications to prop up a failing cause.

We have the honor, sir, to be your most obedient servants,

A. A. LECKLER, Colonel Commanding 176th Regiment.

W. F. FUNDENBURG, Surgeon 176th.

TAYLOR C. NEWBURY, Commanding Steamship Cossack

Rear-Admiral S. F. DUPONT,

Commanding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


At an earlier date the commanding officers of vessels blockading that were sufficiently near to be cognizant of the facts wrote the following letter:



OFF CHARLESTON, February 10, 1863.

We, the undersigned officers, commanding various vessels of the blockading squadron off Charleston, have seen the proclamation of Gen­eral Beauregard and Commodore Ingraham, herewith appended, as also the results of the so-called engagements, viz.: two vessels sunk, four set on fire, and the remainder driven away; and also the statement that the British Consul and the commander of the British war-steamer Petrel had previously gone five miles beyond the usual anchorage of the blockaders, and could see nothing of them with their glasses.

We deem it our duty to state that the so-called results are false in every particular. No vessels were sunk, none were set on fire seriously. Two vessels alone Were injured of consequence: the Mercedita had her boiler exploded by a shell from the only gun fired at her, when surprised by an attack by night. A thick haze was prevailing; and the Keystone State also had her steam-chest injured at the moment of attempting to run down one of the rams. The Keystone State was at once assisted by the Memphis, which vessel exchanged shots with the iron ram as she was withdrawing toward the bar, after having fired at the Keystone State, as did also the Quaker City. So hasty was the retreat of the rams, that, although they might have perceived that the Keystone State had received serious damage, no attempt was ever made to approach her. The Stettin and Ottawa, at the extreme end of the line, did not get under way from their position till after the firing bad ceased, and the Stettin merely saw the black smoke as the rams disappeared over the bar. The Flag was alongside the Mercedita after, it seems, she had yielded to the ram, supposing herself sinking. The rams withdrew hastily toward the harbor, and on their way were fired at by the Housatonic and Augusta, until both had got beyond reach of their guns. They anchored under the protection of their forts, and remained there.

No vessel, ironclad or other, passed out over the bar after the return of the rams in shore. The Unadilla was not aware of the attack until the Housatonic commenced firing, when she moved out toward that vessel from her anchorage.

The Housatonic was never beyond the usual line of blockade. The Quaker City, in the forenoon, picked up her anchor which she had slipped to repair to the point of firing. The Flag communicated with the senior officer on board the Housatonic that forenoon, soon after the firing ended, and the blockade continued as before. No vessel ran in or out of the port that day, nor was any attempt made to run the blockade. The Keystone State necessarily was ordered to Port Royal for repairs. The Unadilla returned to her usual anchorage, after communi­cating with the senior officer, where she remained during the day. Throughout the day two small tug-boats remained apparently in attendance on the rams, under cover of Forts Moultrie and Beauregard. The prize steamer Princess Royal, which had been lying alongside of the Housatonic, was dispatched to Port Royal, by order of the senior officer, one hour and a half after the ram had returned to the cover of the batteries and the firing had ceased, or about 9.30 A.M..

These are facts, and we do not hesitate to state that no vessel did come out beyond the bar after the return of the rams, at between 7 and 8 A.M.., to the cover-of the forts. We believe the statement that any vessel came anywhere near the usual anchorage of the blockaders, or up to the bar, after the withdrawal of the rams, to be deliberately and knowingly false.

If the statement from the papers, as now before us, has the sanction. of the captain of the Petrel and the foreign consuls, we can only de­plore that foreign officers can lend their official positions to the spread­ing before the world, for unworthy objects, untruths, patent to every officer of this squadron.


Was. RODGERS TAYLOR, Captain U.S.S. Housatonic.

J. H. STRONG, Commander U.S.S. Flag.

JAMES MADISON FRAILEY, Commander U.S.S. Quaker City.

PEND. G. WATMOUGH, Commanding U.S.S. Memphis.

C. J. VAN ALSTINE, Commanding U.S. S. Stettin.


The reader may well wonder at the several preceding pages; the proclamation and the refutation at such length. The first-named shows that however able and brave the officers were who signed it, they did not limit their devotion to fighting for the Confederacy; they were willing to go far beyond that.

The refutation is inserted somewhat maliciously, to em­barrass such persons as either believe what they choose, or assert a belief in what is absurd in itself. In the face of the character of the blockading force off the bar at that time, with three exceptions so entirely destructible by such vessels as the rams, it seems unaccountable that they did not remain . outside of the bar during the day at least.

These Confederate rams never ventured out again, although Flag-Officer Ingraham states in his report that they were not struck by a projectile during the raid.

The construction of such vessels at Charleston must have been imperfect from a lack of plant of suitable materials, and of skilled workmen.[2] The wonder is, that under so many disadvantages, they should have ventured to construct any vessels. In every case the labor was without compensating result, if we except the structure on the hull of the frigate Merrimac, known as the Virginia to the Confederates, which, after the destruction of the sailing frigates Congress and Cumberland at Newport News, was soon after consigned to the flames as a result of the fall of Norfolk.

Soon after this raid, the New Ironsides, then at anchor in Port Royal, a vessel built under far more favorable auspices than could obtain within the limits of the Confederacy, was added to the blockading force off Charleston. We may suppose, without derogation to the enemy, that she exercised a powerful restraining influence on the Confederate rams within that port.

The enemy, as we have seen, having felt the power of guns afloat where many of them could be brought to bear, no longer contested inferior points of defence, and fully aware of an intended attack on Charleston and under an apprehension of attack on Savannah, turned his attention to strengthening the defenses of those cities by every means within his power. He looked with apprehension, as the people of the North looked with hope and expectation, upon the arrival of the monitor class of vessels that were completed and of others under construction, intended particularly for the attack on Charleston. In the early part of January several of them were already south of Cape Hatteras, where the Monitor, the original vessel of that type, foundered at sea, and at the same time the Montauk and the Passaic were in great peril.

Several of these vessels which arrived out in advance of others of their class intended for the attack on Charleston were sent by Rear-Admiral Dupont[3] to the Great Ogeechee River.

The Rear-Admiral informed the Department on the 28th of January that he considered it desirable in every way to test the ironclads of the Monitor type, and to avail himself of their usefulness until the intended number might arrive, he had sent the Montauk, Commander John L. Worden, to Ossabaw, to operate up the Great Ogeechee, and capture, if he could, the fort at Genesis Point (known afterward as Fort McAllister), under cover of which was lying the Nashville, a large side-wheel steamer, a blockade-runner fitted for a cruiser under the Confederate flag, and there for the purpose of es­caping to foreign waters. If Commander Worden should be successful against the fort, it was thought that the Nashville might be destroyed, and afterward a railroad bridge, lying two miles above the fort.[4]

Commander Worden reported his arrival off Ossabaw Bar on the 24th of January, in tow of the James Adger. He crossed the bar at 5 P.M. but had to anchor on account of fog, which also held him fast the following day. The com­manding officers of the Seneca, Wissahickon, Dawn, and Williams were called together and instructions given as to the plan of attack on the fort. On the 26th the Montauk anchored just out of range, followed by the other vessels. After dark, Lieutenant-Commander John L. Davis, with two armed boats, went up the river to reconnoiter, and to destroy range marks placed by the enemy. He examined the line of piles driven across the river diagonally below the fort, and found indications that the piles supported torpedoes. At 7 A.M.. the Montauk moved to a position about one hundred and fifty yards below this line of piles, and opened fire, and at the same time the other vessels moved into effective range for shells and opened also. The fort at first returned the fire briskly, with fair aim, striking the Montauk thirteen times without inflicting serious damage. Before noon the shells of the Montauk were expended and the vessel withdrew and by signal directed the withdrawal of the other vessels. No casualties occurred on board of any of the attacking force. The fort was found to mount nine guns and was provided with ample bomb-proofs.

On February 1st the Montauk again took position, supposed to be within six hundred yards of McAllister, sup­ported by the same vessels as before. The falling of the tide made it necessary to drop down to a distance of fourteen hundred yards, and the firing of shells and the return fire from the fort continued until near noon, when, Commander Worden says, " finding it useless to shell any longer, I withdrew out of range with the supporting gunboats."

The Montauk had been struck forty-six times without sus­taining any serious damage, and although her fire had been delivered with accuracy, no further harm was done than to tear up the parapet and traverses of the fort.[5]

On March 2d the Rear-Admiral had the satisfaction of re­porting the destruction of the Nashville, which vessel had been successfully blockaded for eight months. He says "Through the extreme vigilance and spirit of Lieutenant-­Commander Davis of the Wissahickon, Lieutenant Barnes of the Dawn, and later, Lieutenant-Commander Gibson, I have been able to keep her so long confined to the waters of the Ogeechee.

"For some months the Nashville had been loaded with cotton, constantly watchful, yet never ventured an effort to escape. Then she withdrew up the river, and reappeared after a length of time fitted as a privateer. To defend her and the railroad bridge above, Fort McAllister was strengthened, and a diagonal row of piles driven, having a line of torpedoes below them. The vessel had appeared from time to time ready to make a dash should an opportunity offer. The vessel was armed with a heavy rifle mounted on a circle, and was  proverbially fast.” Through the ability and zeal of the officers before mentioned she had been held, and through the quick perception and rapid execution of Com­mander Worden she has been destroyed."

On the evening of February 27th Commander Worden observed the Nashville in movement above McAllister. In a reconnaissance it was discovered that she had grounded in a bend known as the seven-mile reach, and supposed to be within reach of the guns of the Montauk in her former po­sition when attacking the fort. At daylight she went up with her consorts, into their former positions. The Nashville was seen aground at a distance of twelve hundred yards across the marsh, and a few shells thrown determined the range. In less than twenty minutes she was on fire forward, amidships, and aft. Soon after, the large pivot gun, mounted abaft the fore-mast, exploded from the heat. Twenty minutes later the smoke-stack went by the board, and soon after "the magazine exploding shattered the smoking ruins."

During this time McAllister was busily engaged firing at the Montauk, but in the attendant excitement only struck her five times, without damage to the vessel, and at the same time the firing from the fort on the gunboats was wild and without injury to them. The fire upon the fort destroyed one gun-carriage.

The destruction of the Nashville completed, the Montauk withdrew with her assisting force beyond the reach of guns; in doing so, she ran over a torpedo placed by the enemy, inflicting an injury so serious that, had she not been run aground soon after, she would have sunk. Once on the bot­tom, a piece of boiler iron was secured over the hole, and stanchioned temporarily, and then secured with tap-bolts, which enabled her to perform such other service as was re­quired during her continuance on the Southern coast.[6]

The Rear-Admiral thought it desirable to further test the mechanical appliances of the monitors in an attack on McAl­lister before entering on more important operations, and as well to give the officers and men the advantage of target practice with their new ordnance; he therefore ordered such vessels as were available to a renewed attack.

They were the Passaic, Captain Percival Drayton; the Patapsco, Commander Daniel Ammen; and the Nahant, Com­mander John Downes, aided by three: mortar schooners throwing XIII-inch shells.

Captain Drayton reported that on March 3d the bom­bardment had been maintained for eight hours by these ves­sels, the Passaic squarely in front of the fort, upon which seven guns were mounted, protected from an enfilading fire by high traverses. Owing to the slowness of the fire from the monitors, the men in the fort never exposed themselves, usually discharging their pieces while the vessels were load­ing, or just before the ports came into line. The row of piles and depth of water did not permit a nearer approach to the fort, which was found by spirit-level and necessary ele­vations to be twelve hundred yards, and seven-second fuses were found necessary. Two of the guns of the fort were disabled during the engagement; immense craters were dug into the parapet and traverses, but still no injury was done that could not be readily repaired during the night. The three mortar schooners, at a distance of four thousand yards, kept up an ineffective firing during the attack, and until the next morning, the shells generally falling short. The guns on board the Passaic worked satisfactorily, "except that the box round the XV-inch gun, on examination, was found to be almost detached from the side, owing to the breaking of the bolts which secured it to the turret.[7] A close observa­tion showed that a few more rounds would have broken it. The decks of the Passaic were badly injured, being considerably grooved; a mortar-shell filled with sand fell on the deck, and had it not struck over a beam, it would inevitably have gone through. As it was, it completely crushed the planking at the side of the beam, opening quite a hole. The measurement of a fragment of the shell showed it to be but ten inches. The fort directed nearly all its fire at the Passaic. During the action she was struck thirty-four times; nine of the hits were on the side armor; thirteen on the deck, breaking bolts and causing a leak; five on the turret; two on the pilot-house; one on the roof of the turret, and one on the smoke-stack. The indentations were from one-half to two inches; many bolts were broken. Neither of the other ironclads engaged were struck except with Whitworth bolts of small size, and no injury was sustained.

The report of the Passaic does not give the number of shells expended, but the Confederate reports give ninety. Her battery, and that of the Montauk and the Nahant, was a XV-inch and a XI-inch smooth-bore; and of the Patapsco, one XV-inch smooth-bore, and one 150-pounder rifle. Forty-­six shells were fired from this rifle, and fourteen shells from the smooth-bore of the vessel last named, the gun machinery working satisfactorily.

On board of the Nahant, the compressor of the XV-inch gun became disarranged at various times, and at the twen­tieth discharge, the rivets securing the brass guides on the after-part of the carriage gave way, the guides falling down into the turret-chamber, without, however, disabling the gun. A cast-iron "yoke" put in to allow the use of an XI-inch gun temporarily on a carriage made for a XV-inch gun was broken at the thirty-ninth discharge, thus disabling the gun until anew "yoke" could be put in. The foundries were not able to furnish a sufficient number of XV-inch guns when the vessels were completed, hence the temporary use of a smaller caliber, and the fitment of a "yoke" to hold the trunnions of a smaller gun. It should have been made of bronze, cast-iron not having the tenacity to resist the strain brought upon it. The rifle of the Patapsco had, months before, carried away its "yoke" in like manner, and the Ordnance Bureau, being thus informed, had bronze "yokes" sent down, which were substituted, and cured that defect.

After the bombardment the vessels withdrew, as did the mortar schooners and the gunboats Seneca, Wissahickon, and Dawn, that had laid two miles from the fort to signal the effect of the shells.

On the 6th, early in the day, the Passaic, Patapsco, and Nahant left Ossabaw Sound in tow of suitable vessels, and the same evening entered Port Royal Harbor.

The Passaic was at once put under repairs, which were not fully effected until the 28th. She also had a bronze "yoke" put in to avoid a future mishap, such as the Patapsco and Nahant had undergone. The last-named, and indeed all of the monitor class, had bronze yokes” placed in the carriages upon which the XI-inch guns were mounted. All of them, too, had one-inch plates of iron placed over the magazines, and the vessels that had not powerful centrifugal pumps already were so fitted.

On the 25th the Weehawken, Nahant, Patapsco, and Catskill left Port Royal under tow for North Edisto Inlet-an excellent harbor within twenty miles of Charleston Bar. The repairs and fitments of the Passaic, Montauk, and Keokuk detained them until the 1st of April, when they also proceeded to North Edisto, where they had been preceded by the Nantucket-another monitor which had arrived from the North on the 13th of March. The vessels were amply sup­plied with ammunition, and were fully prepared, as far as they could be, to make the intended attack on Fort Sumter.

[1] See Le Roy's Report.

[2] Since writing the above, one of their former lieutenants, whose opinion and statements may be relied on, states: "They were well-constructed vessels, covered with four inches of iron, and would steam about seven knots. They drew twelve to thirteen feet, and were each armed with two Brooke rifled 80 pounders, and two 64-pounder shell-guns." He has no recollection as to where the enginery was made. From the experience in the capture of the At­lanta, it may be regarded certain that their casemates would not have resisted XV-inch shells.

[3] The title of flag-officer had been changed by law to that of Rear-Admiral since the operations of the preceding year.

[4] One officer was killed, seven men wounded, and one gun disabled.

Colonel R. H. Anderson, commanding Fort McAllister, in his report of this ac­tion states: " The enemy fired steadily and with remarkable precision. At times their fire was terrible. Their mortar firing was unusually fine, a large number of shells bursting directly over the battery."

[5] Confederate report.

[6] The officer commanding on this occasion, now Rear-Admiral Worden, regards the destruction of the Nashville, under the attendant difficulties, with more professional pride than the engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac, which gave him a worldwide reputation.

[7] The XV-inch guns first put on board of the monitors were too short to fairly clear the port; to avoid the counter-blast of powder in the turret, a "box " was fastened with screws to it; a better substitute was found in a cylindrical casting somewhat larger than the bore, which was fastened by bolts around the muzzle of the gun.

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