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weight added to the vessel by the armor, which involved greater power to propel her, and at the same time largely increased the cost of construction. To meet the immediate demand for vessels as far as practicable invulnerable to shot, and adapted by their light draught of water to penetrate our shoal harbors, rivers, and bayous, the board recommended "that contracts be made with responsible parties for the construction of one or more iron-clad vessels or batteries, of as light a draught of water as practicable consistent with their weight of armor." They also advised the construction in our own dock-yards, of one or more of these vessels upon a large and more perfect scale when Congress shall see fit to authorize it. The report concludes with a synopsis of the propositions and specifications submitted, amounting to 17 in number, the terms of construction for the different vessels ranging from $32,000 to $1,500,000. Three only of these were selected as worthy of recommendation, the others being put aside, either owing to too great cost or for other reasons. The three proposals recommended were those of J. Ericsson, New York; Merrick & Sons, Philadelphia; and C. S. Bushnell & Co., New Haven, Conn. Of these the remarks of the board are as follows:

"J. Ericsson, New York.-This plan of a floating battery is novel, but seems to be based upon a plan which will render the battery shot and shell-proof. It is to be apprehended that her properties for sea are not such as a seagoing vessel should possess. But she may be moved from one place to another on the coast in smooth water. We recommend that an experiment be made with one battery of this description on the terms proposed, with a guarantee and forfeiture in case of failure in any of the properties and points of the vessel as proposed. Price, $275,000; length of vessel, 174 feet; breadth of beam, 41 feet; depth of hold, 11 feet; time, 100 days; draught of water, 10 feet; displacement, 1,245 tons; speed per hour, 9 statute miles.

"Merrick & Sons, Philadelphia.-Vessel of wood and iron combined. This proposition we consider the most practicable one for heavy armor. We recommend that a contract be made with that party, under a guarantee, with forfeiture in case of failure to comply with the specifications; and that the contract require the plates to be 15 feet long and 36 inches wide, with a reservation of some modifications, which may occur as the work progresses, not to affect the cost. Price, $780,000; length of vessel, 220 feet; breadth of beam, 60 feet; depth of hold, 23 feet; time, 9 months; draught of water, 13 feet; displacement, 3,296 tons; speed per hour, 91 knots.

"S. C. Bushnell & Co., New Haven, Conn., propose a vessel to be iron-clad, on the rail and plate principle, and to obtain high speed. The objection to this vessel is the fear that she will not float her armor and load sufficiently high,

and have stability enough for a sea vessel. With a guarantee that she shall do these, we recommend on that basis a contract.

"Price, $235,250; length of vessel, 180 feet; breadth of beam feet; depth of hold, 123 feet; time, 4 months; draught of water, 10 feet; displacement, tons; speed per hour, 12 knots."

The recommendation was adopted by Congress, and the 3 vessels ordered to be built are the last three on the list given above.

The contract made with Capt. Ericsson stipulated for the completion of his battery within 100 days from the signing of the contract, which was Oct. 5th, 1861, and the extraordinary provision was introduced, that the test of the battery, upon which its acceptance by the U. S. Government depended, should be its withstanding the fire of the enemy's batteries at the shortest ranges, the United States agreeing to fit out the vessel with men, guns, &c. The following is a general description of the vessel as completed and delivered to the U. S. Government for trial, March 5, 1862. The hull is formed by two distinct parts, a lower and upper, both of which are flat-bottomed; the lower one built of 3-inch iron, 124 feet long, 34 feet wide at the top, and 6 feet deep. The sides incline at an angle of about 51° with a vertical line, and terminate in sharp ends, the bow projecting and coming to a point at an angle of 80°. The upper hull is 174 feet long, 41 feet 4 inches wide, with perpendicular sides 5 feet high. It juts over the lower hull on each side 3 feet 7 inches, and at each end 25 feet. The sides of this portion are built of white oak, 2 feet thick, covered with 6 inches of iron plates on the outside, and a 4-inch plating of iron within; the object of the latter being to arrest splinters in case of a ball penetrating the sides. The top is covered with a bomb-proof flat deck unprotected by any railing or bulwark. This deck consists of oak beams, 10 inches square and 26 inches apart, covered with 8-inch plank, and this with 2 layers of iron, each an inch thick. The draught of water is 10 feet, leaving only 18 inches above the surface. The projecting ends of the upper hull serve as a cover for the propeller and rudder in the stern and the anchor in the bow. The former are entirely out of reach of shot; and the latter is carried in the upper hull, from which it is readily lowered, and into which it is hoisted again by men working below, without any exposure or sign of their movements on the outside. The lower hull is so situated beneath the upper, that it can only be reached by a ball after this has passed through at least 25 feet of water, and the inclination of the sides would then prevent its penetration; and the upper is impregnable in its 6 inches of iron, backed with 30 inches of white oak and the inner lining of -inch iron. The prominent object upon the deck in the middle of the boat is the turret or castle, a cylinder of 20 feet diameter within, and 9 feet high, built of 8 thicknesses of 1-inch plates, bolt

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ed securely one over another with overlapping joints, and lined with an additional layer of iron an inch thick, thus making 9 inches in all. The weight of the turret is about 100 tons, and its support is a circular bed plate of composition metal firmly secured to the deck. Upon this it is supported except in time of action, when the weight is taken by a vertical central shaft of iron, with which it is made to revolve as desired, the motive power being a steam engine specially designed for this service, as also for working the blowers for the fires, and for ventilation. On the top, the turret is covered with iron beams and perforated iron, shell-proof. This, while it affords protection, admits the circulation of air necessary in working the guns. Small sliding iron hatchways are also provided to afford an entrance for the men through this portion. The turret is constructed for two heavy guns, which constitute the whole armament of the battery. They are placed precisely parallel with each other, and both are directed out the same side of the turret. Those selected for the first trial were 11-inch Dahlgren smooth-bore guns, carrying 168 lb. round shot. Some wrought-iron shot were provided for the first encounter, but their use was forbidden for fear of their bursting the guns, by reason of their weight, being 15 lbs. greater than that of the shot used in proving the guns. The portholes are circular openings, 3 feet above the deck, just large enough to admit the muzzle of the gun, and kept closed by a sliding shutter, managed on the inside, and removed only when the gun is run out to be fired. The gun-carriages are of wrought iron and run on slides very accurately constructed. The sighting of the guns was designed to be not over their line through the portholes; but four holes were pierced through the turret at the height of the eye for telescopes, and just outside of the holes reflectors were fixed, which bent the ray of light coming in a direction parallel with the guns through the axis of the telescope. In action, however, the ordinary mode of sighting was adopted. The turret is caused to revolve to the right or left, by the movement of a small wheel which controls the action of the steam, and is turned by the gunner or his assistants, and a scale is provided by which the elevation of the guns is also adjusted. When ready for firing, the shutter is triced up by the gunner, the piece is run out, fired, and instantly returns by the recoil, a friction clamp upon the sides of the ways arresting it at any desired point. On this side of the turret is an additional thickness of iron plating of about 3 inches. The pilot or wheel-house, as originally constructed, was a square box formed of bars or beams of wrought iron, 9 inches by 12, interlocked at the corners, and covered with heavy plating. Elongated horizontal apertures at the sides afford the only lookout for the helmsman. These apertures may also be used as loopholes for musketry if desirable. In the place of chimneys, bomb-proof gratings are set in the

deck, and through these the smoke of the fires is driven out by the blowers; low temporary chimneys are however provided, which are removed in time of action. The deck is thus entirely free of all incumbrances, and the men who work the vessel and handle the guns, are all entirely out of sight beneath the invulnerable plating. All access into the interior is securely shut off, so that if the battery were boarded, the men could not be reached and no harm could be done to the vessel itself. Its sharp and powerful iron prow will enable it to sink with ease any wooden vessel it can reach, and its light draught allows of its running into shoal waters either for offensive operations or to retire, if necessary, to a distance from more powerful vessels of deeper draught. Her complement of men consists of 60 in all, of whom 11 are officers. The battery is evidently designed for harbor and river operations, and not for encountering heavy seas.**

The important service soon performed by this vessel, and the immense consequences following the first encounter between iron-clad vessels, will justify us in presenting in which she was immediately afterwards engaged, although this form a short sketch of her voyage, and of the battle in the events properly belong to the year succeeding that to taken in tow from New York harbor by a steam-tug on the which this volume is particularly devoted. The Monitor was 6th of March, 1862, and propelled by her own steam-power also, was hurried towards Hampton Roads, to be in readiness, if possible, for the threatened descent upon our shipping of the frigate Merrimac, which the Confederates had covered with a heavy plating of iron, and with a roof forward formed of bars of railroad iron. In case of encountering storms, the original plan was to make a harbor, and thus avoid the dangers to which a vessel of this character would be subjected. The voyage, however, was performed through a heavy gale of wind and rough seas, which the vessel happily weathered, although the waves rolled over the top of the turret, and the water was driven with violence through the apertures necessarily left for ventilation, for the escape of smoke, &c. This threatened several times to extinguish the fires, and caused the engines to work so feebly, that they were incompetent to expel the noxious gases, or pump out the water. Several of the men and officers were rendered senseless by the suffocating fumes from the fires, and were only restored by being brought up into the turret, and exposed to the fresh air. In the height of the gale the tiller rope was thrown off the wheel, and but for the strong hawser connecting the battery with the tug-boat ahead, the former must have foundered before her movements could have been brought under any control. During the night, when these dangers were most imminent, no means whatever were available for signalling to the tugboat the need of seeking protection nearer the shore, from kept in constant alarm. which direction the wind came, and all on board were thus

To those upon whom rested the responsibility of the great trial, upon which they were about to enter, no sleep was afforded after Friday morning the 7th of March. On Saturday evening the Monitor entered Hampton Roads as the en gagement of the day was terminating between the Confederate ships-the iron-plated Merrimac, the Jamestown, and the Yorktown, with the United States vessels-the sloop-ofwar Cumberland, the frigate Congress, and the steam-frigate

Minnesota, the two former of which had already been destroyed, the one by the terrible battering power of the Merrimac, and the other by her heavy broadsides of shot and shell. During the night the Merrimac lay at anchor near Sewall's Point, and the Monitor remained near the

Minnesota, which was fast aground between Fortress Monroe and Newport News. Early on Sunday morning the Merrimac was seen advancing towards the Minnesota, to renew the work of destruction she had so successfully prosecuted the day before. When within range, her shot were discharged at the frigate aground without any heed being paid to the apparently insignificant stranger within a mile of which she was passing. At this distance, those on board the Merrimac must have been astonished as one of the 11

inch Dahlgrens from the curious little tower upon the raft like structure opened upon the ship with its hundred and sixty-eight pound shot. From that time the attack upon

Stevens Battery.-In November an act was passed by Congress, directing the Secretary of the Navy to appoint a committee to examine the Stevens Battery at Hoboken, N. J., and report upon the expediency of its being completed by the Government. This board consisted of Commodore Stringham, Commander William Inman, Captain T. A. Dornin, and Chief Engineer A. C. Stimers, all of the United States Navy, and Prof. Joseph Henry, of the Smithsonian Institute, who met at the navy yard in Brooklyn, on the 1st of December, and proceeded to the investigation of the subject, with which they were charged. The report of the board, made Dec. 24th, was unfavorable for the completion of the ship, Prof. Henry, however, not fully concurring in the conclusion arrived at by the naval officers.

The ship is described as a long, slender iron vessel, evidently intended for high speed in smooth water, and but partially completed. Her length is 420 feet, and extreme breadth 53 feet. Her sides are built of 4-inch iron, riveted to ribs of angle iron 6 inches deep, 3 inches wide, and inch thick, spaced two feet apart throughout the entire length. The bottom is strengthened with floor timbers of plate iron,

the Minnesota was abandoned, and attention was directed

only to this new antagonist. The vessels soon came into close action, and no effect resulting from the shot of the

Merrimac striking the Monitor, an attempt was made by

the former to run down and crush or sink the smaller ves sel. Five times the two vessels struck each other, and each

time one of the guns of the Monitor was discharged directly directed her fire against the Merrimac, and two of her balls struck the Monitor, without, however, inflicting any damage. After the contest had raged for some hours, the Monitor, entirely unharmed, withdrew to some distance for the purpose of hoisting more shot into her turret; which being done, the fight was immediately re-commenced. The Merrimac soon appeared to be in a disabled condition, and gradually worked away towards the batteries at Sewall's Point. As afterwards ascertained, the heavy iron prow, projecting six feet from the stem of the Merrimac, was so wrenched by the concussion against the side of the Monitor, that the tim

against the plated sides of the Merrinac. The Minnesota

bers of the frame were started, causing the vessel to leak badly. It is not known that the shot of the Monitor penetrated the sides of her opponent; but it has been reported and denied that the timbers behind the iron plating were shattered by the tremendous force of the blows. The Merrimac received some injury, and loss of life was incurred from the shot of the Minnesota, but to what extent is not known. During the fight, the first officer of the Monitor, Capt. A. H. Worden, took his station in the pilot-house, and direct

ed the firing by signals to the First Lieutenant, S. Dana Greene, by whom the guns were trained and fired. One of the last shots of the Merrimac struck the pilot-house near

the aperture through which Captain Worden was looking at the instant. The blow, which was so heavy as to break one of the great wrought-iron beams of the pilot-house, stunned this officer, seriously injuring his eyes and face. On the retiring of the Merrimac, the second officer, now taking charge of the vessel, knowing that another shot striking the pilot-house would be likely to complete its destruction, and render the vessel unmanageable by disabling the steering apparatus; and acting under positive orders which restricted the Monitor to a defensive course, except

so far as might be necessary to protect the Minnesota, de

clined to pursue the Merrimac, and remained by the Minnesota. Excepting the damage to the pilot-house, the Monitor received no injury in this naval battle. Two men leaning against the inner wall of the turret were knocked down and stunned for a short time by a shot striking the opposite side against them, but no other inconveniences were experienced by the officers and crew. Many marks of shot were found upon the sides, turret, and deck of the Monitor, the deepest penetration of which was on the vertical sides, amounting In one instance to 44 inches. On the tower the deepest de

pression was 14 inches, and on the deck † inch.

secured to a heavy box keelson, running from stem to stern, and the plating over this portion is of an inch thick. Five tubular boilers on each side, occupying 80 feet of the length of the vessel, are secured to the iron keelson, and immediately abaft these are the 8 main engines, nearly completed, and occupying 58 feet length of the vessel.

Four engines, of 1,000 horse power each, are connected with each of the two propeller shafts, which are worked quite independently of each other, so that the propellers, revolving in different directions, if desired, may be used to turn the ship round, or they may be used as a substitute for the rudder. Forward of the boilers are two pumping engines, and pumps for feeding the boilers, and two engines for running a large fan-blower for furnishing fresh air throughout the ship, drawn down through gratings in the bomb-proof deck above. This will cause a powerful draught in the furnace fires, independently of the height of the chimney. The lower deck, at the height of 14 feet above the bottom, is planned to extend forward and abaft the machinery, beneath which will be coal, water-tanks, and powder-magazines, and upon it provisions and shell rooms and other water tanks. The object of the tanks is for containing sea-water, which it is designed to admit to the extent of 1,100 tons, if necessary, in time of action, for the purpose of partially submerging, and thus better protecting, the vessel. At 21 feet from the bottom is the next deck, rendered bomb-proof forward and abaft the machinery, but over which it is to be of ordinary material. The portion of the ship protected by heavy armor is that occupied by the machinery, extending altogether 120 feet in length. From 3 feet outside the vessel, the sides against this portion are to be carried up on a slope of about 27° with the horizon, to 14 feet inboard, giving an upper deck 7 feet above the 21-feet deck, with the width of 23 feet amidships. The forward and after ends of this deck are formed like the sides, and slope down to the bomb-proof deck. The inclined armor is to be of 7 thicknesses of plate iron, making altogether 64 inches, supported upon iron beams 8 inches deep, and filled in between with locust, and locked with locust planks 6 inches thick. The upper deck is made bomb-proof by 3 layers of iron of 2 inches thickness, including wooden planking 6 inches thick. A light deck continues this platform fore and aft over the quarters of the men and officers. From the lower edge of the inclined armor at the 21-feet line, which is the load water-line, a strong protection of oak timbers, covered with iron plates, extends down the sides of the vessel to the depth of 6 feet. This protection is extended the whole length of the ship.

These arrangements will be better understood by reference to the accompanying cuts and explanations.

for this battery, consists of 5 fifteen-inch guns, The armament, to be constructed especially

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