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CHAP. XLV.]

209

The length of the Monitor was 173 feet, her breadth 42 feet; her side armor at the water-line five inches thick; her turret eight thicknesses of one-inch iron; its inside diameter was 20 feet, its height nine feet. Her armament was two eleven-inch guns mounted side by side.

The government at once ordered nine monitors, of somewhat larger size, and having such improvements as experience had suggested. The armor was of greater thickness, that of the turret being eleven inches. They carried one fifteen-inch and one eleven-inch gun.

This class of monitors was followed by another of light Failure of the light- draught. These proved to be failures, not draught monitors. having sufficient flotation. Still another class was ordered, larger than any of the preceding, their length being 225 feet, their turrets and side-armor eleven inches thick. They were considered more formidable than any broadside ship afloat.

Dimensions and armament of his ship.

Other monitors at once built.

THE MONITOR FRIGATES.

To the foregoing two monitor frigates were added. There was significance to the Confederates

The monitor frig.

Dictator.

ates Puritan and in the names they received-the Puritan and the Dictator. The former is doubleturreted, the latter single-she is the smaller ship of the two. Her length is, however, 314 feet; she is built altogether of iron; her side-armor is eleven inches thick, her turret fifteen inches; she has a ram of solid oak and iron; her engines of 5000 horse-power, her armament two fif teen-inch guns.

Dunderberg.

Still larger and more powerful, the ram frigate DunderThe ram frigate berg is 378 feet long and 68 feet in breadth. She was intended to combine the advantages of a ram, a casemated broadside, and a monitor, carrying twenty-inch guns. This vessel, probably the most powerful war-ship ever built, was not finished until the

210

[SECT. VIII.

close of the war, and was then sold to the Emperor of the French.

class.

With a view of carrying out the monitor type in ocean The Miantonomoh cruisers, a class of vessels of which the Miantonomoh is an example was built. These have a sea-speed of eleven knots; their side-armor is elev en inches thick, their turrets twelve, their armament four fifteen-inch guns, and the weight of their discharge 1800 pounds. Their sea-going qualities have been found to answer expectation. expectation. They cross the Atlantic without dif ficulty.

THE RIVER NAVY.

Finally, there was nearly completed, at the end of the war, a class of monitors of which the Kalamazoo is an example, their length 342 feet, their breadth 563 feet, their deck solid to the water-line, their turrets fifteen inches thick, their intended armament twenty-inch guns.

The Kalamazoo class.

(2.) Of the River Navy:

If the republic had only a single available war-ship on the North Atlantic coast at the breaking out of the insurrection, it was actually still worse prepared on the Mississippi and its tributaries, on which there was not so much as a single gun. The reopening of those streams, seized by the Confederates without resistance, and the conduct of warlike operations upon them, implied the creation of a powerful navy, the guns of which might sweep the level shores for miles. Gun-boats on the Western rivers must be mainly planned for resistance and offensive movements against batteries on the banks, and engagements with other ships like themselves. Since they are to operate in smooth water, principles of construction may be adopted in them which would be inadmissible in ships exposed to the Atlantic.

River navy of the
West.

Requirements for river gun-boats.

CHAP. XLV.]

211

The Confederates had strongly and without molestation fortified the most important strategic points upon the Mississippi-Columbus, Island No. 10, Fort Pillow, Memphis, Vicksburg, Grand Gulf, Port Hudson, Baton Rouge, New Orleans. On the Tennessee they had Fort Henry, on the Cumberland Fort Donelson, on the Arkansas Fort Hindman, etc.

THE RIVER NAVY.

Their dimensions

At first the government directed the purchase of such stout and swift steam-boats as might answer and plan of con- the purpose. They were altered so as to have better protection for their machinery, but were not plated with iron. The Conestoga, Tyler, and Lexington were of this class. They were side-wheel steamers. In July, 1861, the government advertised for the construction of iron-clad gun-boats. "It was decided to construct seven vessels, each of about six hundred tons, to draw six feet, to carry thirteen guns, to be plated with iron two and a half inches thick, and to steam nine miles an hour. They were one hundred and seventy-five feet long, and fifty-one and a half wide; the hulls of wood." The principles adopted by the Confederates in the construction of the Merrimack were here reproduced. "Their sides were placed out from the bottom of the boat to the water-line at an angle of about thirty-four degrees, and from the water-line they fell back at about the same angle, to form a slanting casemate, the gun-deck being but a foot above water. This slanting casemate extended across the hull, near the bow and stern, forming a quadrilateral gundeck. Three nine or ten inch guns were placed on the bow, four similar ones on each side, and two smaller ones astern. The casemate inclosed the wheel, which was placed in a recess at the stern of the vessel. The plating was two and a half inches thick."

Mr. Eads, of St. Louis, undertook to construct these seven vessels in sixty-five days. Mr. Boynton, from whose

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[SECT. VIII.

History of the United States Navy I am quoting, says: "It was at this time that the contractor returned to St. Louis with an obligation to perform what, under ordinary circumstances, would have been deemed by most men an impossibility. Rolling-mills, machine shops, founderies, forges, and saw-mills were all idle. The engines that were to drive this, our first ironclad fleet, were yet to be built. The timber to form the hulls was uncut in the forest; the huge rollers and machinery for making their iron armor were not yet constructed. The rapidity with which all these various parts were to be supplied forbade depending on any two or three establishments in the country, no matter how great were their resources.

Energy displayed in building them.

THE RIVER NAVY.

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"The signatures were scarcely dry upon this important contract before the work was actively begun through telegraphic orders issued from Washington. Special agents were dispatched in every direction, and saw-mills were simultaneously occupied in sawing the timber required in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and Missouri, and railroads, steam-boats, and barges engaged for its immediate transportation. Nearly all the largest machine shops and founderies in St. Louis, and many small ones, were at once set at work day and night, and the telegraph lines between St. Louis, and Pittsburg, and Cincinnati were occupied frequently for hours in transmitting instructions to similar establishments in those cities for the construction of the twenty-one steamengines, and five-and-thirty steam boilers that were to propel the fleet. Within two weeks not less than four thousand men were engaged in the various details of their construction. Neither the sanctity of the Sabbath nor the darkness of the night were permitted to interrupt it. On the 12th of October, 1861, the first United States ironclad, with her boilers and engines on board, was launched

CHAP. XLV.] MONITORS-TIN-CLADS-MORTAR-BOATS.

213

A fleet of eight com

dred days.

in Missouri in forty-five days from the laying of her keel. In ten days after the Carondelet was launchpleted in one hun- ed, and the Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Cairo, and Pittsburg followed in rapid succession. An eighth vessel, larger, more powerful, and superior in every respect, was also undertaken before the hulls of the first seven had fairly assumed shape. In less than one hundred days one individual put in construction and completed a powerful squadron of eight steamers, in the aggregate of five thousand tons burden, capable of steaming nine knots an hour, each heavily armored, fully equipped, and all ready for their armament of one hundred and seven large guns."

"9

class.

In the following year the Navy Department caused to The river monitor be constructed vessels of light draught with rotating turrets. Of two of these, the Osage and Neosho, the turrets were six inches thick and only seven feet high, the floor-beams being so bent as to allow the guns to be worked at a lower level, and permitting less height of turret. They drew less than four feet. Immediately afterward four double-turreted propellers were built; each carried four eleven-inch guns, and drew only six feet of water.

Besides the above, a number of vessels of less resisting power were provided; they were musketThe tin-clad class. proof gun-boats, and passed under the title of tin-clads. In addition, mortar-boats were constructed which endured without injury the severe service to which they were subjected. "The number of discharges from these heavy mortars averaged fifteen hundred to each vessel, and yet they were none of them shaken so as to leak, and at the close of the war they were sold for nearly as much as they had originally cost.'

The navy on the Western rivers steadily increased dur

The mortar-boats.

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