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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The Union and Confederate navies. (search)
factors in the defense of New Orleans. If they had been finished in time, this intention would doubtless have been realized. The Louisiana, built by contract with E. C. Murray, was not begun until the middle of October, and her machinery was transferred from the steamer Ingomar, which the contractors had bought for the purpose. She was 264 feet long, and from 400 to 500 tons of railroad iron were used in plating her with armor. The ship was in several ways badly designed, and on the 20th of April, when she was sent from New Orleans down the river to the forts, her engines would not work. During the battle she could only serve as a stationary floating battery, and she was blown up by Captain J. K. Mitchell on the day of the surrender of the forts. The other iron-clad, the Mississippi, a still larger and more heavily armored vessel, was constructed by the Messrs. Tift upon a very novel and peculiar design. To obviate the want of ship-builders and designers, she was built like
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 15.58 (search)
liaferro with his staff; Captain Heth and Major Tyler, two volunteer companies,--the Blues of Norfolk and the Grays of Portsmouth,--and Captains Pegram and Jones, of the navy. These were the only troops in Norfolk, until after the evacuation of the navy yard and the departure of the Federal ships. Captain H. G. Wright, of the Engineers, who was on the United States steamer Pawnee that had been sent to secure the ships and property at the Gosport Navy Yard, reached Norfolk after dark on April 20th. He reported thus: On reaching the yard it was found that all the ships afloat except the Cumberland had been scuttled, by order of Commodore McCauley, the commandant of the yard, to prevent their seizure by the Virginia forces, and that they were fast sinking. One of the objects of the expedition — that of removing those vessels and taking them to sea — was, therefore, frustrated. On reporting to the commodore of the yard, I found him disposed to defend the yard and property to the las