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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 19. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The Virginia, or Merrimac: her real projector. (search)
n the Examiner of April 3d: The Virginia. Gosport Navy-yard, March 29, 1862. To the Editor of the Examiner: Having seen an article in the Richmond Enquirer, and one also in the Whig, claiming the plan of the iron-clad ship Virginia for Lieutenant John M. Brooke, of the navy, thereby doing myself and Engineer Williamson the greatest injustice, I feel called upon to make a statement of facts in the case, for the further information of the reading public, in the history of this ship. In June last Lieutenant Brooke made an attempt to get up a floating battery at the Navy Department. The Secretary sent to this yard for the master ship-carpenter to come up and assist him. After trying for a week he failed to produce anything, and the master-carpenter returned to his duties at the yard. Secretary Mallory then sent for me to come to Richmond, at which time I carried up the model of an iron-clad floating battery, with the shield of the present Virginia on it, and before I ever saw L
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 19. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 1.11 (search)
osed as if thinking, which he invariably did before answering; but his replies were short and to the point. Not many days elapsed before the officers found out that when he gave or wrote one of his short orders, it was always to be obeyed, or suspension at once followed neglect. In May many regiments arrived from Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, and there was some semblance of discipline—as an immense log guard-house, always filled, gave evidence. One Sunday evening in early June the long roll was beaten, and we soon were in line, marching out between the high hills towards Shepherdstown bridge on the upper Potomac, accompanied by a long procession of carriages filled with our mothers and sisters, escorted by our middle-aged, portly fathers on horseback; for as we could not go to them, they daily visited us in our camp; and that evening, for the first time in our lives, it looked and felt like war. For were we not on our way to keep the Yankees out of Virginia? Were
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 19. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Recollections of General Earl Van Dorn. (search)
imes offered battle to Halleck, who, with one hundred thousand men, was cautiously advancing as if to attack us. Three times our army (forty thousand strong) marched out of its entrenchments and advanced to meet Halleck and give him battle, but every time he drew back and declined it. In every council Van Dorn's voice was for war. May 30, 1862, Beauregard evacuated his works in a masterly manner, and marched south unmolested to Tupelo, when he halted the army and held it ready for battle. In June Van Dorn was ordered to go to Vicksburg, which was threatened with attack, and was in poor condition for defence. He evinced here great energy and ability. He repulsed the enemy's fleet, put the place in a good condition of defence, occupied Port Hudson, and there erected such works as enabled us for a year longer to control the Mississippi river and its tributaries so as to keep open free intercourse with the trans-Mississippi, whence large supplies for the armies on this side were drawn.