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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 13: building a navy on the Western rivers.--battle of Belmont. (search)
sels were ready to receive their armament. As the Army were now making great demands for gun-boats, Com. Rodgers was authorized to purchase three river steamers and convert them into war-vessels without plating. These were the first gun-boats that fired a shot in support of the Union, and became well known for their many encounters with the enemy, and for valuable services throughout the war. Flag-officer Andrew H. Foote was ordered to command the Mississippi Squadron on the 6th of September, 1861, and he took with him to the West a number of officers whose names will appear from time to time in our pages — a more gallant set of men never trod the deck of a vessel-of-war. Foote, Rodgers, Eads and their assistants put forth all their energies to get the squadron ready for service, as the enemy were fortifying the banks of the rivers in Tennessee, and Polk's heavy batteries at Columbus barred the way against vessels from above. The civilians who had charge of the building of