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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 32: Navy Department.--energies displayed.--building of iron-clads (search)
ot say how this iron-clad warrior was to be propelled. When three of the most skillful officers of the Navy could give the Secretary no better information than this, it is no wonder that he was doubtful of his own ability to decide in such a case; but he did decide. and in favor of Ericsson, who proposed not only the most reasonable price for his vessels, but the unity of the design seemed to strike the Board as something likely to succeed. The New Ironsides was also contracted for with Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia, and the Galena, to be armored with three-inch iron, to be built by Bushnell & Co., New Haven, Connecticut. These three vessels, it is said, were to represent the three types of the American idea of iron-clads-though, with the exception of the New Ironsides, very few persons had any faith in them. This was the first attempt at building an iron-clad navy for operations on the coast, and the Monitor was the only one of them that was ready to meet the enemy's greatest