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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 19. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The Virginia, or Merrimac: her real projector. (search)
teen feet. He applied to Constructor Porter for information. In Flag-officer Tattnall's triumphant defence will be found this statement [see Scharf's Confederate States Navy, p. 235]: To the constructor, Mr. Porter, I applied through Paymaster Semple, for information on the subject, who swears positively that he obtained the constructor's written report that the ship could be lightened to even seventeen feet, and would have stability to that draft in the James river. Now, whether Mr. SeMr. Semple misunderstood Mr. Porter or not, there can be no doubt of the nature of the reply communicated to me through a reliable source, upon which, in the nature of things, having no knowledge of my own, I was obliged to rely. Nor will the positive and reliable testimony thus given be much shaken by Mr. Porter's flippant answer to the question why he he did not give full information, that I never spent a thought on the subject; I was busy; I supposed the officers all knew what they were about and