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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 12: fight between the Merrimac and Monitor, March 8, 1862. (search)
essel, designed by John Ericsson, was to be paid for only in case she proved successful against the enemy's batteries; but had the steam frigates been cut down and plated we need have given little anxiety to the appearance of the Merrimac or any other vessel, and would have been first in the field with this new factor in war which was to revolutionize naval warfare. But there are many things we cannot account for — we received humiliation at first to teach us not to underrate an enemy. Providence came to our assistance in our emergency with Ericsson's nondescript, to show what skill and enterprise could do in behalf of the Union. As the Monitor of Ericsson approached completion the Navy Department hurried the work on learning that the Merrimac was further advanced than they had supposed. This was in consequence of the fact that Commander D. D. Porter had been sent to New York to examine the vessel, and report his opinion as to her capacity to deal with an enemy. After a thor
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 16: operations on the Mississippi. (search)
boats opened upon, and effectually silenced and captured several heavy batteries on the Tennessee side of the river, on the 6th and 7th instants, without which destruction it would have been impossible for General Pope to have crossed over the river, for the purpose of attacking the Confederates in the rear at No. 10, while the gun and mortar-boats would make the attack in front. There has been an effective and harmonious co-operation between the land and naval forces, which has, under Providence, led to the glorious result of the fall of this stronghold, No. 10, with the garrison and munitions of war, and I regret to see in the dispatches of Major-General Halleck, from St. Louis, no reference is made to the capture of the forts, and the continuous shelling of the gun and mortar-boats, and the Navy's receiving the surrender of No. 10, when, in reality, it should be recorded as a historical fact that both services equally contributed to the victory — a bloodless victory — more credi
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 21: capture of New Orleans.--first attack on Vicksburg by Farragut's fleet and mortar flotilla.--junction of flag-officers Farragut and Davis above Vicksburg.--ram Arkansas. (search)
t 700 yards, further off, were rather exposed to the enemy's fire, but were so covered up with bushes that it was not easy to see them at that distance, much less to fire accurately at them. When the mortars were all in position they opened their fire deliberately for the purpose mainly of getting ranges, which they succeeded in doing after a few fires. The enemy opened on them from all their batteries in range, but, though they fired all around and over them, none were struck. A kind Providence seems to look out for this little fleet. They soon silenced the batteries, and were enabled to pursue their experiments unmolested. On June 27, the mortars opened again on the forts at 5.45 A. M., firing rapidly. The rebels attempted to respond, but were driven away from their guns, after we had fired a little less than an hour. The steamers were also employed, throwing in an effective fire with their rifle-guns. The practice was kept up during the day with good effect, many of the
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., chapter 48 (search)
n, and the disease being epidemic on shore, no medical aid could be obtained. Maffitt himself was at last taken down, and never perhaps in the history of yellow fever was there a ship in a worse condition than this. But it is an ill-wind that blows nobody good, and thle peaceful merchantmen could now follow their way unmolested by the Florida; and thus many of them escaped burning or scuttling by this misadventure of the Confederate cruiser — which some, no doubt, attributed to an act of Providence, but which was simply owing to the fact that the sailors had been indulging too freely at Nassau, and there laid in the germs of fever, which were afterwards developed by their work in the hot sun. There was a dreadful condition of affairs on board the Florida, but amidst it all Maffitt never lost his self-possession until he became unconscious and was given up for dead. While in this apparently hopeless condition his young son died, followed shortly afterwards by the chief engineer, a