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[299]

The Confederate ram “Stonewall” in the Port Royal dry-dock.

Here are two striking views in the Port Royal dry-dock of the Confederate ram “Stonewall.” When this powerful fighting-ship sailed from Copenhagen, Jan. 6, formidable antagonist during the war. In March, 1863, the Confederacy had negotiated a loan of £ 3,000,000, and being thus at last in possession of the necessary funds, Captain Bulloch and Mr. Slidell arranged with M. Arman, who was a member of the Corps-Legislatif and proprietor of a large shipyard at Bordeaux, for the construction of ironclad ships of war. Mr. Slidell had already received assurances from persons in the confidence of Napoleon III that the building of the ships in the French yards would not be interfered with, and that getting them to sea would be connived at by the Government. Owing to the indubitable proof laid before the Emperor by the Federal diplomats at Paris, he was compelled to revoke the guarantee that had been given to Slidell and Bulloch. A plan was arranged, however, by which M. Arman should sell the vessels to various European powers; and he disposed of the ironclad ram “Sphinx” to the Danish Government, then at war with Prussia. Delivery of the ship at Copenhagen was not made, however, till after the war had ceased, and no trouble was experienced by the Confederates in arranging for the purchase of the vessel. On January 24, 1865, she rendezvoused off Quiberon, on the French coast; the remainder of her officers, crew, and supplies were put aboard of her; the Confederate flag was hoisted over her, and she was christened the “Stonewall.” Already the vessel was discovered to have sprung a leak, and Captain Page ran into Ferrol, Spain. Here dock — yard facilities were at first granted, but were withdrawn at the protest of the American Minister. While Captain Page was repairing his vessel as best he could, the “Niagara” and the “Sacramento” appeared, and after some weeks the “Stonewall” offered battle in vain.

The Confederate ram “Stonewall

The Confederate ram “Stonewall


 

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