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The “Teaser's” 32-Pounder: the guns of the saucy “Teaser,” one of the first Confederate gunboats Before the completion of the ironclad “Virginia,” ( “Merrimac,” )the Confederate navy had but five small steamers in the James River to oppose eight of the largest Federal vessels at Hampton Roads. The “Teaser” was a river-tug mounting but one gun at the time, yet in the engagement in which the “Virginia” first appeared the “Teaser,” under command of Lieutenant W. A. Webb, C. S. N., boldly used her one gun against the Federal shore battery of sixty. In the upper picture this gun appears, a 12-pounder rifle. Its exposed position is evidence of the courage that was necessary to man it. In the lower picture is seen the 32-pounder that was added to the “Teaser's” armament later. With only these two guns she encountered both the “Maratanza” and the “Monitor,” near Haxall's, on the James River, July 4, 1862, and replied valiantly to their fire. The third of the Federal shots, however, pierced her boiler, and her crew were forced to desert her. Many of the vessels procured by the Confederates to piece out its navy were no better built and some not so heavily armed as the “Teaser,” yet in river and harbor, in sound and at sea, with few guns they were fought as valiantly as vessels were ever fought against heavy odds.

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