James Barnes, author of David G. Farragut, Naval Actions of 1812, Yank ee Ships and Yankee Sailors, Commodore Bainbridge , The Blockaders, and other naval and historical works,
The Photographic History of The Civil War: in ten volumes, Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, Volume 6: The Navy.
Francis Trevelyan Miller, Ed.
These pictures are remarkable as being among the scant remaining photographic evidence of the efforts made by the Confederacy to put a navy into actual existence.
The “Albemarle” was built at the suggestion of two men whose experience had been limited to the construction of flat-boats.
Under the supervision of Commander James W. Cooke, C. S. N., the vessel was completed; and on April 18, 1864, she started down the river, with the forges and workmen still aboard of her, completing her armor.
Next day she sank the “Southfield.”
In the picture she is in Federal hands, having been raised after Cushing's famous exploit had put her hors du combat. The “Lady Davis,” formerly a tug, was purchased in Baltimore and was the first war-vessel to be put afloat by the State of South Carolina, March 13, 1861.
She made several captures of Federal vessels around Charleston and was in Tattnall's little fleet on the sounds.
In the picture she is in sharp and significant contrast with the huge sailing frigate whose wooden sides and many guns already belong to a past era. The efforts that brought such vessels as the “Albemarle” and the “Lady Davis” into the war marked the beginning of a new American navy.
In these pictures both of these formidable vessels have been stripped.
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