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[140] to the modern fighting ship. According to reports, the New Ironsides was more constantly engaged in action than any other vessel during the Civil War. She was struck by more shot of all weights than any ship that ever floated, yet she suffered little or no damage. Off Charleston, in the engagement with Sullivan's Island, where by constant practice the Confederate gunners had become experts, the great ironclad was hit seventy times within three hours. She survived also the attack of a torpedo that was exploded against her side. During the war she threw in the neighborhood of five thousand 11-inch projectiles. She was later destroyed by fire in the navy-yard at Philadelphia.

As the Monitor was being hastened to completion, the Merrimac, renamed the Virginia, under the direction of the competent and able designers, William P. Williamson, John L. Porter, and John M. Brooke, was being rushed to completion. To these Southern officers, to all the workmen, engineers, and to the men who fought her, belongs a credit that cannot be overestimated. They faced difficulties of which the shipbuilders of the North knew nothing. A wooden frigate burned to the water's edge and sunk, had to be raised, practically rebuilt inside, strengthened in every way, armored with such iron as could be obtained, a slanting deck-house constructed, and an iron bow, or beak, added for purposes of ramming.

The use of the ram was also a revival of an ancient mode of attack. As early as the days of the Greek and Roman triremes and biremes, when hundreds of slaves chained to the oars propelled the vessels through the water at a rapid rate, the ram was in usage. When the days of war vessels propelled by slave-power ended, the ram disappeared. It was not used again until the Civil War and its naval history is not complete without frequent reference to the successful work of this revived but ancient principle. As a Federal naval authority has written about the Merrimac: “Indeed, it may not be too much to assert that it was her example, rather than that of the ”

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