must possess speed. As the class of monitors improved in size and power they rated among the fastest steam vessels afloat. The Monadnock and the Miantonomoh, the final types, could reach the then wonderful speed of eleven knots, and they proved their seaworthy qualities by riding out gales off the capes, holding to their anchorage when many large vessels and transports had been forced to cut and run. Toward the end of the war, the various flag-officers who had had, in some cases, ironclads under their command made reports to the United States Navy Department after close observance of these vessels in action. Admiral Goldsborough wrote, in February, 1864, a report in which he says:
Every ironclad, as a matter of course, should be an unexceptionable ram, or, in other words, capable herself of being used as a projectile. She must be turned with every degree of quickness necessary. . . . The turret I regard as decidedly preferable (to broadside) and mainly for these reasons: it renders one gun of a class equivalent to at least two of the same disposed in opposite broadside ports, and this with a great reduction of crew. It admits of the use of much heavier guns. It does not necessarily involve a breadth of beam antagonistic to velocity. It affords a better protection to guns and men, and withal, it secures the fighting of guns longer in a sea-way.Further on the admiral speaks of the other departure from old types and traditions. He says:
The New Ironsides, I regard as a much more efficient type of ironclad than the monitors just discussed, because of her possessing decided advantages over them in the particulars of fitness for general purposes, seaworthiness, relative strength of bottom, or absolute capacity to endure vibration thereat, security against an antagonistic vessel. . . . Had she been planned for turrets, instead of to use guns at broadside ports, she would have been, I think, still more formidable; nor is she unexceptionable in other respects, and among them speed and turning-qualities.