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 instructed Commander Mitchell to make all proper exertions to have guns and carriages ready for both the ironclad vessels, the Mississippi and the Louisiana. Reports having reached him that the work on the latter vessel was not pushed with sufficient energy, on March 15th he authorized Commander Mitchell to consult with General Lovell, and, if the contractors were not doing everything practicable to complete her at the earliest moment, that he should take her out of their hands, and, with the aid of General Lovell, go on to complete her himself. On April 5, 1862, Secretary Mallory instructed Commander Sinclair, who had been assigned to the command of the Mississippi, to urge on by night and day the completion of the ship. In March, 1861, the Navy Department sent from Montgomery officers to New Orleans, with instructions to purchase steamers and fit them for war purposes. Officers were also sent to the North to purchase vessels suited to such uses, and in the ensuing May an agent was dispatched to Canada and another to Europe for like objects; in April, 1861, contracts were made with foundries at Richmond and New Orleans to make guns for the defense of New Orleans. On May 8, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy communicated at some length to the Committee on Naval Affairs of the Confederate Congress his views in favor of ironclad vessels, arguing as well for their efficiency as for the economy in building them, believing that one such vessel could successfully engage a fleet of the wooden vessels which constituted the enemy's navy. His further view was that we could not hope to build wooden fleets equal to those with which the enemy were supplied. The committee, if it should be deemed expedient to construct an ironclad ship, was urged to prompt action by the forcible declaration, ‘Not a moment should be lost.’ Commander George Minor, Confederate States Navy, Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, reported the number of guns sent by the Navy Department to New Orleans, between July 1, 1861, and the fall of the city, to have been one hundred ninety-seven, and that before July twentythree guns had been sent there from Norfolk, being a total of two hundred twenty guns, of which forty-five were of large caliber, supplied by the Navy Department for the defense of New Orleans. Very soon after the government was removed to Richmond, the Secretary of the Navy, with the aid of Commander Brooke, designed a plan for converting the sunken frigate Merrimac into an ironclad vessel. She became the famous Virginia, the brilliant career of which silenced all the criticisms which had been made upon the plan adopted. On May 20, 1861, the Secretary of the Navy instructed Captain Ingraham,
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