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‘ [43] whom he approved of, ever congratulated Rear-Admiral Davis and his officers for their brilliant success, it nowhere appears in the secretary's report for 1862. But history will eventually give the credit to the brave men who served their country faithfully at the time of her greatest need.’1

The plan of the light-draught Mississippi gunboats, called ‘tin-clads,’ from their armor, originated with Davis, and proved a device of great value.2 They were stern-wheel steamers, carrying iron plating from one-half to three-quarters inch thick, covering them to a height of eleven feet, making them proof against musketry and light field artillery; they could carry, if needful, two hundred men, and had six or eight twenty-four-pound brass howitzers; their draught ranged from eighteen inches to three feet, and they were of the greatest use for raids and skirmishing, as subsidiary to larger vessels.

In the naval battle of March 8, 1862, in which for the first and last time the comparative strength of wooden and iron ships was tested, a prominent and most honorable, though most disastrous, part was taken by Massachusetts officers. The Roanoke, a fifty-gun steamer, whose machinery was, however, in a disabled condition, was commanded by Capt. John Marston, a Massachusetts man, and the Cumberland, a sloop of war of twenty-four guns, in the absence of the captain by Lieut. George W. Morris, aided by Lieut. (now admiral) Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., both from this State, as were Acting Masters Randall and Kennison. The Cumberland, having been both rammed and fired into, sank with her flag still flying, carrying down with her more than one hundred men;3 and her guns were fired to the last, the final shot, discharged by Lieutenant Morris, fatally wounding the Confederate Commander, Captain Buchanan. The final triumph of the Monitor need not be described.

In September, 1862, Acting Master Crocker, a Massachusetts officer, was sent up the Sabine River to destroy a railroad bridge, which he did without injury.4

Commander Downes, a Massachusetts officer, commanded the monitor Nahant in the attack on Fort McAllister, March 3, 1863, and in the attack on Charleston, April 7; the Nahant being in this last attack ‘seriously ’

1 Porter's Naval History of the Civil War, p. 173.

2 Mahan's The Gulf and Inland Waters (The Navy in the Civil War), pp. 51, 110.

3 Boynton's History of the U. S. Navy, I, 366.

4 Soley, p. 143.

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