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Soon after this raid, the New Ironsides, then at anchor in Port Royal, a vessel built under far more favorable auspices than could obtain within the limits of the Confederacy, was added to the blockading force off Charleston. We may suppose, without derogation to the enemy, that she exercised a powerful restraining influence on the Confederate rams within that port.

The enemy, as we have seen, having felt the power of guns afloat where many of them could be brought to bear, no longer contested inferior points of defence, and fully aware of an intended attack on Charleston and under an apprehension of attack on Savannah, turned his attention to strengthening the defences of those cities by every means within his power. He looked with apprehension, as the people of the North looked with hope and expectation, upon the arrival of the monitor class of vessels that were completed and of others under construction, intended particularly for the attack on Charleston. In the early part of January several of them were already south of Cape Hatteras, where the Monitor, the original vessel of that type, foundered at sea, and at the same time the Montauk and the Passaic were in great peril.

Several of these vessels which arrived out in advance of others of their class intended for the attack on Charleston were sent by Rear-Admiral Dupont1 to the Great Ogeechee River.

The Rear-Admiral informed the Department on the 28th of January that he considered it desirable in every way to test the ironclads of the Monitor type, and to avail himself of their usefulness until the intended number might arrive, he had sent the Montauk, Commander John L. Worden, to Ossabaw,

1 The title of flag-officer had been changed by law to that of Rear-Admiral since the operations of the preceding year.

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