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[87] which enabled her to perform such other service as was required during her continuance on the Southern coast.1

The Rear-Admiral thought it desirable to further test the mechanical appliances of the monitors in an attack on McAllister before entering on more important operations, and as well to give the officers and men the advantage of target practice with their new ordnance; he therefore ordered such vessels as were available to a renewed attack.

They were the Passaic, Captain Percival Drayton; the Patapsco, Commander Daniel Ammen; and the Nahant, Commander John Downes, aided by three mortar schooners throwing Xiii-inch shells.

Captain Drayton reported that on March 3d the bombardment had been maintained for eight hours by these vessels, the Passaic squarely in front of the fort, upon which seven guns were mounted, protected from an enfilading fire by high traverses. Owing to the slowness of the fire from the monitors, the men in the fort never exposed themselves, usually discharging their pieces while the vessels were loading, or just before the ports came into line. The row of piles and depth of water did not permit a nearer approach to the fort, which was found by spirit-level and necessary elevations to be twelve hundred yards, and seven-second fuzes were found necessary. Two of the guns of the fort were disabled during the engagement; immense craters were dug into the parapet and traverses, but still no injury was done that could not be readily repaired during the night. The three mortar schooners, at a distance of four thousand yards, kept up an ineffective firing daring the attack, and until the

1 The officer commanding on this occasion, now Rear-Admiral Worden, regards the destruction of the Nashville, under the attendant difficulties, with more professional pride than the engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac, which gave him a world-wide reputation.

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Fort McAllister (Georgia, United States) (1)
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