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[100] the pilot-house being insufficient to hold more persons than were required by the Admiral, he had taken personal charge of the battery of the Ironsides. By sounding it was found that the vessel at times was only one foot clear of the bottom. A shot striking the forward facing of a port shutter knocked it off. The damage done to the ship from the fire of the enemy was not material, and the opinion was expressed that at the distance of 1,000 yards the armor plating would prove invulnerable to such shot as were fired at the vessel. He expressed great admiration of the conduct of officers and men, and would fall short of his duty if he omitted to present to especial notice Lieutenant-Commander George E. Belknap, the executive officer. It is proper to note the fact that without exception the commanding officers of all of the vessels engaged spoke in the highest terms of those under their command. The names, which may be seen in the official reports, are omitted for lack of space and fear of taxing the patience of the reader.

Rear-Admiral Dupont, in his several reports to the Department, states that he moved in line of battle as before given, in the New Ironsides, with seven ironclad monitors and the iron-plated vessel Keokuk, and attacked Fort Sumter, intending to pass it and commence action on the northwest face, in accordance with his order of battle. The heavy fire received from Sumter and Moultrie and the nature of the obstructions compelled the attack from outside, which was fierce and obstinate, and the gallantry of the officers and men was conspicuous.

The endeavors of the Admiral in the pilot-house of the New Ironsides to bring the vessel into such close action as he desired were not successful; in a rapid current and narrow channel the vessel became partly unmanageable, and was twice anchored to prevent grounding, and once on account

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Keokuk, Iowa (Iowa, United States) (1)
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Samuel Francis Dupont (1)
George E. Belknap (1)
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