Chief-Engineer Alban C. Stimers
was sent by the Department to look after and correct any deficiencies in the monitors which might be developed in service, and for this purpose he had under his control a number of skilled workers in iron.
He was either the designer of the raft before described, secured to the bow of the Weehawken
, or was closely connected with its construction.
He witnessed the attack of the 7th of April from beyond the bar, and had recommended the employment of two rafts that he had brought down, one of which was attached to the bow of the Weehawken
Each raft was designed to carry on its forward end a submerged torpedo to destroy by explosion any obstruction met with; the torpedo Captain Rodgers
declined to carry, as he feared blowing up some of the other monitors against which he might run by accident
, however, states that his explanation as to the safety of the vessels carrying the torpedo was not satisfactory, and for that reason they had rejected ‘this powerful weapon, for which we have every reason to suppose the enemy was entirely unprepared, in an attack which could have few hopes of success without it.’
He was agreeably disappointed the following morning, upon his inspection of the monitors, to find ‘that there were no clear passages through the decks, and no penetrations through the sides of the vessels or the pilot-houses.’
He then institutes a comparison between the vulnerability, as he supposes, of the plates of 4 1/2 inches in thickness of the New Ironsides and the five 1-inch plates applied to the sides of the monitors.
He says: ‘To the casual observer, therefore, the solid plates will have the appearance of having with-stood the bombardment better than the laminated, but the unprejudiced engineer will perceive the latter disposition of the metal is much the more effective in attaining the desired end.’
The falsity of this presented observation of the effect