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[110] of shot on laminated plates as compared with their effect on a solid plate of equal thickness has been established uniformly, by very many target experiments, and afterward by the Ironsides herself.

In his report to the Department he adds: ‘In consideration of the vast importance to our country that the stronghold of rebellion should be reduced, I take the liberty to express to the Department my firm opinion that the obstructions can be readily passed with the means already provided, and our entire fleet of ironclads pass up successfully to the wharves of Charleston, and that the monitor vessels still retain sufficient enduring powers to enable them to pass all the forts and batteries which may be reasonably expected.’

The official history of Chief-Engineer Stimers in relation to monitors closes as follows: ‘Chief-Engineer Stimers is responsible for the detailed drawings of the [21] light-draught monitors, and for the calculations as to their displacement. It was expected that they would not draw over six and one-half feet of water, and be out of water amidships about fifteen inches. The contracts were made generally in the spring of 1863, and the vessels were to be furnished in the fall of that year. The Chimo, at Boston, was the first one finished. She was under the entire direction of Chief-Engineer Stimers. Instead of being fifteen inches out of water she was only three inches on an average, showing a miscalculation of one foot. The Department immediately removed Mr. Stimers from the position of general superintendent, and placed the question of what should be done to remedy the difficulties occasioned by his error in the hands of Rear-Admiral Gregory, Chief-Engineer Wood, and Captain Ericsson’ (letter of Assistant Secretary of the Navy, December 15, 1864, to Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, vol. 3, 1865).

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