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[115] into vessels capable of keeping the seas and making long voyages alone. Some of us have been in heavy gales in them, and, indeed, from the amount of water in them, have had grave apprehensions of their loss.

Possessing the advantage of a secure harbor and choosing their time of exit, these vessels can, in our opinion, greatly harass a blockading force, making it necessary for wooden vessels to withdraw to such distances from the entrance of the harbors, especially after night, as would make the blockade very ineffective against the entrance of steamers.

The average time required to load, point, and fire the Xv-inch gun does not vary much from seven minutes. It must be remembered that this controls the fire of the lighter piece, or if that be fired oftener, it retards further the slow firing of the heavier gun. We regard a small calibre with a larger proportional charge of powder as desirable, at least when used against brick or stone.

It is necessary to add that the opinion was expressed by the same officers that the monitors could not ride securely to their anchors within the bar off Charleston. This grew out of the fact that several of the vessels had dragged in very moderate weather and not strong tides within Edisto inlet. This opinion, however, was found erroneous; the force of a heavy sea was expended in a great measure on the bar, and the monitors continued within it off Charleston for some twenty months. Heavy moorings, with buoys attached, were put down for them, which ensured their safety so far as dragging was concerned.

Another fitment, however, was necessary to enable monitors to be habitable in that locality. This was the placement of high coamings around the hatchways, so as to allow the battle-plates to be left off, except when going into action, or

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