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There was further correspondence between the Navy Department and the admiral of an acrimonious character, which neither the limits nor the objects of this volume could take in. A careful consideration of what is herein presented, will show, however, that certain charges of disobedience of orders were simply technical, namely: the ironclads should have been within Charleston bar, as per order, when they were undergoing repairs from injuries received, and were having base-rings put around their turrets, and pilot-houses increased in thickness, by order of the Department, which could not have been done off Charleston; also, a failure to cooperate with General Gillmore as ordered, when Gillmore was not ready to operate until some days after Dahlgren took command.

Admiral Dahlgren, when in an inferior grade, had with great difficulty introduced into the naval service an improved armament of shell guns and boat howitzers, in relation to which Rear-Admiral Dupont, immediately after the battle of Port Royal, wrote him as follows:

But besides this, I am impelled by a feeling of duty to address you. The large ordnance of this squadron has sprung from your inventive genius, and thankful am I, for one, for those long years of study, scientific research, and deductions, which so materially aided in arming the American navy as I believe no other navy is armed. . . . I only now wish you could have seen the practice from this ship during the engagement, not alone for its precision and destructive results, but for the rapidity with which such large guns could be loaded with their heavy shell.

I never get transporte, as the French term it, about such things, but I will repeat, to the day of my death, that the second assault of this ship upon the forts, for rapidity, continuity, and precision of fire, has never been surpassed in naval warfare.1

1 Although irrelevant, the above is introduced as information valuable in itself, and pertinent to show personal relations and official appreciation.

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Q. A. Gillmore (2)
Dahlgren (2)
Samuel Francis Dupont (1)
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