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[66] of later and improved construction. The ends of the shield were rounded.

The armor was four inches thick. It was fastened to its wooden backing by one and three-eighths inch bolts, countersunk and secured by iron nuts and washers. The plates were eight inches wide. Those first made were one inch thick, which was as thick as we could then punch cold iron. We succeeded soon in punching two inches, and the remaining plates, more than two-thirds, were two inches thick. They were rolled and punched at the Tredegar Works, Richmond. The outside course was up and down, the next longitudinal. Joints were broken where there were more than two courses.

The hull, extending two feet below the roof, was plated with one inch iron; it was intended that it should have had three inches.

The prow was of cast iron, wedge-shape, and weighed 1,500 pounds. It was about two feet under water, and projected two feet from the stem; it was not well fastened.

The rudder and propeller were unprotected.

The battery consisted of ten guns, four single-banded Brooke rifles and six nine-inch Dahlgren's shell guns. Two of the rifles, bow and stern pivots, were seven-inch, of 14,500 pounds; the other two were 6.4-inch (32 pounds calibre), of 9,000 pounds, one on each broadside. The nine-inch gun on each side nearest the furnaces was fitted for firing hot shot. A few nine-inch shot with extra windage were cast for hot shot. No other solid shot were on board during the fight.

The engines were the same the vessel had whilst in the United States Navy. They were radically defective, and had been condemned by the United States Government. Some changes had been made, notwithstanding which the engineers reported that they were unreliable. They performed very well during the fight, but afterwards failed several times, once whilst under fire.

There were many vexatious delays attending the fitting and equipment of the ship. Most of them arose from the want of skilled labor and lack of proper tools and appliances. Transporting the iron from Richmond also caused much delay: the railroads were taxed to supply the army.

The crew, 320 in number, were obtained with great difficulty. With few exceptions they were volunteers from the army; most of them were landsmen. Their deficiencies were as much as possible overcome by the zeal and intelligence of the officers; a list of them is appended. In the fight one of the nine-inch guns was manned by a detachment of the Norfolk United Artillery.

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John A. Dahlgren (2)
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