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[92] the vessel was launched, and called the Monitor. She went to sea March the 6th, in command of Lieutenant John L. Worden, United States Navy, with a crew of forty-three men and twelve officers, exclusive of Chief Engineer A. C. Stimers, inspector at New York, who went on board the vessel as a volunteer.

The Monitor had an iron hull with wooden deck beams and side projection; and was of the following named dimensions:

Extreme length 1720
Extreme breadth416
Depth of hold114
Draught of water106
Inside diameter of turret200
Height of turret90
Thickness of turret08
Thickness of side armor05
Thickness of deck plating01
Diameter of propeller09
Diameter of steam cylinders (2)036
Length of stroke22
Displacement, 1,255 tons.
Armament, two (2) 11-inch shell guns, each 15,668 pounds.

Such were the vessels which encountered each other in Hampton Roads on the 9th of March, 1862, before which time nothing like either of them had ever been set afloat upon any of the waters of the world. The report made by the Naval Committee to the first session of the Forty-seventh Congress embraces an extract from the report of the Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, which is here appended:

The attention of this Department was turned to the subject of ironclad vessels immediately after the commencement of hostilities, and the adoption of measures for the enlargement of the navy. It was a subject full of difficulty and doubt. Experiments upon a large scale of expense, both in England and France, if not resulting in absolute failure, had achieved but a limited and questionable success. Yet it was evident that a new and material element in maritime warfare was developing itself and demanded immediate attention. In this view I recommended to Congress, at its extra session, on the 4th of July, 1861, the whole subject, and asked authority to organize a commission for investigation. Thirty days after .this action on my part Congress conferred the authority requested, and appropriated $1,500,000 for the construction of one or more iron-clad vessels upon such models as should receive the approval of the Department. On the day after the law had been approved the commission was constituted,

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