said to me: ‘You had better let me do that.
I am more familiar than you are with that sort of work.’
Accepting his offer I went with Williamson
to the Tredegar Works, where we learned that no suitable engines could be had. Williamson
then said that the engines of the Merrimac
could, he thought, be put in working condition, but that the vessel would necessarily have as great a draught as the Merrimac
, and that it would be useless to build a new hull, as the lower part of the old one had not been destroyed, and the plan could be applied to her. In view of these facts, Constructor Porter
, who also knew what the condition of the vessel was, agreed with us that the plan could be carried out on her. We all thought the draught too great, but we could not do better.
We reported verbally to the Secretary
; the subject was discussed, and his opinion coincided with ours.
He then, in order that a record might be preserved, directed us to make a written report in accordance with the results of the discussion.
As the plan proposed by me had been adopted, I thought it but proper that I should leave the wording of the report to Messrs. Williamson
I noticed that in designating the plan to be adopted the expression used was ‘the plan submitted for the approval of the Department.’
plan was not stated.
I now pass to a later period.
The action in Hampton Roads
had been fought.
Among the gallant officers of the Virginia
, whose names are now historic, was Lieutenant Robt. D. Minor
—a very pink of honor.
He had been associated with me in ordnance work, and was fully informed as to the facts in this matter.
From him I received the following letter.
It has never been published and will, I think, be read with interest: