‘Mr. Porter cut the ship down, submerged her ends, performed all the duties of constructor, and originated all the interior arrangements, by which space has been economized, and he has exhibited energy, ability, and ingenuity. Mr. Williamson thoroughly overhauled her engines, supplied deficiencies, repaired defects, and improved greatly the motive power of the vessel.’ Secretary Mallory further states that when Constructor Porter came to Richmond, as previously stated, about June 23d, ‘Constructor Porter brought and submitted the model of a flat-bottomed, light-draught propeller, casemated battery, with inclined iron sides and ends, which is deposited in the department. Mr. Porter and Lieutenant Brooke have adopted for their casemate a thickness of wood and iron and an angle of inclination nearly identical.’ It is to be presumed that, inasmuch as the Secretary notes this similarity between Brooke's plan and Porter's model, he would have noted further similarities if such existed, and particularly a similarity of bow and stern submerged and extending under water, which he regards as the distinctive and novel feature of the Merrimac—a feature specially covered by Lieutenant Brooke's claim and patent. We have here before us contemporaneous evidence—the best of its kind, and the best the subject brings before us. If, therefore, Secretary Mallory be a credible witness of good standing, his award in favor of Lieutenant John M. Brooke must stand until his testimony be successfully impeached and shown to be false. When Secretary Mallory's report to the Confederate House of Representatives was made public, Constructor Porter, in an open letter, contested his award and claimed solely for himself the honor of the plan and the building of the Merrimac. If he desired to have and to keep this honor, it seems to me that he should have vindicated his claim and contested the issue of the patent to Lieutenant John M. Brooke at the time when the most material witnesses to the fact were alive. In neglecting to do this, he has materially contributed to putting his claim out of court. Mr. Davis, in his Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, Lieutenant Catesby Ap. R. Jones, and Lieutenant John Taylor Wood (the two last officers of the Merrimac), all award the plan to Lieutenant John M. Brooke. In view of the testimony and the patent granted to Lieutenant Brooke by the Confederate Government it would be impossible to make a different award; and the death of Secretary Mallory and Mr. Williamson, the most important witnesses
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Reunion of Company D . First regiment Virginia Cavalry , C. S. A.
The question of rank.
The Medical history of the Confederate States Army and Navy
The determination of the number and condition of the surviving Confederate soldiers who were disabled by the wounds and diseases received in the Defence of the rights and Liberties of the Southern States .
Organization of a Medical relief Corps during the reunion of the United Confederate Veterans , at Chattanooga, Tennessee , July 2 , 3 , and 4 , 1890 .
From the valuable Roster of the Louisiana troops mustered into the Provisional Army Confederate States , prepared by Colonel Oscar Aroyo , Secretary of State .
Unveiling of the monument to the Richmond Howitzers
With the Oration of Leigh Robinson , of Washington, D. C.
Exercises at the Theatre .
History of the Home .
Senator Hill 's address.
Unveiling of the statue of General Ambrose Powell Hill at Richmond, Virginia , May 30 , 1892 .
March through the streets.
General Walker 's Oration.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.