Maffit, and Brooke, were men of extraordinary professional qualities; but, except in its officers, the Confederate Government had nothing in the shape of a navy. It had not a single ship of war. It had no abundant fleet of merchant vessels in its ports from which to draw resources. It had no seamen, for its people were not given to seafaring pursuits. Its only ship-yards were Norfolk and Pensacola. Norfolk, with its immense supplies of ordnance and equipments, was indeed invaluable; but, though the 300 new Dahlgren guns captured in the yard were a permanent acquisition, the yard itself was lost when the war was one-fourth over. The South was without any large force of skilled mechanics; and such as it had were early summoned to the army. There were only three rolling mills in the country, two of which were in Tennessee; (and the third, at Atlanta, was unfitted for heavy work). There were hardly any machine shops that were prepared to supply the best kind of workmanship; and in the beginning, the only foundry capable of casting heavy guns, was the Tredegar Iron Works, at Richmond, which, under the direction of Commander Brooke, was employed to its fullest capacity. Worst of all, there were no raw materials, except the timber that was standing in the forests. The cost of iron was enormous, and, toward the end of the war, it was hardly to be had at any price. Under these circumstances, no general plan of naval policy, on a large scale, could be carried out; and the conflict on the Southern side became a species of partisan, desultory warfare.
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