Suggestions about gunboats.
Staunton, Va., March 24
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
I have been much pleased to see an expression of feeling (nearly simultaneous in different places) in favor of contributions by the ladies to raise money to build a gunboat, as their offering to the Confederate
From a notice in the Whig,
of saturday, I learn that the in ive was taken last week, so far as our town is concerned, and the Dispatch,
of the same date, invites the "Ladies
" to hold a meeting for the purpose of organizing an "association to build gunboats for the defence of the city" I wish to make a suggestion or two as to the plan for putting this very desirable enterprise under way — and first, may I be pardoned for offering an objection to the form
of the notice in the Dispatch.
It specifies "an association for building gunboats to defend the city." Now it seems to be quite out of place to propose building gunboats for any particular locality.
Our Government would probably not be willing to accept a boat designated for special service, and not as entirely at their disposal, to send to any point whatever, as any other boat in our little navy.
I do not conceive that the Confederacy
is too poor to build boats to defend Richmond
, or any other points, as fast as materials and artisans can be found for the work; and in giving our money we only mean to express our sympathy with the Southern
cause, and a desire to aid the Government
according to our feeble ability.
With these views, I would suggest that the gunboat which it is proposed that the "ladies of Virginia
" shall build, shall be an offering separate and apart from the work undertaken by the "ladies of Richmond
." I would further suggest that the editors of the several Richmond papers open a book to receive contributions "from the ladies of Virginia
to build a gunboat to be called the Old Dominion," which I think preferable to the name "Virginia
" as we have so distinguished a vessel bearing that name.
Each lady who chooses to contribute can send her money, with her name, to such paper as she may prefer, the receipts to be acknowledged weekly; thus keeping the cause before the public.
An occasional notice in the papers of the progress made in raising the money would be very encouraging, and many might like to know what sum would probably be necessary to build a first-rate gunboat.
One other remark before I close: I have no doubt the ladies can raise this money without any extraordinary sacrifices or self-denial; but if not, many of us (and I hope every one) will give her jewelry and silver plate rather than have the enterprise fall.