Second Assistant-Engineer Robert Weir, of the Richmond. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Report of survey on the rebel ram Tennessee.
flag-ship Hartford, Mobile Bay, August 6, 1864.gentlemen: You will please make a strict and careful survey on the rebel iron-clad steamer Tennessee, captured in the engagement of yesterday, describing her hull, armor, machinery, armament, ammunition, the injuries to the vessel by shot, and those received when struck by the Monongahela, Lackawanna, and Hartford. You will also state the repairs necessary to be made to put her again in serviceable condition, and the general internal arrangement of the vessel for light and ventilation, reporting to me in duplicate. Very respectfully,
U. S. Steam-sloop Richmond, inside of Mobile Bay, August 13, 1864.sir: In obedience to your order of the sixth instant, hereto appended, we have the honor respectfully to report that we have made a strict and careful survey of the iron-clad casemated steamer Tennessee, captured from the rebels in the engagement in this bay, on the morning of the fifth instant, by the fleet under your command, and submit as follows, namely: description of Tennessee's hull. The hull of the vessel appears to be exceedingly strongly built in every part, the material being oak and yellow pine, with iron fastenings. Length from stem to stern on deck, two hundred and nine feet. Greatest breadth of beam on deck, forty-eight feet. Mean average draught of water, about fourteen feet. The deck is covered fore and aft with wrought-iron plates two inches thick. The sides of the vessel are protected by an overhang, sponsoned, and covered with two layers of two inch wrought-iron. This overhang extends about six feet below the water-line. The sides of the vessel below the deck are believed to be eight feet thick, and the distance from the knuckle, or outside of the overhang on deck, to the base of the casemate on either side is ten feet. The vessel is provided with a strong beak or prow, which projects about two feet under water, formed by the continuation of the sponsoning, and covered with wrought-iron plates. casemate. The casemate of the vessel is very strongly built. It is seventy-eight feet, eight inches long, and twenty-eight feet nine inches wide inside — the sides of the vessel extending ten feet from it on either side, at the greatest breadth of beam. The framing consists of heavy yellow pine beams, thirteen inches thick, and placed close together vertically. Outside planking of yellow pine, five and a half inches thick, laid on horizontally, and outside of this horizontal planking there is a layer of oak timber four inches thick, bolted on vertically, upon which the iron plating is secured. The plating or armor of the casemate forward is six inches thick, consisting of three two-inch iron plates, of about six inches wide each, and abaft and on the sides five inches thick, consisting of two two-inch and one one-inch iron-plates of the same width. The yellow pine framing of the casemate is planked over inside with two and a half inch oak timber laid on diagonally. The whole of the armor plating is fastened with through-bolts, one and a quarter inch diameter, with washers and nuts inside. The casemate is covered on top with wrought-iron gratings, composed of bars two inches thick, and six inches wide, laid flat, and supported on wooden beams twelve inches square, and about five feet distant from each other. Some of these gratings are hinged and fitted to open from the inside. There are ten gun-ports in the casemate--two in broadside, on either side, three forward and three aft. The forward and after ports, to port and starboard, are placed so as to enable the forward and after pivot-guns to be used as broadside guns. The directly forward and after ports are on a line with the keel. The ports are elongated and made just wide enough for the entrance of the muzzle of the guns in training, and only high enough to allow a moderate elevation and depression of the gun. The wooden backing is cut away on each side of the ports inside of the casemate, to allow the guns to be trained about one point forward and aft. The gun-ports are covered with wrought-iron sliding plates or shutters five inches thick; those for the four broadside guns are fitted in slides. The sliding plates or shutters for the pivot-guns are pivoted on the edge, with one bolt that can be knocked out, detaching the shutter, if necessary, and are worked by a combination of racks and pinions. armament. The armament of the Tennessee consists of six rifled guns, called by the rebels Brooke's rifles. The two pivot-guns are seven and one eighth-inch bore, and the four broadside guns are six-inch bore. These guns are reinforced abaft by two wrought-iron bands, two inches thick respectively. Weight of projectiles ninety-five pounds and one hundred and ten pounds solid shot. The pivot-guns are fitted on wooden slides,