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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Navy of the United States (search)
nths after President Lincoln's administration came into power, there were forty-three armed vessels engaged in the blockade of the Southern ports, and in defence of the coast on the eastern side of the continent. These were divided into two squadrons, known respectively as the Atlantic and Gulf squadrons. The former, under the command of flag-officer Silas H. Stringham (q. v.), consisted of twenty-two vessels and an aggregate of 296 guns and 3,300 men; the latter, commanded by Flag-Officer William Mervine, consisted of twenty-one vessels, with an aggregate of 282 guns and 3,500 men. Before the close of 1861, the Secretary purchased and put into commission no less than 137 vessels, and had contracted for the building of a large number of steamships of a substantial class, suitable for performing continuous duty off the coasts in all weathers. The Secretary recommended the appointment of a competent board to inquire into and report on the subject of iron-clad vessels. Calls for rec