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Browsing named entities in Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 19. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones).

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rd it would so have appeared on the face of the report. Constructor Porter adopted the word board in his reply to Justice, and thereafter used it as the best suited to his purpose. A reply elicited by this article appeared in the Examiner of April 3d: The Virginia. Gosport Navy-yard, March 29, 1862. To the Editor of the Examiner: Having seen an article in the Richmond Enquirer, and one also in the Whig, claiming the plan of the iron-clad ship Virginia for Lieutenant John M. Brooke, of erned, for which Engineer Williamson as alone responsible. I hope these plain statements of facts will satisfy the people of this government as to who is entitled to the plan of the Virginia. John L. Porter, C. S. N. Consructor. On the 3d of April, I wrote a private letter to Mr. Porter which, so far as I know, has never been published. [Copy.] Richmond, April 3, 1862. dear Sir: I have observed, with surprise and regret, certain articles in the newspapers relating to the Virgi
en her many shots before she hauled down the Stars and Stripes and soon afterwards hoisted the while flag at her peak. Parker and Alexander, in the Beaufort and Raleigh, were ordered to go to her, send her men on shore, bring the officers on board, and burn the ship; but on going alongside, Pendergrast (Austin) surrendered the ship to Parker, and told him that he had too many wounded to burn the ship. Billy told him to have the wounded removed at once; and while the Raleigh and Beaufort were at this humane work the Yankees on shore opened fire on them, killing some of their own men, among them a lieutenant. Parker and Alexander then left her with some twenty or thirty prisoners, the fire from shore being too hot; and as Alexander bacred at from the ports of the Congress, though she had surrendered to us. A dastardly, cowardly act! Buchanan not getting Parker's report, and the frigate not being burnt, he accepted my volunteered services to burn her; and, taking eight men and our
esire to secure by letters patent, consists in so constructing the hull of a vessel that her bow and stern shall each extend under water beyond the forward and after ends of the shield C, which protects the crew and guns, sufficiently to give the sharpness necessary to the attainment of high speed and the buoyancy to support the weight of iron applied without an inconvenient increase of draft. John M. Brooke, Lieutenant C S. Navy. Witness: George Minor, Commander, C S. N. Charles J. Ost. Zzz Mr. Porter continues: But his patent was not contested by the builder of the Merrimac, because no one would have thought of building such a vessel with submerged ends except as a matter of necessity, for it left the crew no space to exercise. One might suppose that Constructor Porter, as deeply concerned as he was in maintaining his claim, would have welcomed the opportunity to establish it. And no other vessel was built that way by the Confederate States. Subsequent vessels
lty arrangement of the wheel-ropes was brought to my notice by Lieutenant Jones. A similar arrangement was the immediate cause of the loss of the iron-clad Tennessee. On the 4th of April Secretary Mallory's report to the House of Representatives appeared in the Examiner. Confederate States Navy Department, Richmond, March 29, 1862. Hon. Thomas S. Bocock, Speaker of the House of Representatives: Sir: In compliance with the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives on the 18th instant, That the Secretary of the Navy be requested to make a report to this House of the plan and construction of the Virginia, so far as the same can be properly communicated, of the reasons for applying the plan to the Merrimac, and also what persons have rendered especial aid in designing and building the ship, I have the honor to reply that on the 10th day of June, 1861, Lieutenant John M. Brooke. Confederates States Navy, was directed to aid the Department in designing an iron clad war v
August 10th, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
structor and engineer, Messrs. Porter and Williamson. As time is of the first importance in the matter, you will see that the work progresses without delay to completion [italics Porter's]. S. R. Mallory, Secretary Confederate States Navy. Lieutenant Brooke is not even hinted at in this letter. After the ship had been in progress for six weeks the Secretary wrote the following letter to Flag-officer Forrest on the subject: [Copy.] Confederate States Navy Department, Richmond, August 10, 1861. Flag-officer French Forrest, Commanding Navy Yard, Gosport, Va. Sir: The great importance of the service expected from the Merrimac, and the urgent necessity of her speedy completion, induce me to call upon you to push forward the work with the utmost dispatch. Chief Engineer Williamson and Constructor Porter, severally in charge of the two branches of this great work and for which they will be held specially responsible, will receive, therefore, every possible facility at the expe
June, 1861 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
ever made, will be found in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. I, p. 715; and on the following page a similar note by Constructor John L. Porter as to his relations. To these notes the attention of the reader is invited. But as the book is not always accessible, and such versions of occurrences of the war as this of Mr. Porter sometimes find their way into crude histories of the day, I deem it proper to present the subject from another point of view, with evidence.. Early in June, 1861, Mr. Mallory, Secretary of the Confederate States Navy, asked me to design an iron-clad. The first idea presenting itself was a shield of timber two feet thick, plated with three inches of iron, inclined to the horizontal plane at the least angle that would permit working the guns. This shield to be supported by a hull of equal length. But it was apparent, on inspection, that to support the massive shield the ends of the vessel would be so full and bluff as to prevent the attainment o
April, 1876 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
nds became apparent. The means at command in the Confederacy were not adequate to the complete development of the principle in sea-going ships. Plates of sufficient thickness to afford protection when placed vertically could not be made; but in 1874 it was applied in England. The following description of the Inflexible is from Chief-Engineer J. W. King's War Ships and Navies of the World. The Inflexible, which was commenced at Portsmouth dock-yard in February, 1874, and launched April, 1876, is a twin-screw, double-turret ship, with a central armored citadel. She was designed by Mr. Barnaby, the Director of Naval Construction at the Admiralty, and at a meeting of the Institution of Naval Architects in London, he describes the vessel in the following language: Imagine a floating castle 110 feet long and 75 feet wide, rising 10 feet out of water, and having above that again two round turrets planted diagonally at its opposite corners. Imagine this castle and its turret
March 11th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
tment. Which plan was not stated. I now pass to a later period. The action in Hampton Roads had been fought. Among the gallant officers of the Virginia, whose names are now historic, was Lieutenant Robt. D. Minor—a very pink of honor. He had been associated with me in ordnance work, and was fully informed as to the facts in this matter. From him I received the following letter. It has never been published and will, I think, be read with interest: Naval hospital, Norfolk, Va., March 11, 1862. Many thanks, my dear Brooke, for your very kind letter, which reached me by to day's mail. You richly deserve the gratitude and thanks of the Confederacy for the plan of the now celebrated Virginia, and I only wish that you could have been with us to have witnessed the successful operations of this new engine of naval warfare, fostered by your care and watched over by your inventive mind. It was a great victory, though the odds were nearly seven to one against us in guns and in
March 18th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
making them, but all have turned out right, and thanks are due to a kind Providence whose blessings on my efforts I have many times invoked. I must say I was astonished at the success of the Virginia. She destroyed the Cumberland in fifteen minutes, and in thirty more the Congress was captured. The Minnesota would have shared the same fate, but she got aground, and the Virginia could not get at her. In the Whig of March 22, appeared the following letter: The Virginia. Richmond, March 18, 1862. To the Editor of the Whig: As the brilliant success of the Virginia has attracted the attention of all the country, and is destined to cast much glory on our infant navy, it may be of general interest to publish some account of the origin of this magnificent ship. On the 23d of June a board consisting of W. P. Williamson, chief engineer; John M. Brooke, lieutenant; and John L. Porter, naval constructor; met in Richmond by order of the Secretary of the Navy to determine a plan for
March 5th, 1862 AD (search for this): chapter 1.1
th proposed. This was a serious matter, as the additional weights required to bring her down involved an otherwise unnecessary increase of draft. Constructor Porter says in his Century note: Her deck ends were two feet below water and not awash, and the ship was as strong and well protected at the centre line as anywhere else, as her knuckle was two feet below her water-line, and was then clamped. The following letters state the facts: [extract.] Virginia, Norfolk yard, March 5, 1862. dear Brooke: * * * I hope we will get off on Thursday night. The ship will be too light, or, I should say, she is not sufficiently protected below the water. Our draft will be a foot less than was first intended, yet I was this morning ordered not to put any more ballast in-fear of the bottom. The eaves of the roof will not be more than six inches immersed, which in smooth water would not be enough; a slight ripple would leave it bare except the one-inch iron that extends some feet
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