The Navy Department.
The joint select committee of the two Houses of Congress raised to Investigate the administration of the Navy Department submitted a report before the adjournment of Congress.
In their report the committee state that they have inquired into everything relating to the materials and the operations of the Navy of the Confederate States
; the means and resources for building a navy; the efforts to purchase or build vessels and to obtain ordnance stores; the naval defences of the Mississippi river
, and especially of New Orleans, of the Cumberland, Tennessee
, and James rivers, and of the city of Norfolk
At the commencement of the war but seven steam war vessels had been built in the States now forming the Confederacy
since the war of 1812, and the engines of only two of these had been contracted for in these States.
All the labor or materials requisite to complete and equip a war vessel could not be commanded at any one point of the Confederacy
In Justification of the Secretary of the Navy
, the committee state that he has invited contracts for building gunboats wherever they could be soonest and best built and most advantageously employed, and that his contracts seem to have been judicious, and to have been properly enforced.
In relation to the destruction of the Mississippi
at New Orleans, the committee say the contractors--Messrs. Tift
--undertook her construction without pecuniary reward, and prosecuted the work on her with industry and dispatch, and that neither they nor the Secretary
are censurable for the incomplete ness of that vessel when the enemy reached New Orleans, or for her destruction.
A foot note states that some of the committee think that the Mississippi
was lost by want of energy and diligence of officers of the navy at New Orleans.
With reference to what the Department has accomplished since its organization, the Committee
state that it has created a powder mill, which supplies all the powder required by our navy; two engine boilers and machine shops and five ordnance workshops.
It has established eighteen yards for building war vessels, and a rope walk, making all cordage, from a rope yarn to a nine inch cable, and capable of turning out 8,000 per month.
|Of vessels not iron clad the Department has purchased and otherwise acquired and converted to war vessels||44|
|Has built and completed as war vessels||12|
|Has partially constructed and destroyed to save from the enemy||10|
|And has now under construction||9|
|Of iron clad vessels it has completed and has new in commission.||12|
|Has completed and destroyed, or lost by capture||4|
|Has in progress of construction, and in various stages of forwardness||20|
It has also one iron-clad floating battery, presented to the Confederate States
by the ladies of Georgia
, and one iron-clad ram, partially completed and turned over to the Confederacy
by the State of Alabama