Report of Committee on Naval Affairs.
[FEBRUARY --, 1861.]
The Committee on Naval Affairs beg leave respectfully to report: That the committee, believing that in the present condition of our affairs, with the limited means at our command, and with no navy yard in our possession except that of Pensacola, which is commanded by the guns of Fort Pickens, any very extensive naval preparations in time to meet the dangers that threaten us are impracticable, have, for the present, limited their enquiry to such naval means as might serve as auxiliaries to forts and arsenals and cooperate with land forces in the defense of rivers and harbors.
The committee having no means of informing themselves on this subject (the executive departments whose appropriate duty it would be to furnish this information not being yet established), they summoned to their aid several gentlemen of reputation and experience, lately attached to the Navy of the United States, and another, formerly a distinguished officer of the Corps of Engineers, and requested them to prepare a report upon the subject. This report was promptly made, and the committee herewith append it.
The committee think that the suggestions therein contained are highly important and call for immediate action, but as the duty of carrying them into effect has since devolved upon the Executive, the committee will simply recommend that a copy of this report, and of the documents accompanying the same, be sent without delay to the President.
MONTGOMERY, ALA., February 21, 1861.
SIR: The undersigned committee, having had under consideration the several points connected with the military and naval defenses of the rivers and harbors of the Confederate States, has the honor to submit the following report:
1st, the defense of the Passes and approaches to the city of New Orleans from the sea.--The committee recommends that the existing forts on the river below New Orleans be put in the best possible condition, both as to armaments and garrisons; that the suggestions of Major Beauregard contained in a printed slip in the possession of the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, as to the employment of rafts in aid of the forts, be adopted and acted upon, and that discretionary power be given to that officer to remove at discretion any of the guns, carriages, or other material now at the lake forts and at the arsenal at Baton Rouge to the river forts, and that he be empowered to erect such temporary earthworks at suitable points on the river as, in his discretion, he may deem proper and necessary. The above defenses have reference to an enemy after he shall have passed the bars at the mouths of the river. To prevent his ingress over these bars, the committee is of opinion that a couple of staunch and strong tugboats be immediately purchased and fitted for the reception of as many heavy guns, each, as they will bear.
2d, the defense of Mobile.--With regard to this port, the committee is of opinion that if Fort Morgan be put in good condition and garrisoned, and an additional battery to consist of two or three heavy guns, be established upon Sand Island, its defense against ships of war will be complete. In addition to these defenses, a suitable steamer of light draft should be immediately purchased and equipped for the protection of the interior waters of the bay and sounds front the incursions of boat expeditions.
3d, Pensacola.--The committee adopts, with reference to this port, the reports heretofore made by Colonel Chase. These reports are in the possession of the Committee on Military Affairs.
4th, Savannah.--Fort Pulaski should be put in good condition and garrisoned, and in addition thereto one or more earth batteries should be erected on Tybee Island, to guard and defend the entrance to the river, and the engineer of the district should be given discretionary power to make such other constructions, and call into requisition such other appliances, as, in his judgment, may be demanded by contingencies.
5th, Charleston.--The main ship channel
into this port may be perfectly defended by Fort Moultrie and by
heavy batteries on Sullivans Island and Morris Island. For the protection
of the harbor and the interior waters, and to guard against surprise by
boat expeditions, one or two small steamers with light armament should
In the above brief report, prepared with much haste to meet the requirements of the naval committee, the undersigned have confined themselves to an examination of the necessary means for the immediate defense and protection of the principal assailable commercial points. With reference to the protection of the extensive seacoast of the Confederate States the undersigned have refrained from making any suggestion; this is a subject Which will require much deliberation and the command of considerable means.
WM. H. CHASE.
V. M. RANDOLPH.
D. N. INGRAHAM.
Hon. C. M. CONRAD,
Chairman Committee on Naval Affairs, Montgomery, Ala.
The printed slip below is the one referred to in the above report as having been written by Major Beauregard.
Our Military Defenses.
NEW ORLEANS, February 15, 1861.
To the Editors of the Daily Delta:
GENTLEMEN: As time presses, and it may soon become urgent to be prepared for the worst, permit me to make a few suggestions which may lead toward that end.
In the first place, we must look to our most vulnerable point, the Mississippi River; for one single steamer, with only two or three heavy guns, coming into the port of New Orleans would in a few hours destroy millions worth of property or lay the city under a forced contribution of millions of dollars.
It is an undeniable fact that in the present condition of Forts Jackson and St. Philip any steamer can pass them in broad daylight, and that even when in a proper condition for defense they could not prevent the passage of one or more steamers during a dark or stormy night without the assistance of a properly constructed raft or strong wire rope across the river between the two forts so as to arrest the course of said steamers, even only for half an hour, under the severe cross-fire of said works.
The first thing to be done, then, is to, commence the construction of (or prepare, at least, the materials for) said obstacles; then the guns of the "land fronts" of Fort Jackson ought to be mounted at once on the "river fronts"; the guns, chassis, and carriages at Baton Rouge, Forts Pike, Wood, Battery Bienvenue, etc., that are not required at present at those points ought to be sent at once to those two forts on the river, to be put in position as advantageously as possible on their river fronts; not overlooking, however, the flank guns of the other fronts. All said chassis and carriages ought to be tried forthwith by double charges of powder and shot. Ample supplies of ammunition ought to be sent there forthwith. The trees along the river, masking the fires of those two forts up and down the river, ought to be cut down at once, particularly those on the Fort Jackson side. In a few words, no expense ought to be spared to put these works in a most efficient state of defense, for $50,000 or $100,000 spent thus might a few weeks hence save millions of dollars to this State and the city of New Orleans.
A rough calculation shows me that the raft spoken of would cost about $40,000, and three wire cables probably $60,000. Either of these obstacles should be so arranged as to be opened or closed at will from the shore, for the passage of commercial vessels, etc. As soon as hostilities shall have commenced, one of those small tugboat propellers ought to be stationed at the Head of the Passes to give timely warning to the forts of the approach of any foreign steamers of war, by the firing of alarm guns and rockets.
Preparations and experiments ought to be made in the city to blow up with a galvanic battery any hostile vessels that might come to an anchor opposite to the city.
A few Paixhans guns or columbiads ought also to be put in temporary positions along the levee, to assist in the defense of the port. In fact, not a stone should be left unturned that might assist in accomplishing that object. We should be thoroughly prepared "for the ides of March."
[FEBRUARY 12, 1861.]
Resolved, That this Government takes under its charge the questions and difficulties now existing between several States of this Confederacy and the Government of the United States, relating to the occupation of forts, arsenals, navy yards, and other public establishments. And that the President of this Congress be directed to communicate this resolution to the governors of the States.
[Adopted Feb. 12, 1861.]
An act to establish the Navy Department.
FEBRUARY 20, 1861.
Be it enacted, etc., That an executive department be, and the same is hereby, established, to be called the Navy Department.
SECTION 2. Be it further enacted, That the chief officer of said department shall be called the "Secretary of the Navy," and shall, under the direction and control of the President, have charge of all matters and things connected with the Navy of the Confederacy, and shall perform all such duties appertaining to the Navy as shall, from time to time, be assigned to him [by] the President.
SECTION 4. Be it further enacted, That said Secretary shall be authorized to appoint a chief clerk and such other clerks as may be found necessary and be authorized by law.
An act for the reorganization of the Navy.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act, the Navy of the Confederacy shall consist of the following officers, whenever, in the opinion of the President, it becomes necessary to the public interests, viz:
20 first lieutenants,
65 second lieutenants,
20 lieutenants "for the war,"
20 masters "in line of promotion,"
20 masters "for the war,"
20 master's mates "for the war,"
50 acting midshipmen,
20 pursers or paymasters,
20 pursers or assistant paymasters,
30 first assistant surgeons,
30 second assistant surgeons,
12 chief engineers,
30 first assistant engineers,
30 second assistant engineers,
30 third assistant engineers,
And be it further enacted, That the different grades or ranks embracing that of admiral to lieutenant, inclusive, shall assimilate with, and be the same as those of corresponding rank in the Confederate Army, and that all promotions made for gallant and meritorious services shall have due regard to seniority of commission and standing on the register; but in all cases where sufficient proof is adduced of disability, either professionally, physically, mentally, or morally, of the senior officer, then it shall and may be lawful to promote the junior, and the President is hereby authorized to place such senior officer on the furlough list upon the half pay and rank of the grade and rank to which, if promoted under other circumstances, he would have been entitled.
SECTION 2. And be it further enacted, That for distinguished services in battle or otherwise the President be requested to cause suitable medals to be struck, or appropriate badges to be prepared and presented to such officers, which are to be worn on all public occasions, as the incentive to others to win the nation's gratitude by deeds of noble daring or distinguished merit.
SECTION 3. All officers on sea service will be allowed one ration per day; the same shall apply to all officers attached to receiving ships and vessels in commission.
SECTION 4. And be it further enacted, That all laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
Scale of rank in service.
The admiral, with the general.
Vice-admiral, with the lieutenant-general.
Rear-admiral, with the major-general.
Commodore, with the brigadier-general.
Captain, with the colonel.
Commander, with the lieutenant-colonel.
Lieutenant commanding, with the major.
Lieutenant, with the captain.
An act to amend an act entitled "An act recognizing the existence of war between the United States and the Confederate States, and concerning letters of marque, prizes and prize goods, approved May 6, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one."
SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That the tenth section of the above entitled act be so amended that in addition to the bounty therein mentioned the Government of the Confederate States will pay to the cruiser or cruisers of any private armed vessel commissioned under said act, twenty per centum on the value of each and every vessel of war belonging to the enemy that may be sunk or destroyed by such private armed vessel or vessels, the value of the armament to be included in the estimate. The valuation to be made by a board of naval officers appointed, and their award to be approved by the President, and the amount found to be due to be payable in eight per cent bonds of the Confederate States.
SEC. 2. That if any person who may have invented or may hereafter invent any new kind of armed vessel, or floating battery, or defense, shall deposit a plan of the same, accompanied by suitable explanations or specifications, in the Navy Department, together with an affidavit sitting forth that he is the inventor thereof, such deposit and affidavit (unless the facts set forth therein shall be disproved) shall entitle such inventor or his assigns to the sole and exclusive enjoyment of the rights and privileges conferred by this act, reserving, however, to the Government, in all cases, the right of using such invention.
Approved, May 21, 1861.
CONFEDERATE STATES, NAVY DEPARTMENT,
Montgomery, May 9, 1861.
SIR: Upon the receipt of this order you will proceed to England for the purpose of purchasing or having built, as your judgment may dictate, six steam propellers.
Although these vessels are required immediately, and the great importance of purchasing rather than encountering the delay of constructing them is apparent, it is not less important that they should possess the essential qualities desired. It may therefore be found necessary to construct them.
Should you determine upon this course, it will be necessary to adopt measures not only to secure the ends desired, and the execution of your contracts in good faith, but which will shield us from the errors as well as the undue exactions of builders and constructors. It is not necessary that this Government should be recognized in the transaction, and it will be expedient for you to make your contracts through the intervention or some well known and established English commercial house which has the confidence of the commissioners from these States to England.
You will present yourself to these gentlemen as early as practicable, counsel with them as to your objects, and seek their cooperation so far as they may feel at liberty to extend it. Their advice will enable you to select agents upon whose good feeling and faith toward our country as well as upon whose integrity and judgment you must to a certain extent depend.
You will endeavor by your contracts to provide as one of the conditions of payment for the delivery of the vessels under the British flag at one of our Southern ports, and, secondly, that the bonds of the Confederacy be taken in whole or in part payment.
The class of vessels desired for immediate use is that which offers the greatest chances of success against the enemy's commerce, and in their selection the department is unwilling to limit your judgment. But as side-wheel steamers can not be made general cruisers, and as from the enemy's force before our forts, our ships must be enabled to keep the sea, and to make extended cruises, propellers fast under both steam and canvas suggest themselves to us with special favor.
Large ships are unnecessary for this service; our policy demands that they shall be no larger than may be sufficient to combine the requisite speed and power, a battery of one or two heavy pivot guns and two or more broadside guns, being sufficient against commerce. By getting small ships we can afford a greater number, an important consideration. The character of the coasts and harbors indicate attention to the draft of water of our vessels. Speed in a propeller and the protection of her machinery can not, of course, be obtained upon a very light draft, but they should draw as little water as may be compatible with their efficiency otherwise.
At least one Armstrong breech-loading rifled gun, with pivot carriage, or some other gun of equal merit, should be provided for each vessel, the caliber and weight of which you will determine.
The selection of the best gun involves careful inquiry. A gentleman, Mr. Huse, is now in Europe upon public business, whom you may consult with advantage upon this point, as he is charged with the purchase of ordnance for this department. Our commissioners will make you acquainted with him. One hundred rounds of prepared ammunition, both shot and shell, must accompany each gun, and you will ascertain the method of preparing it.
In addition to the guns you will also purchase
1,000 navy pistols, revolvers, with 100,000 rounds of fixed ammunition
and 500,000 percussion caps. One thousand navy carbines, with 100,000 rounds
of fixed ammunition, and 500,000 percussion caps. The proper supply of
appendages (bullets, molds, wipers, etc.), and also spare parts for both
pistols and carbines must be provided, and also 1,000 navy cutlasses.
A supply of the ordinary marine fireworks for each vessel must also be obtained, and 10,000 pounds of cannon and 2,000 pounds of musket powder.
The following articles of clothing you will also purchase:
For marines.--Two thousand pairs of pants, 2,000 jackets, 1,000 overcoats and watch coats, 1,000 pairs of shoes, brogans, 2,000 flannel shirts, 2,000 canton flannel drawers, 2,000 pairs woolen socks, 1,000 blankets, 1,000 fatigue caps, 1,000 shirts (linen and cotton). (See extracts at end for description of marine clothing.)
For seamen.--Two thousand pairs pants, cloth or cassinette, 2,000 jumpers, 1,000 round jackets, 2,000 pairs duck pants, 2,000 blue flannel overshirts. 2,000 blue flannel undershirts, 2,000 blue flannel drawers, 2,000 pairs of shoes, 3,000 pairs of socks (woolen), 2,000 blankets. 2,000 blue cloth caps, 1,000 pea jackets, 2,000 barnesley shirting frocks, 2,000 black silk handkerchiefs, 1,000 yards of bunting divided into red, white, and blue. (To be similar to the clothing use, I in the British navy without any designating marks.)
It may be necessary and advisable to place all the arms and munitions on board of the swiftest vessel, and to embark in her yourself. The best manner of entering the Southern ports is necessarily left to your judgment. Should the vessels under the British flag be warned off by a blockading force, they might try the next port, running the Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida coasts down successively. They should be brought into those ports only where they could be fitted out.
Crews of admirable seamen and firemen might be shipped, induced to come by the higher wages given in our Navy and hopes of promotion and prize money.
Should any of the vessels be prevented by force from entering our ports, The Havannah might be sought, or Jamaica, from whence arrangements might be made for running them over the Gulf or fitting them out.
The vessels should be so prepared that no detention would be necessary in our ports, hence a due supply of navy stores and provisions, liquor excepted, for a six months' cruise should be placed on board of each vessel.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: JAMES D. BULLOCH, Esq.,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, May 9, 1861.
SIR: An agent of this department for the purchase of six steam propellers abroad will leave for England to-morrow. In addition to the vessels he has specific instructions as to the purchase of munitions of war and certain naval stores and provisions for a six months' cruise for each ship.
The appropriation heretofore made for the purchase of 10 steam gunboats will be inadequate for these objects, 4 of the 10 having been purchased, together with munitions of war, and officers of the Navy, under the direction of the department, being engaged in efforts to purchase others.
I have the honor, therefore, to submit for your consideration and to recommend an appropriation of $1,000,000 for the purchase of six screw ships, with rifled ordnance, small arms, and other munitions of war.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY.
TO: Hon. Mr. CONRAD,
Chairman Committee on Naval Affairs.
An act authorizing an agent to be sent abroad to purchase vessels and arms, and making an appropriation therefor.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That to enable the Navy Department to send an agent abroad to purchase six steam propellers, in addition to those heretofore authorized, together with rifled cannon, small arms, and other ordnance stores and munitions of war, the sum of one million of dollars is hereby appropriated out of the Treasury of the Confederate States.
President of the Congress.
Approved, May 10, 1861.
A true copy.
JAMES M. MATTHEWS,
Law Clerk, Department Justice.
An act to authorize the purchase or construction of certain vessels of war.
SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause to be purchased if possible, otherwise to be constructed with the least possible delay, in France or England, one or two war steamers of the most modern and improved description, with a powerful armament and fully equipped for service.
SECTION 2. The Congress do further enact, That the sum of two millions of dollars be and the same is hereby appropriated to carry the foregoing section into effect.
President of the Congress.
Approved, May 10, 1861.
A true copy.
JAMES M. MATTHEWS,
Law Clerk, Department Justice.
Report of the Secretary of the Navy.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, April 26, 1861.
In pursuance of the authority contained in the naval appropriation act approved March 16, 1861, I entered upon the duty of procuring vessels for the Navy of the Confederate States. Experienced and judicious naval officers and civilians have been actively engaged in the ports of the United States, Canada, and the Confederate States in search of steamers suitable for, or which might be readily converted to, war purposes, and offers to build vessels have been invited and have been received from leading naval constructors. The expediency and policy of purchasing rather than building vessels at this time are obvious.
The construction and equipment for sea of a steam sloop or frigate of sufficient power and speed to compare favorably with similar ships of the United States, Great Britain, or France would occupy in the Confederate States, under the most favorable circumstances, at the present time, from 12 to 18 months and cost from eight hundred and fifty to twelve hundred thousand dollars.
With the necessary preparation effected, there can be no doubt that ships can be constructed within the Confederate States as economically as in any other part of the continent, but delay and expense are necessarily involved in such preparation. The estimates submitted to the department for constructing ships exhibit a difference of 80 per cent between the offers of builders who are familiar with and prepared for the construction of war vessels in Northern ports and those of our own ports.
I propose to adopt a class of vessels hitherto unknown to naval services. The perfection of a warship would doubtless be a combination of the greatest known ocean speed with the greatest known floating battery and power of resistance; and such a combination has been diligently but vainly sought, with but little regard to cost, by Great Britain and France.
Vessels built exclusively for ocean speed, at a low cost, with a battery of one or two accurate guns of long range, with an ability to keep the sea upon a long cruise and to engage or to avoid an enemy at will, are not found in their navies, and only to a very limited extent in that of the United States, the speed and power of whose ships are definitely known. The latter power has built a navy; we have a navy to build; and if in the construction of the several classes of ships we shall keep constantly in view the qualities of those ships which they may be called to encounter we shall have wisely provided for our naval success.
The State of Georgia, at her own expense, purchased two small steamers to aid in the defense of her coasts; and these having been tendered to the Confederate States, a competent officer has been directed to examine them, and they will be purchased and continued in their present service if found adapted to it.
The coasts of Carolina and Georgia, from Charleston to the St. Mary's River, are exposed to the operations of marauders, and especially to the raids of such parties as the Abolition societies are sending abroad, and a few determined men of the Redpath and John Brown school might there inflict incalculable injury, when upon islands and at isolated points large bodies of slaves are employed and left almost entirely to themselves.
Many other portions of our extended seaboard, indented as it is with bays and inlets, though less tempting to marauding and piratical aggression, are equally exposed; and I propose to provide protection against such attacks as early as practicable.
Steam vessels which can be most advantageously employed against commerce have been actively sought for, but they are very rarely found engaged in the passenger or carrying trade; and the agents of the department have thus far purchased but two, which combine the requisite qualities. These, the Sumter and McRae, are being fitted as cruisers and will go to sea at the earliest practicable moment.
Side-wheel steamers, from the exposure of their machinery to shot and shell, and their liability to be disabled by a single shot, from the fact that if prevented from steering they are helpless as sailers; and that they can not carry to sea sufficient coal for any but short cruises, are regarded as unfit for cruising men of war; and propellers are adopted by all the naval powers of the earth. Vessels of this character and capacity can not be found in this country, and must be constructed or purchased abroad.
The steamer Star of the West, which was recently taken possession of on the coast of Texas, being then engaged as a United States military transport, and sent to New Orleans, has been turned over to this department, and a board of examination having decided her to be unfit for war purposes, except as a transport, she will be used for the present as a receiving ship at New Orleans.
OFFICERS OF THE NAVY.
The act of organizing the Navy authorizes the President to appoint "4 captains, 4 commanders, 30 lieutenants, 5 surgeons, 5 assistant surgeons, 6 paymasters, and 2 chief engineers, and to employ as many masters, midshipmen, engineers, naval constructors, boatswains, gunners, carpenters, sailmakers, and other warrant and petty officers or seamen as he may deem necessary, not to exceed in the aggregate 3,000." And the act entitled an act supplementary to an act entitled an act to organize the Navy, approved March 16, 1861, enacted, "That in case officers who were formerly attached to the Navy of the United States, but had resigned in consequence of the secession of any one or of all the Confederate States, the President is authorized to affix to their commissions such dates as may be necessary to secure to them the same relative position' that they held in the former service."
Under these acts 4 captains, 4 commanders, 21 lieutenants, 5 surgeons, 2 assistant surgeons, 4 paymasters, and 1 master, who resigned their commissions in the Navy of the United States in consequence of secession, have been appointed to the grade and rank they severally held there, in the Navy of the United States. In addition to these, 11 midshipmen have been appointed. These appointments have been also made exclusively from the number of those who resigned from the United States Navy and Naval Academy, in consequence of the secession of these States, and they have been taken according to their academic merit as exhibited by the report of that institution.
Recruiting stations have been established at Montgomery and New Orleans; but as enlistments in the services of the States of Alabama and Louisiana and in that of the Confederate States are being made, the whole number of marines authorized by law has not yet been obtained. One company of 100 men is now in charge of a heavy battery in front of Fort Pickens and is being actively drilled in the use of great guns and small arms.
I suggest that another second lieutenant be added to each of the six companies of this corps. The companies consist of 100 men each, and they must be more frequently called upon to act in small detachments than the companies of any other arm of the military service.
ORDNANCE FOR THE NAVY.
Appreciating the importance of fostering private efforts to manufacture heavy guns for the Navy at different points in the Confederate States, a contract has been made with two establishments at New Orleans for casting a few 8-inch and 32-pounder guns with a moderate quantity of shot and shell. But the practical difficulties to be overcome induce serious doubts of the success of the undertaking.
Rifled cannon are unknown to naval warfare; but these guns having attained a range and accuracy beyond any other form of ordnance, both with shot and shell, I propose to introduce them into the Navy, and an estimate for $20,000 is submitted for the purpose of obtaining them. Small propeller ships, with great speed, lightly armed with these guns, must soon become, as the light artillery and rifles of the deep, a most destructive element of naval warfare.
The preparation of ordnance and ordnance stores, including cannon, powder, shells, shrapnel, and fuzes, and the various preparations essential to naval success, is a subject that demands prompt attention. The number of those who are familiar with the preparation of many kinds of ordnance stores is very limited, and I propose to establish a magazine and laboratory for their manufacture and safe-keeping at some appropriate point at once; and an appropriation of $37,000 is asked for the purpose.
The law organizing the Navy provides for six paymasters; four have already been appointed. I would suggest that the grade of assistant paymasters be created, the number limited to six, and that all paymasters shall in future be promoted from this grade.
Such a grade, while it would meet the wants of the service and relieve the department from devolving upon commanding officers the duties of which they are totally ignorant and which usually entail upon them embarrassments and losses, would provide a necessary class of officers for small vessels at a moderate expense.
The salary upon sea service should not, in my judgment, exceed $1,000; nor the bond be in a less penalty than $10,000.
Not only are naval officers, as a class, ignorant of the duties required of a paymaster, but the performance of these duties by the commanding officers of a vessel must inevitably place him in a wrong position toward his crew and have a tendency to relax discipline and impair the efficiency of the ship. The accounts and disbursements of the ship should be kept and made by an officer unconnected with-sailing disciplining, and fighting the vessel; and the seamen, in all controversies in relation, to their pay and clothing accounts with the paymaster, should find an impartial arbiter in the commanding officer.
The preservation of forest timber for naval shipbuilding requires the attention of Congress.
No nation of the earth possesses ship timber of equal excellence or in equal abundance; and, while Great Britain, France, and Russia are carefully guarding and providing for the preservation of every forest tree of their own useful for naval purposes and are obtaining large supplies of spars for heavy ships from our States, we can not with prudence ignore the subject.
The best live-oak timber is found in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas; and the pine forests of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida furnish spars and lumber unsurpassed by any of the same character in the world, and the white oak is found in all the States of the Confederacy.
Limited reservations, judiciously selected after careful examination, might be made with the consent of the States within which they may be located; and the collectors of the customs within the several districts, or special agents, might be employed to protect them from depredation. Timber could not be cut and removed to any great extent upon such reservations if the collectors or agents exercised good faith and proper diligence.
The policy and justice of providing pensions for wounds and disabilities received by naval men in the line of duty, in defense of the honor and interest of our country, and of extending the benefits of such pension to the widows and children of deceased pensioners during their widowhood or minority, will not, I presume, be questioned.
Seamen necessarily leave home, family, and friends behind them in their professional career, and may rightfully look to their country to shield and protect their wives and children.
It may be questioned whether any pension laws are in force, and hence I invite attention to the subject. There are in the Confederate States widows and orphans of gallant Southern men, who died in the service of their country. Their pensions heretofore drawn under the laws of the United States have been cut off, and I submit the question of providing for their payment.
Estimates amounting to the sum of $278,500 are herewith submitted, which, with the amount already appropriated, will, it is supposed, meet the wants of the naval service for the year ending February 18, 1862.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: The PRESIDENT.
Navy Department, July 18, 1861.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the operations of this department since the 26th of April last, the date of my last report.
Four steamers have been purchased and equipped to aid in the defense of the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, and contracts are being made with builders in those States for the immediate construction of gunboats to mount each three heavy guns and to act in connection with the steamers. This force, supplied with a proper number of first rowboats and seamen for coast guard duty, and able to traverse the entire inland navigation between Charleston and Savannah, and on other parts of the coasts, it will, it is believed, effectually oppose all piratical attempts upon them, while a union of the force would master any of the enemy's smaller ships, and might successfully assail his frigates.
This command is assigned to Flag-Officer Tattnall.
Three steamers have been purchased, armed, and equipped at New Orleans. One of these, the sloop Sumter, of 520 tons, armed with one 8-inch pivot gun and four 32-pounders, with a complement, all told, of 109, under the command of Commander Semmes, ran the blockade of the Mississippi River and got to sea as a cruising vessel on the 30th ultimo.
The sloop McRae, of 830 tons, armed with one 9-inch pivot and six 32-pounder guns, with a complement of 152, all told, under the command of Lieutenant Commanding Huger, is ready and watching for an opportunity to get to sea.
These are both good, substantial steam propeller sloops of war, with uncommon speed for vessels of their class.
The third steamer, the Jackson, one of the Mississippi tugs, has been strengthened, thoroughly fitted, armed, and equipped, and having made a trip to Memphis for service under General. Pillow, has returned to New Orleans.
In addition to this vessel, Captain Rousseau, charged with the duty of aiding by naval means in the defense of the coasts of Louisiana and the Mississippi River, has authority to construct five gunboats adapted to those waters, and to purchase, arm, and equip four other steamers, and to employ armed barges in the Lake and Sound service in connection with them. These vessels, it is alleged, can be completed in sixty days.
The cost of making the necessary alterations and outfits of vessels in New Orleans have far exceeded the estimates of the officers in charge, in consequence, as they allege, of mistakes of experts as to the repairs of hull and machinery, vastly enhanced price of labor and materials, and by the combinations in a great degree between workmen and vendors.
The department has purchased from the State of North Carolina five small steamers, whose draft of water enables them to pass the shallow waters connected with Pamlico, Albermarle, and Currituck Sounds, and which are of a class of vessels essential to their defense. These vessels will be properly armed and equipped and actively employed.
The side-wheel steamers Patrick Henry and [Thomas Jefferson], formerly known as the Yorktown and Jamestown, have been purchased from the State of Virginia.
The Patrick Henry has been partially plated with iron, to shield her boilers and some of the vulnerable portions of her machinery. This vessel is of a burden of 1,300 tons, and is one of the fastest side-wheel steamers afloat. She has been greatly strengthened to support a battery which consists of two 10-inch pivot and eight 8-inch broadside guns, with a complement all told of 180. She is in the James River, commander[ by Commander John R. Tucker, under orders for sea, and will run the blockade at the earliest practicable moment for a cruise off New York.
This establishment has been placed under the control of the department since my last report. A large force is usefully employed there, chiefly in the various operations connected with the military defenses of the country.
Heavy guns from this yard have been sent to several of the Confederate States. Two hundred and three have been sent to North Carolina, 52 to Tennessee, 21 to Louisiana, 40 to South Carolina and Georgia, and 217 are in 21 batteries in Virginia, commanded by naval officers.
The preparation of these guns, with their equipments for service, the construction of gun carriages, and the preparation of shot and shell have principally occupied the large force at the yard.
The organization of a naval laboratory has been commenced and it will soon be in a condition to manufacture the fuses, caps, bullets, shot, shell, shrapnel, fireworks, etc., in general use, and to cast-iron and brass cannon.
The machine shop at this establishment for the want of suitable means has never been able to complete a heavy steam engine for a war vessel, the shafting having to be done in Baltimore or elsewhere. With the exception of Tennessee there is no establishment within the Confederate States where such work can be done. I have purchased a Nasmith hammer to supply this deficiency, and in a short time the entire machinery of steamships may be constructed there.
The frigate Merrimack has been raised and docked at an expense of $6,000, and the necessary repairs to hull and machinery to place her in her former condition is estimated by experts at $450,000. The vessel would then be in the river, and by the blockade of the enemy's fleets and batteries rendered comparatively useless.
It has therefore been determined to shield her completely with 3-inch iron, placed at such angles as to render her bah proof, to complete her at the earliest moment; to arm her with the heaviest ordnance, and to send her at once against the enemy's fleet. It is believed that thus prepared she will be able to contend successfully against the heaviest of the enemy's ships, and to drive them from Hampton Roads and the ports of Virginia.
The cost of this work is estimated by the constructor and engineer in charge at $172,523, and as time is of the first consequence in this enterprise, I have not hesitated to commence the work and to ask Congress for the necessary appropriation.
The Plymouth and Germantown have also been raised. The Columbus, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Dolphin are still under water, and as the expense of raising them will be about $25,000 an appropriation for the purpose is recommended.
The act of Congress approved May 20, 1861 (Pamphlet Laws, second session, 1861, p. 39), limits the appointment of officers of the Navy to those resigning from the Navy of the United States in consequence of secession of any or all of the Confederate States and who may be fit for active service.
Several officers unfit for active service have resigned from the retired list of the United States Navy, and one officer who was not retired, but who is unfit for active service, has also resigned. These gentlemen have been actuated by a patriotism no less devoted than that which has distinguished the great body of Southern naval officers, and as no provision has been made for them the subject is presented for your consideration.
The State of Virginia before joining the Confederate States appointed to her naval service several officers who had resigned from the United States Navy not in consequence of secession. They were employed generally as artillery officers in commanding, instructing, or erecting batteries. They are generally officers of the highest professional character and efficiency and are rendering important service, and I submit for your consideration the expediency of retaining them in the public service during the war or otherwise.
Herewith I submit a copy of the letter of Flag-Officer Forrest communicating the death of Mr. David Williams at the Norfolk yard, and a copy of the reply of the department.
The circumstances under which he perished constitute the claim of the widow and children upon the consideration of Congress.
The report hereunto annexed shows the number and grades of naval officers who have resigned from the United States Navy in consequence of secession, and of such of those as have received appointments in the Navy of the Confederate States.
Recruiting for the Marine Corps is progressing, and it is stations at the Pensacola forts, cooperating with the army under General Bragg.
The service already employs the 500 seamen, ordinary seamen, landsmen, and boys authorized by the act of March 15, 1861, and recommend as necessary for the public interests the employment an additional 500 of the same classes, who will be principally occupied on the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana.
The two acts of Congress, Nos. 116, 117, approved on the 10th of May last, authorized the expenditure of $3,000,000 for certain objects, including the purchase of an ironclad or armored war ship; but no money was supplied in the general estimates to meet these expenditures, and the operations of the department in the purchase, construction, equipment, etc., of vessels have been circumscribed to and confined to the sum of $1,100,000, appropriated by the act of 15th March, 1861. Of this sum I placed $600,000 at once in England, and dispatched agents abroad to purchase gunboats; and the balance, $500,000, only, has been available to purchase and equip vessels for coast defense. With this sum there have been purchased the following steamers: Sumter, McRae, Jackson, Lady Davis, Savannah, Sampson, and Resolute, and the balance on hand from this appropriation is $140,000.
Funds are wanted to meet the estimated value of the five steamers from North Carolina, the two from Virginia, the steamer Florida, of Mobile, for which negotiations are pending, two small steamers and barges for Lake Pontchartrain, five steam gunboats to be built in Mobile and New Orleans for Lake and Sound service, five gunboats to be built in South Carolina and Georgia for those coasts, and the reconstruction and iron plating of the Merrimack.
No additional appropriations are required under acts Nos. 116 and 117, before referred to, as the appropriations were embraced in the acts; but I recommend that funds be provided as early as practicable to meet those appropriations, and enable the department fully to carry out the terms of the acts.
Estimates of the additional amounts required to meet the wants of the department for the year ending February 18, 1862, are herewith submitted.
With much respect I am, sir, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
To: His Excellency THE. PRESIDENT.
Navy Department, Richmond, August 16, 1861.
SIR: The following statement will give the information called for by the resolution of the 2d instant, No. 8, which I received from you yesterday, so far as this department can furnish it:
Those officers who were commissioned in the Virginia Navy, and who had resigned from the Navy of the United States in consequence of the secession of Virginia or of any of the Confederate States, and who were "fit for active service," have been commissioned or appointed in the Navy of the Confederate States.
There were officers in the Virginia Navy who had not thus resigned from the Navy of the United States, and others who were not regarded fit for active service. These have not been commissioned or appointed in the Navy of the Confederate States. I do not think that the compact between the Confederate States and the State of Virginia provides for these cases, and appointments to the Navy have been made by virtue of, and under, the laws of Congress.
Herewith I hand you an extract from my report of the 18th of July last, touching this subject, and also a classified list of the Virginia officers turned over to this department.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: Hon. WM. BALLARD PRESTON, M. C.,
P. S.--I return herewith the resolution which you left with me.
[Extract from the report of the Secretary of the Navy to His Excellency the President of the Confederate States, July 18, 1861.]
"The act of Congress approved May 20, 1861 (Laws, 2d session, 1861, p. 39), limits the appointment of officers of the Navy to those resigning from the Navy of the United States in consequence of secession of any or all of the Confederate States and who may be fit for active service.
"Several officers unfit for active service have resigned from the retired list of the U. S. Navy and one officer who was not retired, but who is unfit for active service, has also resigned. These gentlemen have been actuated by a patriotism no less devoted than that which has distinguished the great body of Southern naval officers, and as no provision has been made for them, the subject is presented for your consideration.
"The State of Virginia, before joining the Confederate States, appointed to her naval service several officers who had resigned from the U. S. Navy not in consequence of secession. They were employed generally as artillery officers in commanding, instructing, and erecting batteries. They are generally officers of the highest professional character and efficiency, and are rendering important service, and I submit for your consideration the expediency of retaining them in the public service during the war or otherwise."
Officers transferred by Virginia as being in her service.
First.--Naval officers who resigned from the U. S. Navy in consequence of secession. These have been commissioned in the C. S. Navy.
Second.--Officers who had, at various periods, resigned from the U. S. Navy without regard to and before secession. These are: Commander William Leigh (resigned years ago, a lieutenant); Lieutenants William T. Smith, C. St. George Noland, Andrew Weir, Beverly Randolph, L. H. Lyne, and C. E. Thorburn. Medical officer--Surgeon A. Y. P. Garnett.
Third.--Officers who were on the reserved list of the U. S. Navy, who resigned in consequence of secession: Captains Hugh N. Page and H. H. Cocke; Commanders Joseph Myers, William Green; Lieutenants Bushrod W. Hunter and John S. Taylor; Master H. A. F. Young.
Fourth.--Officers who never were in U. S. Navy, but who have been appointed officers in the Virginia Navy: Paymasters William H. Peters and Richard Taylor; Masters Thomas Taylor and James S. Kenner; Midshipmen James W. Pegram, George T. Sinclair, and M. B. Ruggles; Chief Engineer Hugh Clark; Boatswain W. H. Face; Carpenter Hugh Lindsay.
Marine Corps.--Lieutenants C. M. Colyer and O. Bradford.
Revenue officers resigned from U. S. service.--Captains Richard Evans, R. K. Hudgins, Osmond Peters; First Lieutenant J. F. Mulligan; Second Lieutenants D. Lagnel, B. W. Frobel, W. E. Hudgins, J. R. C. Lewis.
CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, January 6, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor briefly to submit for your consideration the following plan for the formation of a provisional navy.
By the concurrent action of the maritime powers of the old world our privateers are excluded from all but their own ports, and these may be closed to them by the blockade.
The recognition of our independence by these powers, and the admission to their ports of our flag upon an equal footing with the flags of all nations, will in no respect advance the interests or increase the facilities of privateering; and to create a branch of naval warfare which shall enable us to unite and employ private capital and enterprise against the enemy, and which shall be free from the objections urged against privateering, I propose the organization of a provisional navy.
If we divest privateering of its exclusively private, and invest it with a public, character, and connect it with the Government by judicious checks, the objections heretofore urged against it will no longer exist.
To attain these objects I would prescribe the grades of officers of the provisional navy and commission such officers for the war. I would regulate the minimum complement of every vessel, pay a small monthly stipend to officers and men, to be received at the termination of their cruise; reserve a portion, say 10 per centum, of all prize money, to be paid into the Confederate Treasury, and extend to the service the laws and regulations established for the government of the Navy, so far as they might be found to be applicable, and prescribe for it a uniform.
The grades of commissioned officers might prudently be confined to the following: Lieutenant commanding, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, assistant surgeon.
Warranted officers would be masters, boatswains, surgeon's mates, gunners, carpenters, and sailmakers, and to these the Secretary of the Navy might be authorized to issue warrants.
The amount of pay per month to all entered for a cruise of not less than six months, I would recommend for seamen, $5; warrant officers, $10; lieutenants, $15; lieutenant commanding, $20, to be paid only for the time employed in cruising beyond the waters of the Confederacy; the payment to be made at the termination of every cruise under the authority of the Navy Department.
The practical operation of an act of Congress embracing these provisions would be this: A party wishing to engage in the service would furnish the Navy Department with the name, armament, and character of his vessel; the number and ratings on a descriptive list, embracing name, age, place of birth, etc., of his crew, and a duplicate of the shipping articles; the names of the persons to be commissioned and warranted as officers, with the evidence of their character and fitness, together with a duplicate of the contract between owners, officers, and crew for the distribution of prize money.
These provisions would, I think, so immediately connect the provisional navy with the Government as to obviate the leading objections to the privateer service, and would secure for it in foreign ports recognition as a national service, and the privileges usually accorded to naval vessels of all nations; while the reservation of 10 per cent of prize money would reimburse the treasury for all expenditures on account of pay.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: His EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT.
CONFEDERATE STATES NAVY DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, February 27, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the operations of this department since the 18th of November, 1861, the date of my last report, and to recite briefly the progress which has been made in naval defenses.
Flag-Officer George N. Hollins, charged with the naval defenses of the Mississippi and the coast of Louisiana, has under his command the following vessels: Steamers McRae, Lieutenant Commanding Huger. 8 guns; General Polk, Lieutenant Commanding Carter, 6 guns; Florida, Lieutenant Commanding Hays, 4 guns; Mobile, Lieutenant Commanding Shepperd, 4 guns; Pamlico, Lieutenant Commanding Dozier, 2 guns; Ivy, Lieutenant Commanding Fry, 2 guns; Jackson, Lieutenant Commanding Gwathmey, 2 guns; Segar, Lieutenant Commanding Shryock, 2 guns; Bienville, 5 guns; Carondelet, 5 guns; Manassas (iron ram) 1 gun; Livingston, Commander Pinkney, 6 guns; Pontchartrain, 5 guns; Maurepas, 5 guns; schooner Pickens, 1 gun; floating battery New Orleans, 20 guns; floating battery Memphis, 18 guns. Six barges carrying 12 and 24 pounder howitzers.
Flag-Officer Tattnall, charged with the naval defenses of Carolina and Georgia, has under his command the gunboats Savannah, Lady Davis, Sampson, Resolute, and Huntress, and five gunboats carrying three guns each, with Commander Page, Lieutenants Maffitt, Rutledge, Kennard, Jones, and Pelot.
Flag-Officer Buchanan, on the James River, has under his command the ironclad frigate Virginia, of 10 guns; the steamer Patrick Henry, partially protected by iron plates, of 6 guns: the steamer Jamestown, of 2 guns; the Teaser, of 1 gun; the Raleigh, of 1 gun, and Beaufort, of 1 gun.
Flag-Officer Randolph, charged with the naval defenses of Mobile, has under his command the steam sloops Morgan and Gaines, which have just been launched, and designed for a battery of eight guns, the schooner Alert, and two barges, carrying 24-pounder howitzers.
The armed steamer Rappahannock, under the command of Lieutenant Lewis, is on the Rappahannock River, and the armed steamer Richmond, under the command of Master Joseph White, is at Evansport, on the Potomac.
CONSTRUCTION OF VESSELS.
There are now being constructed at New Orleans two large and formidable iron-plated steamships, of about 1,400 tons, each designed for a battery of 20 of the heaviest guns. One of these, the Louisiana, has been launched and nearly completed, and the other, it is believed, will be completed in six weeks. These ships are designed to resist at short distances the heaviest naval ordnance, and it is believed that they will be able to cope successfully, without risk, with the heaviest ships of the enemy.
Two ironclad steam sloops of war are being built at Memphis, each to carry six guns.
Two ironclad steam gunboats, with iron prows as rams, are in course of construction at New Orleans, to carry four guns each and it is expected will be completed in 50 days.
Preparations are being made to build there two heavy steam rams to carry four guns each, so soon as the iron plating can be prepared, to construct two steamers for lake service, in addition to those just launched, and also to construct steam propellers under the recent act of Congress.
At Mobile two large steamers, the engines for which orders have been given to purchase, will be immediately commenced, in addition to gunboats recently authorized by Congress.
One gunboat is nearly completed at Columbus, Ga., and two others are under contract for completion there.
Two are nearly completed at Pensacola and one at Jacksonville. Five are under contract at Savannah, two of which are nearly completed. Seven steam gunboats were contracted for at different points in the waters of North Carolina. At Norfolk we have contracts for seven steam gunboats and at the navy yard three others are being built, and on the rivers of Virginia active preparations are in progress under a selected corps of experienced officers, to construct 100 steam gunboats of about 170 tons, each to carry two guns.
I submit herewith a copy of the report of Flag-Officer Lynch of the engagement of his fleet with that of the enemy at Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City on the 9th and 10th of February. The gallant conduct of Flag-Officer Lynch, his officers, and men against the overwhelming forces of the enemy, reflects credit upon the naval service and merits high commendation.
I deem it proper briefly to advert to some of the numerous obstacles which present themselves in our Confederacy to the speedy creation of a navy, and which time and prudent legislation will remove.
Armed hosts may spring forth and armies may be promptly marshaled to repel invasion, but naval defenses of a country have ever necessarily been of tardy growth, and in this age, when the steam engine is as essential to the warship as her battery, and when warfare upon the deep is conducted upon a scale far greater than ever before, the difficulties, delays, and expenses of creating a navy are immeasurably multiplied and increased.
The materials of construction, the artisans, the workshops, the instructed officers, and the seamen--all essential to the creation of a naval establishment--demand time and the fostering hand of the Government, whatever may be its resources, to develop and bring into useful operation.
The want of workshops of large capacities is severely felt. No marine engines, such as are required for the ordinary class of sloops of war or frigates, have ever been made in any of the Confederate States, nor have workshops capable of producing them existed in either of them. Parts of three such engines only have been made in Virginia, but the heavier portions of them were constructed in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and had we the workshops, the construction of one such engine would require a year.
From the commencement of hostilities our foundries have been engaged in supplying the pressing demands for cannon, shot, and shell, and but few of them have been in a condition to engage in the manufacture of steam engines. Hence the department, to meet the urgent demand for naval defenses, and as a temporary expedient, has been compelled, while preparing the means for the construction of a permanent Navy, to avail itself of such steam vessels found in our ports as could be converted to war purposes, and to purchase others in order to obtain machinery for new vessels.
All efforts at construction, whether by contractors or by the department, have been crippled by the want of mechanics. Every applicant willing and able to work upon our vessels has been employed and at wages nearly double those given 12 months ago. Calls for mechanics have been made upon the Army repeatedly, and these have been responded to as far as the interests of that branch of the service would seem to warrant, and yet not half the number required can be obtained.
The same difficulty exists in obtaining instructed sailors. The States forming our Confederacy, engaged chiefly in agricultural pursuits and having but little commerce and few ships upon the sea, have furnished no school for seamen, and the services of this valuable class of men, only to be created by time and judicious legislation, can not be performed by landsmen.
The United States have a constructed Navy; we have a Navy to construct, and as we can not hope to compete with them in the number of their ships--the results of three-quarters of a century--wisdom and policy require us to build our ships in reference to those of the enemy, and that we should, in their construction, compensate by their offensive and defensive power for the inequality of numbers. This it is confidently believed can be accomplished by building plated or ironclad ships, a class of war vessels which has attracted much attention and elicited great research in England and France within the past five years.
Fully impressed with the importance of this subject, an intelligent and reliable officer of our Navy was sent in May last to England and France, and he is still there, with instructions to have constructed, if practicable, an iron-plated vessel similar to the French sloop Gloire. This could only be done with the assent of the Government.
Such ships being useless for all purposes but those of naval warfare are built only as national vessels and can not be purchased, and the relative positions of these countries, their rivalry in naval construction, and the attitude assumed by both toward our country have rendered it impossible as yet to accomplish the object in view. Very recent information, however, induces the belief that one such vessel may now be contracted for in France and one in England, but I have not been able to ascertain at what cost or within what time they could be completed or whether we would be permitted to fit the vessels out in any European port. Upon this subject a special agent was sent to England recently.
We have succeeded, however, in constructing two fine steamships (not ironclad) in England through third parties, one of which was probably completed and delivered to our agents a month ago and the other is to be completed and delivered in May next. Such vessels as the English frigate Warrior, whose cost has exceeded $5,000,000, and as the French sloop Gloire, which cost about $2,000,000, can not be constructed in this Confederacy.
The judgments of naval men and of other experts in naval construction have, however, been consulted, and such an arrangement of iron plates to the hulls of vessels has been adopted as will, it is believed, enable us with a small number of vessels comparatively to keep our waters free from the enemy and ultimately to contest with them the possession of his own.
The two ironclad frigates at New Orleans, the
two plated ships at Memphis, the two ironclad gunboats in course of construction
at New Orleans, and the Virginia, now completed at Norfolk, are vessels
of this character.
Such vessels as those first named can be constructed in a third of the time which would be required to build a sloop like the Gloire if we had the ability to build one, and yet, though the Virginia's machinery and the hull to the bends were good, at least 1,500 men working zealously have been engaged upon and for her completion since July last.
In order to stimulate the production of iron plating a reliable agent was sent in April last to the different rolling mills of the country to ascertain the practicability of manufacturing iron plates of the character required for such vessels, and from that time to the present every effort has been made to stimulate their production, and although the quantity we have been thus able to obtain is limited rolling mills are in course of construction which will, it is believed, greatly facilitate if they do not supply this important want of the public service. An estimate may be made of the iron thus required for naval purposes and the consequent development of the iron and coal deposits of our country by the fact that about 1,000 tons have been used in plating the Virginia.
This has been produced by the Tredegar Works, of Richmond, while an equal quantity of similar plating is being manufactured by rolling mills in Atlanta, Ga., for an iron-plated frigate nearly completed at New Orleans.
The manufacture of anchors and chains, of bolt, bar, rod, and boiler iron, of bolt and pig copper and copper sheathing, new branches of industry in our Confederacy, the manufacture of heavy iron and light bronze ordnance and of powder; the collection of ship timber and naval stores and supplies of niter, sulphur, coal, iron, and steel, and the establishment of laboratories for the preparation of all classes of ordnance stores, have been satisfactorily commenced, by contract and otherwise, upon a scale looking to the future wants of the country.
Under the orders of this department experiments have been made by naval officers with iron-plated targets, which afford valuable information in addition to that derived from French and English tests, upon the resistance of iron plates to shot and shell.
I recommend that the number of officers in the different grades of the Navy be determined by law. So long as officers were coming to us from the Navy of the United States and places were reserved for them this could not be done, but ample time has been afforded to all who desired to join us from that source.
The act originally providing for a Navy, approved March 16, 1861, limited the number of captains to 4, of commanders to 4, of lieutenants to 30, of surgeons to 5, of assistant surgeons to 5, of paymasters to 6, and of chief engineers to 2, and under the act of May 20, 1861, providing for the appointment of all officers fit for active service, resigning from the Navy of the United States in consequence of the secession of these States, the grade of captain has been increased to 10, of commander to 28, of lieutenant to 76, of surgeons to 22, of assistant surgeons to 14, of paymaster to 11, and of chief engineer to 5.
There has been no promotion in the Navy, and can
be none until the numbers in the several grades shall be determined. The
good of the service would be advanced by increasing the number of grades,
thus rendering promotion, more frequent, and I recommend that instead of
one grade of lieutenants there be two, to be known as the grades of first
and second lieutenants, and that the grade of master in the line of promotion
be also established.
I have heretofore brought to your attention the importance of providing for the education of midshipmen. The scientific education of naval officers is more necessary now than at any previous period, and all the naval powers of the earth have made for it the most ample and thorough provision. I would not recommend a large expenditure for this purpose in the present condition of the Treasury, but the foundation of an institution so essential to the interests of the Navy may be economically laid.
Appointed from civil life, and possessing but little knowledge of the duties of an officer, ignorant even of the vocabulary of the profession, midshipmen are sent to vessels or to batteries where adequate study and instruction are impracticable. Until the establishment of a naval school the receiving ship at Norfolk might be prepared for the accommodation of a hundred midshipmen, where, under competent naval officers, a knowledge of important branches of the profession might be acquired.
The creation of a volunteer or provisional Navy for the war, heretofore brought to your notice in detail, merits, I am persuaded, serious consideration, and I deem it proper to repeat my recommendation upon the subject.
The Norfolk yard, under the efficient direction of Flag Officer Forrest, is rendering the most important service to the country. The construction of vessels and their equipments of gun carriages, ordnance, and ordnance stores, the manufacture of steam engines and of shot and shell are all progressing satisfactorily.
The Pensacola yard being commanded by the enemy's guns, has been useless as a naval establishment.
A code of regulations for the general government of all persons connected with or employed in the naval service, as provided for by the act of March 16, 1861, has been carefully prepared and will he submitted for your approval at an early day.
On the 24th of December last Congress appropriated $500,000 for the construction of gunboats on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and on the following day I sent an energetic and reliable naval officer, Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, of Mississippi, to Nashville, with full authority and instructions to purchase and arm steamers and convert them into gunboats with all possible dispatch. He entered at once upon this duty, purchasing the steamers James Wood, James Johnson, and Dunbar, ordnance for which was in part and promptly sent from Richmond. He had not completed these vessels when the enemy reached Nashville, and information has reached me unofficially that he destroyed them to prevent them from falling into the enemy's hands.
Under the existing law prescribing the term of service of marines, enlistments can be made for four years.
This has retarded enlistments, and I recommend that authority be given to enlist marines for three years or for the war: and that the bounty of $50 for enlistment in the Army and Navy be extended to this Corps.
Estimates of the amount required for the naval service to the 30th of June next are herewith submitted in accordance with the request of the Secretary of the Treasury.
With much respect, your obedient servant.
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: To the PRESIDENT.
Navy Department, Richmond, August 16, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you the operations of this department since the 27th of February last, the date of my last report.
The military necessity of abandoning a large portion of the sea and river shores of our country to the enemy has entailed upon us serious naval losses and interfered to a great extent with our efforts at construction.
The destruction of the Virginia in Hampton Roads, and of many vessels in course of construction upon the rivers of Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida, resulted from the withdrawal of our protecting forces.
In the defense of the Mississippi River against the combined attack of the enemy on the 24th of April, 1862, the naval force at the command of the senior officer participated, and though the results were disastrous to our arms, the conduct of the officers and men of our squadron in the river against overwhelming forces exhibited the highest evidence of patriotic devotion and professional ability and daring.
The conduct of the officers and crew of the McRae in these respects has rarely been surpassed in the annals of naval warfare. Exposed to the terrific fire of many heavy ships, all greatly superior to her in force, torn to pieces by their broadsides, her commanding officer, Huger, mortally wounded, and a large portion of her crew killed or wounded, they refused to surrender as long as they could keep her afloat, and she went down without having passing into the enemy's hands.
The Louisiana contended also with the enemy's heaviest vessels at close quarters and in actual contact. Her commanding officer, McIntosh, was mortally wounded, and when she could no longer be defended she was destroyed by her crew.
The Manassas, under Lieutenant Commanding Warley, was handled with remarkable coolness and skill, and inflicted much injury upon the enemy before she went down. The reports(*) of Commander Mitchell, of the Louisiana, of Lieutenant Warley, of the Manassas, and of Lieutenant Read, of the McRae, marked "A," "B," and "C," are appended.
A naval force of five gunboats and a floating
battery under Captain Hollins participated in the defense of Island No.
10 and did good service.
Upon the fall of New Orleans the three gunboats, Bienville, Pamlico, and Carondelet, on Lake Pontchartrain, were destroyed by their officers. A court of inquiry has reported upon this transaction and expressed an opinion which justifies their destruction. The senior officer has, however, been sent before a court-martial for trial.
Upon the abandonment of Island No. 10 Commander Pinkney, the senior naval officer in command, sent to the Arkansas and White Rivers the steamers Maurepas and Pontchartrain, under the command of Lieutenants Fry and Dunnington, and carried with him the Livingston and Polk into the Yazoo River, where, on the 26th of June, upon the approach of the enemy, he destroyed them. This officer has also been sent before a court-martial for trial.
The abandonment of Memphis rendered the completion of the ironclad steamer Tennessee impracticable, but the work upon the sloop of war Arkansas being further advanced, she was carried to the Yazoo and there completed. On the 14th [15th] day of July this vessel, raider the command of Lieutenant Isaac N. Brown, left her position in the Yazoo for Vicksburg, where she arrived safely after an engagement of several hours with 17 of the enemy's ships. Naval history records few deeds of greater heroism or higher pro-regional ability than this achievement of the Arkansas.
Commander Brown's report(+) of the engagement, marked "D," is appended.
Her machinery was new, and sufficient time for its reliable adjustment had not been afforded when she was sent to cooperate in the attack upon Baton Rouge on the 7th instant. On the following day, in the face of a greatly superior force, when within 5 miles of her destination, some derangement of her machinery occurred, when she was at once attacked by a large force of the enemy and, hopeless of escape, her crew destroyed her.
A court of inquiry, to report upon the facts involved in the destruction of the Virginia, by the order of her commanding officer, Flag-Officer Tattnall, and which court he asked for, having expressed an opinion against the necessity of such destruction, I had charges preferred against him therefor, and he was tried by a court-martial, which he also applied for. Upon a full examination of the case the court granted him an honorable acquittal.
The same court was ordered to report upon the facts involved in the destruction of the Mississippi, and expressed the opinion "that the destruction was necessary to prevent her from falling into the hands of the enemy."
The abandonment of Norfolk stripped us not only of a vast amount of valuable property and building material, but deprived us of our only dry dock and of tools which are not found and can not be replaced or made in the Confederacy.
Upon the destruction of the Virginia, her officers and crew were placed at Drewry's Bluff, under the command of Commander Farrand, and the defenses at that point were committed to him. Aided by a small military force, and the able assistance of the Engineer Corps, the river was obstructed and batteries of heavy navy guns were established.
On the 15th of May this position was attacked by the enemy's two ironclad sloops of war, Galena and Monitor, and two steam gunboats, within a distance of about 400 yards. After a severe contest of two hours, the enemy's ships slipped their cables and ran down the river, the Galena on fire and with 17 shot through her iron armor. The conduct of the officers and men in this gallant affair justified the confidence of the country and sustained the honor of the service. Commander Farrand's report,(*) marked E, is appended.
In June Lieutenant Commanding Joseph Fry, in the gunboat Maurepas, sunk his vessel in White River near St. Charles, to obstruct the passage of the enemy's vessels and placed his battery on shore. In this position he was attacked on the 19th of June by two ironclad gunboats, and after a severe action of two hours he beat them off and destroyed the largest of the enemy's ships, the Mound City, and a great portion of her crew. He was then attacked by a land force of 1,500 men and his battery was captured. Lieutenant Fry, who behaved with great gallantry, was severely wounded and made prisoner, and no official report has yet been received from him.
On the 25th of March the gunboat Pamlico, Lieutenant Commanding Dozier, engaged the U. S. gunboat New London, and on the 4th of April, the Carondelet, Lieutenant Commanding Gwathmey, with the aid of the Oregon and Pamlico, engaged three of the enemy's gunboats. Both engagements occurred near Pass Christian and were without material results.
Cruising ships, constructed in Europe, are now in commission, and heavy ironclad vessels are being constructed at home and abroad, and all the means available for this purpose are employed.
The want of expert workmen is felt in every workshop, public and private, some of which have had to discontinue operations, while others are employing only a third or a half their productive capacity.
The want of expert mechanics and of iron and the absence of tools and workshops for such work as heavy ironclad ships require, greatly curtail the ability of the Confederacy in the construction of this class of vessels.
From the want of mechanics, contractors with this department for steam machinery, ordnance, and ordnance stores, and the hulls of vessels and for lumber and iron, fail to fulfill their engagements.
The scarcity of mechanics is attributable to the fact that a large portion of those employed in the Confederacy were Northern men or foreigners, who have, in consequence of the war, left the country, while our own mechanics are generally in the Army.
The embarrassments arising from this condition of things are pointed out by the report of Chief Engineer Williamson, which report, marked "F," is appended, and I will only add as an illustration, that the day after Congress passed the bill appropriating $500,000 for the defenses of the Cumberland River, Lieutenant Commanding Isaac N. Brown, of the Navy, whose instructions are appended, was charged with the duty of getting gunboats afloat upon this river, at the earliest moment and entered at once upon the duty; but found it impossible either to have the necessary work done by contract or to obtain a sufficient number of mechanics to execute it within any reasonable time; and from this cause the three boats which he had purchased and was fitting out, two for the Cumberland and one for the Tennessee River, were lost when Nashville fell.
For want of mechanics at Memphis, the work upon the Arkansas was retarded at least six months, and the sister ship Tennessee, at the same place, had, upon its abandonment, to be destroyed. An appeal was made to the commanding general at Memphis when these ships were commenced to detail mechanics to work upon them, but without effect.
Certain patriotic citizens of Georgia having constructed a floating battery sheathed with railroad iron for service in the Savannah River, and tendered her to this Government, she has been received, armed, manned, and equipped by this department.
The river steamer Baltic has been purchased by the State of Alabama, prepared for gunboat service, and turned over to the Confederate States. We have armed, manned, and equipped the vessel and she is in service at Mobile.
IRON AND COAL.
The appended report, marked "G," of the officer in charge of ordnance will exhibit the contracts and advances made by this department for iron and coal. Favorable representations having been made of iron and coal deposits in Cass and Harrison Counties, Texas, an agent has been dispatched there empowered to make such contracts as will encourage their development, and the manufacture of iron plates and ordnance.
In addition to these contracts, in conjunction with the War Department, the following have been made:
F. B. Deane, jr., & Son, of Lynchburg, Va., for 4,000 tons of shot and shell, to be delivered within two years.
J. R. Anderson & Co., of Richmond, Va., for cannon, shot, shell, bolt, bar, rod, plate, and boiler iron, to the amount of $2,000,000 annually, for two years.
Messrs. Quinby and Robinson, Etowah Works, Georgia, for cannon, shot, shell, bolt, bar, rod, plate, boiler, and railroad iron and car springs to the amount of $1,500,000 annually for two years.
The report of the officer in charge of ordnance, showing the progress and condition of the ordnance work shops at Richmond, [Va.], Charlotte, N. C., and Atlanta, Ga., and the powder mill at Columbia, S. C., is also appended, marked "H."
The fifth section of the act of Congress entitled "An act to further provides for the public defense," approved the 16th of April, 1862, provides that "all seamen and ordinary seamen in the land forces of the Confederate States enrolled under the provisions of this act may, on application of the Secretary of the Navy, be transferred from the land forces to the naval service." Application having been made under this section for transfers of seamen from the military to the naval service, the Secretary of War, under existing exigencies, finds it impossible to make them.
I respectfully recommend such legislation as may, without impairing the efficiency of the Army, secure the services of seamen or watermen for the Navy, and it may be advisable to provide that officers enrolling conscripts shall enroll this class separately for the naval service. They are methodically and thoroughly drilled by skillful and well-trained officers, and the conduct of officers and men of the Navy in shore batteries at Aquia Creek, Evansport, St. Charles, [Ark.], and Drewry's Bluff proves how thoroughly their discipline, efficiency, and devotion may be relied upon [on] shore or afloat.
I recommend for the consideration of Congress the expediency of granting prize money to the officers and men of Flag-Officer Buchanan's squadron for the destruction of the enemy's ships in Hampton Roads in the engagement of the 8th of March last.
The recommendations of the Chief of the Marine Corps, Colonel Lloyd J. Beall, are appended and approved, marked "I."
The services of this command, unlike those of a regiment of infantry, are usually rendered by small detachments, and hence it requires a larger proportion of noncommissioned officers and musicians than other military organizations. He suggests such an amendment of the act organizing this Corps, approved May 20, 1861, as will allow 60 sergeants, 60 corporals, 20 drummers, 20 fifers, and 2 principal musicians, the principal musicians to receive each the pay of a sergeant-major.
The provisions of the act of Congress approved April 16, 1862, entitled "An act to further provide for the public defense," have defeated attempts to recruit for this corps. Its present condition and organization and the skill and character of its officers give assurance that if full it would be the best-disciplined and one of the most efficient regiments in the service, and I recommend such legislation as will remove the difficulties in the way of recruiting for it.
The act of Congress, approved April 21, 1862, entitled "An act to amend an act to provide for the organization of the Navy," pro-rides for the grade of past assistant surgeon, but does not provide any pay for it, and I recommend that the pay of this grade be determined.
ENGINEER IN CHIEF.
The act just referred to also provides for the appointment of an engineer in chief and I recommend that the pay of this officer be determined.
PRODUCTION OF IRON.
The want of iron is severely felt throughout the Confederacy, and the means of increasing its production demand, in my judgment, the prompt consideration of Congress.
The Government has outstanding contracts amounting to millions of dollars, but the iron is not forthcoming to meet the increasing public wants.
Scrap iron of all classes is being industriously collected by agents of the Government, and we are now rolling railroad iron into plates for covering ships, while the condition of the roads admonish us that they will soon require extensive supplies. The freight upon imported rails at this time, independent of all risks, exceeds three times its original cost.
Under the joint resolution of Congress authorizing the President to contract for the construction in Europe of six ironclad vessels, approved April 19, 1862, a contract has been entered into with George N. Sanders for their construction.
I submit the estimates of the amount required by the department for the month of December, 1862.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
TO: The PRESIDENT.
Bill for the reorganization of the Medical Corps of the Confederate States Navy.
Be it enacted by the Congress of the Confederate States that,
(1) All medical officers of the Navy shall be denominated staff officers, and the medical staff shall be composed of the following grades:
(2) One director general, with the rank of brigadier-general, and an annual pay equivalent to that of other heads of Naval Bureaus.
(3) Ten inspectors of hospitals and fleets, to be appointed by the President from the grade of surgeons, and who shall have the rank of colonel, and the pay now allowed by law to fleet surgeons. One or more inspectors shall have the supervision of all naval hospitals within the Confederate States, and one shall be attached to each fleet and shall have general supervision of the medical department of the fleet.
(4) Twenty surgeons with the rank of major and pay as now allowed by law.
(5) Forty assistant surgeons, with the rank of captain, whose pay for the first five years shall be as at present, and, after five-years' service, that allowed by law to passed assistant surgeons.
(6) Medical officers, whose age or health renders it necessary, shall be retired on leave-of-absence pay, by a board of medical officers assembled for that purpose, their action being subject to the approval of the President; the vacancies thus occasioned to be filled by promotion.
(7) Assistant surgeons shall be in the Navy three years, two of which shall have been spent onboard of a vessel of war in active service, and part of the remaining year in a naval hospital before they shall be entitled to examination for promotion.
(8) The commanding officer of any vessel, post, or station, in the execution of his duties as such, shall take precedence of all medical officers attached to his command. In event of the removal, disability, or absence of such commanding officer, the line officer next in rank shall succeed to command, and will likewise take precedence of medical officers, but no medical officer shall, at any time, be subject to the orders of a warrant or inferior officer not in the line of promotion.
(9) Medical officers of the Navy shall share prize money, select quarters, and be entitled to all the honors of their rank, and shall wear the uniform of such rank with such difference in the color of the material (if necessary) as may readily distinguish them from officers of the same rank in the line.
(10) All court-martial for the trial of medical officers shall be in part composed of such officers.
(11) The service performed in the United States Navy by medical officers who have resigned therefrom, and are noncommissioned in the Confederate States Navy, shall be considered as having been performed under their present commissions.
(12) All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this act, are hereby repealed.
The foregoing bill, having been exhibited to the undersigned officers of the line, has been approved, as follows:
Approved, with the exception of clause 10.
Flag-Officer and Chief of Bureau of
Orders and Detail.
Approved in full:
GEORGE N. HOLLINS, Flag-Officer.
SAMUEL BARRON, Flag-Officer.
W. C. WHITTLE, Captain.
ROBERT G. ROBB, Commander.
MURRAY MASON, Commander.
ARTHUR SINCLAIR, Commander.
Commander, etc., Chief of Ordnance Bureau.
J. W. COOKE, Commander.
JNO. M. BROOKE, Commander.
WM. H. MURDAUGH, First Lieutenant.
D. P. McCORKLE, First Lieutenant.
R. R. CARTER, First Lieutenant.
W. H. WARD, First Lieutenant.
B. P. LOYALL, First Lieutenant.
WM. C. WHITTLE, [Jr.], First Lieutenant.
Clause No. 11 was added, with approval of the Secretary of the Navy, for the purpose of removing a difficulty which existed in reference to the pay of medical officers who refused commissions in the northern Navy. The Secretary has a copy of this bill, but has not expressed an opinion upon its merits, with exception of the clause referred to.
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