Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11, 1864: Confederate ironclads in North Carolina

A post-war photograph of C.S.S. Albemarle in the process of being stripped for salvage.
On this day 150 years ago, Confederate Navy Secretary Stephen R. Mallory wrote to Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon to ask for his help in completing two small ironclads nearing completion in North Carolina. The two ironclads, destined to become the C.S.S. Albemarle and C.S.S. Neuse, were nearly finished, but they still needed their armor plates. Mallory needed railroad transportation to be allocated to carrying the armor plates to where the gunboats were under construction.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, March 11, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to the inclosed extracts from letters of Flag Officer Lynch and Lieutenant Loyall, C. S. Navy, dated the 8th instant, and respectfully request that instructions may be given to have the iron plates referred to transported to Kinston and Halifax at the earliest moment. The gun-boats at those points are completed with the exception of the iron plating, and the mechanics are delayed in their work waiting for it. The work upon these vessels has been delayed for months by the want of transportation, and now that they are very near completion I respectfully urge that no further delay on this account may be had, for unless completed at an early day the detention of the boat of Kinston by the fall of Neuse River will be disastrous and may cause her destruction. The subject is of so much importance that I suggest the detail by the Quartermaster-General of an officer specially charged with it.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. R. MALLORY,

Secretary of the Navy.

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