MAY 5TH, 1864: Chief Engineer Henry A. Ramsay at the new Charlotte Confederate Navy Yard advised Commander Brooke, Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance, that he was having problems recruiting skilled workers and a shortage of mechanics, he was unable to operate some of the equipment for arming Southern ironclads. He also wasn't able to repair the locomotives assigned to the yard by Secretary Mallory.
He added: "I understand from you that the iron-clad Virginia [No. II] at Richmond is now in readiness for action except her gun carriages and wroght-iron projectiles, which are being made at these works. If we had a full force of mechanics this work would have been finished in one-half the time....."
Two days later, Lt. David P. McCorkle wrote Brooke a similar letter from the Naval Ordnance Works in Atlanta, Georgia.
This chronic shortage of skilled workers combined with material shortages occasioned by the blockade could not be surmounted.