NOVEMBER 8TH, 1964: Rear Admiral Farragut, writing Secretary Welles, expressed his deeply held conviction that effective sea power was not dependent so much on a particular kind of ship or a specific gun but rather on the officers and men who manned them: ...I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel.
"In my humble opinion the Kearsarge would have captured or sunk the Alabama as often as they might have met under the same organization and officers. The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them.
"I do not believe that the result would have been different if the Kearsarge had nothing but a battery of 8-inch guns and 100-pound chase rifle. What signifies the size and caliber of the gun if you do not hit the adversary?"