NOVEMBER 5TH, 1864: Secretary Mallory reported to President Davis on the continuing contributions of the Confederate Naval Academy which was training young midshipmen not only in the classroom but under fire: "In my last report I brought to your notice that the steamship Patrick Henry had been organized as a school and practice ship for the education of midshipmen in the several essential branches of their profession.
"The system of instruction conforms, as nearly as practical, to that of the most approved naval schools, and this institution will serve as a nucleus for an establishment which the necessities of naval service and the interests of the country will at an early day render necessary.
"Under the efficient command of Lieutenant Commander Parker, aided by zealous and competent officers, the beneficial of the school are already visible in the progress, tone, and bearing of our midshipmen.
""Though but from 14 to 18 years of age, they eagerly seek every opportunity presented for engaging in hazardous enterprises who are sent upon them uniformly exhibit good discipline, conduct, and courage."
Cadet classroom ordnance theory classes were often interrupted by very real ordnance "drills" of helping to man ship and shore batteries to repel Union attack.