"Over fifty such results have occurred since Rear-Admiral Dahlgren anchored his monitor inside of Charleston bar and closed that port to commerce."
By this date the United States Navy, consisting of only 42 ships on active duty in March 1861, had grown to 671 ships mounting more than 4,600 guns. A total of 203 ships had been built for naval service since March 1861, including 62 ironclads.
The growing force had ringed the South with an increasingly close blockade, which, by December 1864 had taken nearly 1,400 prizes. In addition, Welles noted that four ships had been lost to the Southern naval cause in the course of the year: the commerce raiders Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and the fearsome ram Albemarle.
Moreover, the last major Gulf port had been closed by the Union victory at Mobile Bay. The fierce engagement, Welles wrote, was one which "in many respects [is] one of the most remarkable on record, and which added new lustre even to the renown of Rear-Admiral Farragut...."
Doing a Swell Job. --Old B-Runner