Continuing with Porter's suggestions to Commander Macomb.
""You can sling s good sized anchor to an outrigger spar, and let it go on her deck, and by letting go your own anchor keep her from getting away until other vessels pile in one her. Five or six steamers getting alongside the ram could certainly take her by boarding.
"If you get on board of her, knock a hole in her smokestack with axes or fire a howitzer through it, and drop shrapnel down into the furnaces.... Set torpedoes in the river at night, so that no one will know where they are. Obstruct the river above Plymouth, and get what guns are there to command the approaches.
"Get a net or two across the river, with large meshes, so that when the ram comes down the net will clog her propeller....It is strange if we, with all our resources, can not extinguish a rebel ram."
With the South struggling to complete ironclads one by one, the North was able to bring massive strength to bear against each potential threat. However, if the Confederacy had been able to import machinery and iron freely, she would have completed a number of effective ironclad warships that could have changed the complexion of the war.
The dreaded ironclad never came down the river and was never even anywhere near completion.
Ol' Porter, the Ironclad Expert. --Old B-Runner