APRIL 26TH, 1861: Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory reported: "I propose to adopt a class of vessels hitherto unknown to naval services. The perfection of a warship would doubtless be a combination of the greatest known ocean speed with the greatest known floating battery and power of resistance ... agents of the department have thus far purchased but two [steam vessels], which combine the requisite qualities.
" These, the Sumter and McRae, are being fitted as cruisers... Vessels of this character and capacity cannot be found in this country, and must be constructed or purchased abroad."
Mallory discussed naval ordnance: "Rifled cannon... having obtained a range and accuracy beyond any other form of ordnance ... I propose to introduce them into the Navy ... Small propeller ships, with great speed, lightly armed with these guns, must soon become as the light artillery and rifles of the deep, a most destructive element of naval warfare."
And, Mallory had great success with his commerce cruisers as we all know.