MAY 21ST, 1861: USS Pochahontas, Commander John P. Gillis, seized steamboat James Guy off Machodoc Creek, Virginia.
** John A. Stevenson of New Orleans discussed with Confederate Secretary of Navy Mallory a "plan by which the enemy's blockading navy might be driven from our coasts," and wrote President Davis, "We have no time, place, or means, to build an effective navy. Our ports are, or soon will be, all blockaded.
"On land we do not fear Lincoln, but what shall we do to cripple him at sea? In this emergency, and seeing that he is arming many poorly adapted vessels, I have two months past been entirely engaged in perfecting pans by which I could so alter and adapt some of our heavy and powerful tow-boats on the Mississippi as to make them comparatively safe...
"...against the heaviest guns afloat, and by preparing their bow in a peculiar manner, as my plans and model will show, render them capable of sinking by collision the heaviest vessels ever built..."