AUGUST 13TH, 1861: Commander Bulloch, CSN, writing from London to Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory, said, "After careful examination of the shipping lists of England, and inspecting many vessels, I failed to find a single wooden steamer fit for war purposes, except one paddle steamer, too large and costly and drawing too much water for our coast.
"Wood as a material for ships has almost entirely gone out of use in the British merchant service, and their iron ships, though fast, well built, and staunch enough for voyages of traffic, are too thin in the plates and light in the deck frames and stanchions to carry guns of much weight.
"I therefore made arrangements to contract with two eminent builders for a gun vessel each..."
These, of course, would be Confederate commerce raiders.
** USS Powhatan, Lt. David D. Porter, recaptured schooner Abby Bradford off the mouth of the Mississippi River.