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They were only the first of many. By the end of the first year of war, then, both navies had embarked on major shipbuilding programs. The ships, however, would do little good without crews to man them. S. Navy expanded its enlisted force threefold, from , to , men. During this era there was no recruit training system, so most men went directly to ships to learn as best they could. 29 The officer corps, already depleted by the departure of officers to join the Confederacy, posed a more difficult challenge.

The second, which would be called New Ironsides, was a fully rigged, high-freeboard ship with solid armor and a broadside battery. The third was John Ericsson’s proposal for a single-turreted, low-freeboard “Impregnable Floating Battery,” which became the Monitor. In making their decisions, the board members showed their support for unconventional ideas; both Galena and Monitor were novel designs, and Monitor offered the shallowest draft and the shortest building time of any of the three ships.

6 The blockaders, especially at first, concentrated on the South’s major seaports. The low-lying Southern coast featured many inlets, bays, and rivers, but poor interior connections meant that few ports were of much use outside their local trading areas. The best connected Confederate ports were New Orleans, Norfolk, Pensacola, Mobile, Charleston, Savannah, and Wilmington, North Carolina. In the prewar economy, however, where free access to riverine and coastwise shipping dominated the poorly developed Southern transportation system, connections did not always mean commercial success.

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Air Defense Weapons by John Nicholas


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