Origin of Monitor's XI-inch Dahlgren Shell Guns

M E Wolf

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Location
Virginia
Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 6 [S# 6]
Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
From October 29, 1861, to March 8, 1862. pp. 546-611
Letter from the Chief of Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography to the Chief of Bureau of Yards and Docks, regarding the weight of projectiles for the U. S. S. Monitor.
BUREAU OF ORDNANCE AND HYDROGRAPHY,
Nary Department, Washington City, February 7, 1862.
SIR: With reference to the weight of the wrought-iron shot, which the Bureau understands have been supplied for the XI-inch guns on board the ironclad Ericsson battery, Commander Dahlgren informs the Bureau that "in no case ought a projectile weighing over 170 pounds be fired from a XI-inch gun," and positive instructions will be issued to that effect to the officers in command of the battery.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
ANDREW A. HARWOOD,
Chief of Bureau Ordnance and Hydrography.

Commodore J. SMITH, U. S. Navy,
Chief of Bureau Yards and Docks, Navy Department.
-----
Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 6 [S# 6]
Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
From October 29, 1861, to March 8, 1862. pp. 650-705
Order of the Secretary of the Navy to Lieutenant Worden, U. S. Navy, commanding the U. S. S. Monitor, to proceed with that vessel to Hampton Roads.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 20, 1862.
SIR: Proceed with the U. S. S. Monitor, under your command, to Hampton Roads, Virginia, and on your arrival there report by letter to the Department. Commodore Paulding has been instructed to charter a vessel to accompany the Monitor, provided none of our vessels are going south about the time she sails. Transmit to the Department a muster roll of the crew and a separate list of the officers of the Monitor before sailing from New York.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
GIDEON WELLES.
Lieutenant JOHN L. WORDEN,
Commanding U. S. Ironclad Steamer Monitor, New York.
-----

Navy O.R.-- Series I--Volume 7 [S# 7]
North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
From March 8 To September 4, 1862. pp. 1-81
Report of Lieutenant Jeffers, U. S. Navy, regarding ammunition expended by the U. S. S. Monitor.
U. S. CASED BATTERY MONITOR,
Hampton Roads, March 16, 1862.
SIR: In answer to your enquiry I have to report that the Monitor expended forty-one solid cast-iron shot in her engagement with the Merrimack, equally divided between guns 27 and 28.

On inspection of the bore with a mirror no trace of injury can be observed. I have no means of examining the vent by taking an impression.

Unless absolutely necessary I shall fire no more cast-iron solid shot, as ] am satisfied that shells are not more liable to fracture. The bronze coated shot I shall reserve for especial occasion. The wrought-iron shot I shall send on shore to remove the temptation to fire them. I am satisfied that the Merrimack can not seriously injure the Monitor, but an explosion of a gun might destroy the turret.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. N. JEFFERS,
Lieutenant, Commanding.
Flag-Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
-----
XI-inch Dahlgren - manual check of all the C.S.S. and U.S.S. ships and none had remarks of having their XI-inch Dahlgren guns transfered to the U.S.S. Monitor listed.

M. E. Wolf
 

FSkiddy

Cadet
Joined
Mar 14, 2015
Hi
As far as I know the XI-inch Dahlgrens were transferred from the U.S.S. Dacotah while Monitor was being assembled in Brooklyn. The guns were originally produced at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, NY.

You will note in the Dacotah’s history that she was out of commission from 12/31/61 to 2/25/62. These dates roughly corresponds to the Minitor’s later assembly time at the Continental Iron Works. The total construction time was between 10/25/61 through the launch date of 1/30/62.

Hope this helps.
 

CivilWarTalk

Lieutenant General
- ★★★ -
Managing Member & Webmaster
Joined
Apr 1, 1999
Location
Martinsburg, WV
Hi
As far as I know the XI-inch Dahlgrens were transferred from the U.S.S. Dacotah while Monitor was being assembled in Brooklyn. The guns were originally produced at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, NY.

You will note in the Dacotah’s history that she was out of commission from 12/31/61 to 2/25/62. These dates roughly corresponds to the Minitor’s later assembly time at the Continental Iron Works. The total construction time was between 10/25/61 through the launch date of 1/30/62.

Hope this helps.
I did find that information later, it's all included in this article:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/monitors-xi-inch-dahlgren-shell-guns.166641/
 

67th Tigers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Hi
As far as I know the XI-inch Dahlgrens were transferred from the U.S.S. Dacotah while Monitor was being assembled in Brooklyn. The guns were originally produced at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, NY.

That's correct. They were serial no.s 27 and 28.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
That also of course puts the lie to the common claim that they weren't properly proofed; they were, and they were used at full service charge.
 
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