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January 1862

January 1 1862
Fond Du Lac Weekly Commonwealth

British Steel-Clad Ships
What we would have to Encounter on the Ocean When we Go to War with England
From the Philedephin American

H.M.S. Warrior

It is stated that we may shortly expect a visit from the warrior the famous British steel plated frigate. If this report be true we shall have an opportunity of judging for ourselves. From ocular examination of he framework, and accoutrements, what kind of antagonist she is likely to prove. She is of six thousand tons burden; she has been tried as a sea going ship, and found to be a complete success; her speed exceeds that of any war vessel in the world, and her size and power are unsurpassed. Such is the account given of her by the English papers we have little doubt that it is substantially correct. Our readers would perhaps l like to know a little more about the steel plated ships that the British government now is building; we have therefore collect the following particular on the subject.
The Warrior is completely equipped.-Her armament consists of eight guns on her upper deck, viz.: two 100-pounder, four 40 pounders, and two 25-pounder, Armstrong guns-and thirty-six guns on her main deck, ten of which are 100-pounders and the remainder 68 pounders, which throw shells filled with molten iron. With her steel armor on she weighs nine thousand tons, draws twenty-six feet of water, and can go sixteen and a half miles an. Her engines have nearly six thousand horse power, and she is built in compartments, each of which is air and water tight. Her sister the Black Prince is of precisely the same size and armament, is also fully equipped and has just made her third trip successfully. She steamed round from the Clyde where she was built, to Spithead, at the rate of sixteen miles an hour, and in a few days is to take her place in channel fleet. Then there are two smaller frigates- the Resistance and the Defiance. The latter was being fitted for sea at Sheerness and the former at the Victoria docks. They are 3,700 tons burden each and have by this time probably joined the channel fleet.- These four ships carry between them one hundred and twenty-six of the heaviest Armstrong guns.

Drawing of the Warrior

Bournemouth and Poole College of art and Design

Then some a class of ships of which but little is known at present viz., the Valiant and Hector. These ships are far advanced in construction, and will be ready for sea in may next. Their tonnage is about 400 tons more the the Resistance and nearly 2,000 less than the Warrior they are 280 feet long, 56 broad and 39 deep, The have by no means an handsome appearance owing to the stem and stern being almost precisely of the same form. The object of this is to give increased facilities for putting in the armor plates. The Valiant will differ from any other of the iron ships in being completely protected above the water-line by armor plates.
By having the bow and stern as nearly as possible similar, the trouble and expense of bending the ;cost will considerably reduced. The Valiant also differs from the Resistance in not having an advanced prow or beak for the purpose of running down the ship of the enemy. The framework of this vessel is of enormous strength. The keel piece I formed of Iron plate one and three quarters inches in thickness and to this the ribs for the sides are secured two feet apart from each other. At their junction with the keel they are two feet in depth. And taper too at the main deck to join inches in-depth. The iron ribs are 9/16ths of an inch at the bottom gradually reducing in thickness to 5/8 Th. of an Inch.
On the upper and main decks the beams are rolled iron on the Butterfly patent for the lower deck the beams are formed on the ordinary ;oak of riveting to plates. The sternpiece is described as being one of the finest specimens of hammered an forged work ever produced.- It rises in a bold curve from the keel to the main deck. Its dimensions are 2 feet 10 inches in depth, and the metal is nine inches thick . The difficulties of forming this immense mass of iron were very great, In the first place the iron was forged and hammered into an enormous plate of rather more than 9 inches thick, and 3 feet wide and some 40 feet long.Having been brought into this stage, it was then placed under a series of powerful planing machines, which slowly and gradually rounded its outer edge or surface cut deep grooves in which the common plates are to be ;secured, and finally the solid mass was bent into the exact curve required for its position at the stern.

Both the Valiant and the Hector are built in water-tight compartments, with a view to the safety as well as the greater strength of the ship. There are not less than seventy-eight water tight compartments. At the stem and stern,for about twelve feet at each end, behind the armor plates, the interior is perfectly honey combed with iron cellular plates.- The majority of the iron cells are not more than three feet deep, and less then two feet wide. Access to them is obtained through man holes in the different compartments.In some of the cells are smaller, and a man, in paring down to the lower series, has his body in three of these iron compartments at the same time. Such is the admirable manner in which these dark chambers are constructed that they are not only water tight but also air tight.
The object of these cell is to secure firmly the stem and the stern to the main body of the ship. For five or six feet below the main deck, fore and aft there is no armor plating and plated cells would act as traps in which to catch the shot of the enemy. An ordinary cannon ball might pass through" the side of one of these compartments but its speed and power would be so far checked as to prevent its wandering far amid this maze of iron work. The armor plates passing as they do internally round the ship give to the Vessel the means of fighting more of the guns on the main deck than is the case with the Resistance, where the plates cover only a portion of the sides. She will carry thirty guns on the the main deck and two pivots and four 60 pounders on the upper deck.There will be a shield of iron semi-circle in its form and rising to the height of the hammock berthing for the men at the guns while berthing down to the enemy . Her engines will be of 800 horse power and she will draw about 25 feet water. By the time of next year at the beginning of 1863, England will have, without any additional exertion, nineteen armor plated ships to form a squadron for the defense of the channel, or for offensive warfare elsewhere. It is evident that the character of navel warfare has entirely changed!
The time when ships lay yard-arm to yard-arm firing into each other for a whole day has gone by forever. An engagement between two hostile fleets in the present day would probably not last an hour for by that time two-thirds of all the ships engaged would be sunk or blown up. Wooden ships would disappear like soap bubbles under the concentrated, fire of the Warrior's broadside. the question now is . what will be the result when two armor plated vessels shall encounter each other! Hitherto neither England nor France has succeeded in making iron shot proof vessels (we are speaking of the Warrior's predecessors.)
In the Crimean war the English floating batteries went to pieces under a fire of solid sixty-eight pounders. the French boats employed on the attack on Kumburn, though hit by only thirty-two pound shot gave unmistakable sighs of a solution of continuity, an that mere knocks of heavier metal would soon send them to the bottom But then these were small vessels, and their defenses were trifling compared with the new armor plates; and so they do not serve as a criterion for us to judge of what would happen were the Warrior to encounter Lm Golrie, or the Gun's of a will appointed fort. Nevertheless it is clear that wooden ships, or wooden ships plated with iron will not be able to resist successfully these enormous iron fabrics. The Warrior, originally designed for a steam ram. but now converted into a fighting ship can still be used as ram against small craft; a mass of iron sharp pointed, weighting 9,000 tons and moving at the rate of sixteen miles an hour we'd cut a ship like the Niagara in two with the greatest ease, though, perhaps not with out some slight damage to itself.

Our Government cannot prepare too soon to encounter these Warriors and Black Princes of the ocean.

Counsel to Volunteers: How to Prepare for the Campaign The following hints to our volunteers communicated by "An Old Soldier" through the columns of the New York Post are timely and should be heeded:

1. Remember that in a campaign more men die by sickness that by bullet.

2. Line your blanket with one thickness of brown drilling. This adds but four ounces in weight and doubles the warmth.

3. Buy a small India rubber blanket ,only $1.50, to lay on the ground or to throw over your shoulders when on guard duty during a rain storm. Most of the Eastern troops are provided with these. Straw to lie upon is not always to be had.

4. The best military hat in use is the light colored soft felt; the crown being sufficiently high to allow space for air over the brain. You can fasten it up as a continental in fair weather, or turn it down when it is wet or very sunny.

5. Let your beard grow, so as to protect the throat and lungs.

6. Keep your entire person clean; this prevents fevers and bowel complaints in warm climates. Wash your body each day if possible. Avoid strong coffee and oily meat. Gen. Scott said that the too free use of these (together with neglect in keeping the skin clean) cost many a soldier his life in Mexico.

7. A sudden check of perspiration by chills or night air often causes fever and death. When thus exposed do not forget your blanket.
Reprinted in the Milwaukee Sentinel, 1862

From the Daily Gazette

Brig. Gen. Hamilton has written to Gov. Harvey suggesting that the State make arrangements to bring home for burial the bodies of all those soldiers and officers belonging to the State, who may be killed in battle, or who may die of disease, while in the service of the nation.

This letter Gov. Harvey transmitted to the Assembly, with his approval of its suggestions. It is a measure which may, and probably will, involve a large expenditure of money, and while we are not at all insensible to the importance of the suggestions, still we think, in view of the living, and of their necessities, there is room to question whether this kind of consideration for the inanimate clay is called for.

We do not suggest opposition to the proposition, but only due consideration of it. The practically of the measure, we think, will scarcely stand the test.
Fond du Lac Commonwealth Feb.8,’62

An Idea for the Ladies
A lady music teacher refused to receive any male pupils over eighteen during the war. Young ladies elsewhere might give their gentlemen callers a hint by refusing to see them.
Milwaukee Sentinel 7,'62

Sheboygan, Aug. 11 1862

Eds. Sentinel:-To get more soldiers for the army, it would work well if a State law was passed according to which nobody could get an office except he did service in the field as a soldier.
I hope you will lend your influence for the passage of
such a law.

F. Ghints

The First Arrest - The first arrest made in the city under the order of the Secretary of War, relative to discouraging enlistments, was made yesterday by order of Mayor D. He is the same individual who supplied the rebel prisoners with whisky when on their way to Camp Randall last spring and was taken there in Company with his sesech bretheren. His offense was "blowing" against enlistments. Sheriff Putnam has him in charge, and as the writ of habeas corpus has been suspended in such cases, we see no way for him to get out of jail until the end of the war.
Janesville Gazette Aug., 17, ’62

As We Expected 
The Democrats in the State, it seems, are going to oppose the military suffrage question-The
Milwaukee News, the mouthpiece of Wisconsin Democracy, although it would not willingly deprive any citizen of his vote because of a temporarily absence from the State, much less a soldier in the service of the Union, "but", it says, "it must be remembered that there are many particular phases to the case" this is, of course, only preliminary to a decided opposition to the measure. We are not surprised at the position of the Democracy. That party would, if it has the power, deprive not only soldiers of the privilege of voting but they would deprive every person of that privilege who would not be a tool of the Democrat leaders. 

The News has called this an abolition war, and taken great pains to prevent its partisan friends from enlisting, and one main object of this course was the hope that so many Republicans would enlist that the political power of the State would then be regained by its partisan friends. The permission to vote granted to the soldiers would knock this pretty scheme in the head; hence the opposition of the Democracy to this eminently just measure.
The Kenosha Telegraph
Sept 18, 1862

Found at last-
Lt. Col. Cassius Fairchild, wounded in the hip at Shiloh last Spring went to Chicago the present week to submit to an operation All efforts to find and extract the ball having hitherto failed. His wound in consequence has not healed and continues almost as bad as when first received. Yesterday his friends received by telegraph the gratifying intelligence that the ball had been found and extracted. He will now doubtless recover the use of his limbs in the course of a few weeks. Madison Journal, December 18, 1862

(Note: Lt. Col. Cassius Fairchild died of this wound in 1867)

Sentinel Dec. 20 1861

The Army Uniforms

We are pleased to see an announcement that a commission selected from discreet officers is to decide before the contracts for the six hundred thousand new uniforms are given out on such charges as shall add grace and attractiveness to the regulation suit with our materially increasing its cost.

The uniform now used is an adaptation of the Bavarian army dress. It does not answer the purpose at all, and we hope will be changed for a better. It was proved when the three months men returned that the shoddy cloth could look dirtier and meaner on short use than any other material. Some one has said that a soldier mentally reflects the color of his uniform. If that be true, it is to be hoped that the blue uniforms now used will be relieved in part by some other color.

The later regiments from all the loyal states have been supplied by the military boards of their own sovereignties with clothing as nearly as possible of the United States pattern. A few Zouave regiments are the exception-such as the Fifth New York (Duryee's) at Baltimore Baxter's Pennsylvania Zouaves, at Poolsvile, &ect.

To these will be added three coups, to which government has offered Capt. Godillot's 3,000 French Zouave uniforms, to wit: the eight Michigan, Twenty-Third Pennsylvania. and Forty-fourth New York. Thus at last we have in the field half a million of men clothed in dark blue coats, pants of a light blue caps to match, or felt hats, comfortable as ugly, and cocked up on the left side as if one should pin up the left ear of an elephant. Nine-tenths of the eighty odd regiments appearing at Munson's Hill review were clothed in such a dress, varied slightly by the minor idiosyncrasies of state quartermasters.

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December 31, 1862
The Wounded Soldiers' Christmas Dinner.

Nowhere else in the world than in America could have been seen the sight which has made this holiday in Washington remarkable and memorable - the banqueting of 35,000 wounded and sick soldiers upon a Christmas dinner, spread by the hands of individual benevolence.
The tables were set and abundantly and elegantly covered in the largest wards of the different hospitals. The rooms were ornamented by volunteer hands with evergreens and flowers. Volunteer waiters, gentlemen and ladies of the first families in the land, tenderly and devotedly served the wounded warriors in every hospital, waiting first on those too much injured to be moved to the table.
The feasting of this army of wounded thus honored and cared for was a touching sight. To make the festive occasion complete in most of the hospitals, hired or volunteer singers sang songs of home and of country; in others, members of Congress and Cabinet officers made speeches happily fit to the occasion, and moved socially among the tables.
In one or two the President found time to bring excitement and sunshine with him among the bandaged and becrutched revelers. Over seven thousand turkeys and chickens were consumed at this novel Christmas dinner.
This immense amount of poultry came mostly from Maryland and Pennsylvania, but four car-loads of it came all the way from Chicago. Three hundred turkeys, sent from ever-generous Albany, came cooked and ready for the table.

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