Spy Report, July 4, 1862
Courtesy of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, University of Alabama
(Paragraphs inserted for ease of reading)
State room right aft. The entrance to the cabin from the deck is abaft the mizen mast, raised, about 2 feet 6 inches. The state room is seated all round; there are two small glass cases in it. At the bottom of the stairs, the communication to the right leads to a small saloon in the centre of which, is a small dining table and on each side are state cabins.
Passing from this to a little more forward, is a large saloon, where the chief officers’ and chief engineers cabins are situated on each side, fitted up with chart and book cases.
From this you pass through a doorway into the engine room. There is a platform over the engines (which are two in number ) and which are most complete and handsome pieces of machinery, only occupying a small space and lying entirely at the bottom; they are on the oscillating principle.
From here also you can pass into the stoke holes. Forward of this, but no communication, are the mens berths, which are quite open and spacious and run entirely forward, in the centre is the cooking apparatus. The hooks are slung to the deck for the mens hammocks. This is also seated all round. Under these seats are places for the mens bags with iron gratings which form the front of the seats. The entrance to this department is directly forward of the foremost.
At the bottom of the stairs, a little to the fore part of the ship is a small hatch which loads to the magazines, two in number. The partition on each side of these magazines is of three thicknesses of oak, between each thickness is lined with lead. These magazines are under the main deck, of what I should the mens berths in the fore part of the ship, about six or eight foot forward of the fore mast. The canisters are fixtures on their sides, the screws lying one over the other. The magazines and entrance to them, are filled with water during action, by a pipe on each side, and by a pipe in the middle of the floor, the water descends to the bottom of the ship and is pumped out by steam power.
The entrance to the cabin is abaft the mizen mast; each side is a brass ventilator, about twelve inches high. Forward of the mizen mast is a skylight to the small saloon and forward of this skylight is a larger one, which gives light to the larger saloon. These skylights do not stand more than a foot high on deck and which have iron bars across. Forward of this skylight and abaft the funnel, is a skylight five or six feet long, which gives light to the engine room.
The base of the funnel forms a square, about two feet high; each corner it latticed with iron rails, to throw light and air into the stoke room. Each side abaft the funnel, are two ventilators with round bell mouths and which stand about five or six feet high; more forward of the mainmast are two more ventilators of the same description.
The entrance to the stoke hole is abaft the foremast. The entrance to the mens sleeping apartment, is raised, about 2 feet high. A small chimney, or brass or copper funnel rises here from the cooking apparatus. Each side of the gangway is carved oak, with an anchor and rope carved on.
Richard Broderick, a shipwright, states, that on the day of the launch of the gunboat, “No. 290” Captain Bullock and his wife, with several American gentlemen, were in attendance. Captain Bullock’s wife was in one of the office windows, with other ladies. Her bonnet dropped form the window, he (Broderick) lifted it and passed it up to her. He also states, that one of the gentlemen who was present was tall, stout, and wore red whiskers. He further states that he is sure that Captain Bullock is the owner of the gunboat and that she belongs to the same parties as the “Oroto” s.s (gunboat) (now the “Florida”) which was built by W.C. Miller Toxteth Dock and for the same purpose viz:- for cruising about on the American coast. He (Richard Broderick) says, in fact she is for the Confederate Government and that Captain Bullock is a Southern Commissioner.
Captain Butcher, who is a young man, with light whiskers and beard, is for the present, in command of her and is appointing and shipping the crew. The Chief Officer whose name, at present he (Broderick) does not know, has been in the Peninsular and Oriental Company's Service. The Chief Steward has been on board the Royal Mail Steamer “Africa” one of the Gunard Line.
There are to be two carpenters; viz;- carpenter and carpenters mate. Captain Butcher wanted him (Broderick) to go as carpenters mate but he (Broderick) would not go as the wages were too small, they only offering £6 and he (Broderick) wanting £7 per month, and also a guarantee from Mr. John Laird that his (Broderick's) wages would be all right, as they refused to say who the owners were. Mr. Laird smiled when he was asked to be security as he (Mr. Laird) said, he had no doubt it would be all right. Broderick refused to go.
Created and maintained by Lisle Brown, Curator
© 2007, Special Collections, Marshall University