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COMMANDER DAHLGREN AND
IN a recent number we published a
picture of Captain Rodman's big Columbiad at
Fort Monroe, We now publish on
244 a series of picture; illustrating the
Dahlgren gun, with a
This distinguished officer of the
United States Navy is a native of Pennsylvania. He entered the service as a
Midshipman in 1826, became a Lieutenant in 1837, and a Commander in 1855. For
the last fifteen years he has been engaged at the
Navy-yard at Washington in
superintending the construction of artillery. The service owes to him, first,
the heavy guns which bear his name, and also a very efficient armament for
boats, consisting of 12 and 24-pound bronze howitzers of light pattern, which
throw shells, shrapnel, and canister. Before his time boats were armed merely
with shot guns, carronades, and land pieces, which were obviously unsuitable for
service at sea. His vigilance and energy have now provided our boats with an
admirable system of ordnance, and contributed not a little to the general
efficiency of our naval gunnery.
The large Dahlgren guns with
which our new steam frigates are armed are regarded as the most perfect models
yet constructed. The weight of metal between the muzzle and the trunnions is
reduced, and is placed about the breech, where most strength is required. In
length, range, and height the 8-inch Dahlgren does not differ materially from
the 32-pounder. Its dimensions are as follows :
Length of bore 100.3inch.
Weight 63 cwt. Range at 5°
elevation, with 9 pounds powder. 1776 yards.
The navy 32-pounder sends a ball
or shell 1930 yards, when fired at an elevation of 5° with nine pounds powder.
The great 9 and 11-inch guns are still an experiment.
The fuse used in the Dahlgren
howitzers was invented by Colonel Borman, of the Belgian Artillery. Our
correspondent writes : " When the charge is to be placed in the gun, the time
for explosion—from a quarter of a second to five seconds —can be obtained by
cutting away the soft metal of which the cover to the fuse chamber is composed
at the time, as marked upon the fuse. The discharge of the piece ignites the
fuse, which, burning the time marked, reaches the chamber of grained powder,
which explodes the thin covering between the contents of the shell, and explodes
the whole. I have seen the Dahlgren howitzer discharged four times within twenty
seconds. Each shrapnel contains eighty musket-balls ; this would give nearly a
thousand balls per minute from a single piece—and then, too, the shell is
exploded at will at any given point."
THE WASHINGTON NAVY-
WE publish on
page 245 a view of
the Washington Navy-yard, showing the shad-fishers in the fore-ground pursuing
their peaceful calling, and the engines of dread war in the whole back-ground of
The Washington Navy-yard lies on
the north bank of the Anacostia, a branch of the Potomac, about one mile from
the junction. The waters of this stream are of considerable width, and though
the channel is very narrow, it has been practicable for the largest ships of war
; but from neglect it is now so choked by deposits that only at high-water and
with great care can vessels of 17 and 18 feet get to the navy-yard. This
navy-yard was located very soon after the city itself, and being at the seat of
Government, has been more used for building and fitting ships than its
remoteness from the ocean might be supposed to make convenient. The Chesapeake
was prepared here for sea in 1807, previous to her encounter with the Leopard.
In 1814, when the British occupied
Washington, a fine frigate, in process of
building, and the Argus, 18, were burned to prevent their being taken. The
Columbus, 74 (1819) ; frigates Potomac (1821), Brandywine (1825), and Columbia
(1836) ; sloops-of-war St. Louis (1828), and St. Mary's (1844) ; schooners
Grampus, Shark, and Experiment; and the steam-frigate,
Minnesota (1835), were
all built here.
The yard is best known, however,
for its facilities in preparing supplies for the Navy of a peculiar description.
All the anchors and chain cables
for the Navy are made here, under the eye of that faithful old son of Vulcan,
Mr. Tucker. This has been his province for nearly half a century, and though
scarcely as active as he has been, he is yet to be seen, early and late, in the
active performance of his business, and the full vigor of a green old age.
The range of new buildings for
the manufacture of steam-engines is perhaps unsurpassed in this country for its
extent, convenience, and excellent machinery. Here was made the engine of the
Minnesota; and if it sustains the same standard of work in future, the
establishment need not fear competition in any quarter. Since that the engine of
the Richmond was executed, and now the mechanics are busy putting up that of the
Pensacola, a new design by Mr. Sickles. Here presides Mr. Bright, an able and
industrious engineer, who was trained in the yard.
In the ordnance buildings are
manufactured all the bronze howitzers for the Navy, also supplies of various
kinds, such as fuses and rockets, shrapnell, shell, etc., for the howitzers,
caps and ammunition for the small-arms.
This is under the direction of
Captain Dahlgren, by whom all the present establishment was designed and put
into operation during the last ten or twelve years, except the Laboratory, which
owes its existence to the late Mr. Costar, an accomplished pyrotechnist.
The several parts of this branch
are the Mechanical Department, the Laboratory, the Gun Foundery,
One of the most important is the
Battery, where may be seen every
model of artillery, new or old, rifled or smooth, and where have been first put
into practice the important changes that are noticeable in the new steamers of
The entire yard is under the
command of Captain Buchanan, and its beautiful condition is not only creditable
to his personal taste and industry, but is evidence that an officer so
distinguished for his ability on board ship can be equally so in a yard. He may
well be proud of the praise accorded him in and out of his profession.
Here, too, in the extensive and
excellent buildings and facilities of the yard, as indeed of every other
navy-yard in the United States, may be observed the results of able and faithful
management by the veteran who directs the affairs of the Bureau of Yards and
Docks—Commodore Jos. Smith—one of the few who have survived the perils of 1812,
and the labors of continued service since that epoch. He played an active part
in the stubborn fight on Lake Champlain, and now seems hardly touched by the
intervening period of half a century.
THE UNITED STATES FLEET
OFF FORT PICKENS.
WE publish on pages 248 and 249 a
picture of the United States fleet
now lying off
Fort Pickens, Florida. It
consists of the
steam sloop Brooklyn, the
frigate Sabine, the sloop of war St.
Louis, the steamers Crusader and Wyandot, and a supply ship. They lie about
three miles off the shore, and form a beautiful picture as seen from Fort
The following list will give the
strength, and the names of the officers of the several vessels :
FRIGATE "SABINE"—FIFTY GUNS.
Captain—Henry A. Adams.
Lieutenant and Executive Officer—J. R. Mullany. Lieutenants—George P. Welsh, Wm.
H. Murdagh, Robert F. R. Lewis, L. H. Norman. Acting Master—Wm. P. M'Cann.
Surgeon—M. G. Delaney. Passed Assistant Surgeon—James T. Harrison.
Paymaster—John F. Steele. First Lieutenant of Marines—John Cash. Boatswain—Paul
Atkinson. Gunner—James M. Cooper. Carpenter—Wm. D. Jenkins. Sailmaker—John
Joins. Master's Mates—R. L. Parker, Val. Voorhees, Daniel Dunsmore, Wm. S.
Roche, John Skillman, J. R. Crockwell, Thomas Garvey. Captain's Clerk—B. H.
Lane. Purser's Clerk—John M. Falk.
Lieutenants—James A. Doyle, J. C. Williamson, Albert W. Smith, William N.
Jeffers, William Mitchell, H. A. Adams. Surgeon—Lewis W. Minor. Paymaster—Thomas
H. Looker. Assistant Surgeons—T. W. Leach, M. P. Christian. Lieutenant of
Marines—George R. Graham. Engineers—Joshua Follansbee, W. B. Brooks, Marshall P.
Jordan, James W. Wittaker, Henry Snyder, E. F. Mayer, Jun., John K. Neill.
SLOOP "ST. LOUIS"—TWENTY GUNS.
Captain—Charles H. Poor.
Executive Officer-Lieu-tenant J. D. Todd. Lieutenants—W. W. Low, M. P. Jones, G.
E. Belnap. Surgeon—John O. C. Barclay. Paymaster—G. T. Pierce. Assistant
Surgeon—J. O. Purnett. Marine Officer—Lieutenant H. L. Graham. Boatswain—P. A.
Chassen. Gunner—J. W. Searle. Carpenter—James M'Donald. Sailmaker—L. B. Wakeman.
Clerks—Captain's, W. Gordon; Paymaster's, W. Shelbrick.
STEAMER " CRUSADER"—EIGHT GUNS.
Lieutenant Commanding—T. A. M.
Craven. Lieutenants---J. M. Duncan, J. E. Jewett, and A. E. K. Ben-ham. Passed
Assistant Surgeon—J. W. B. Greenhom. Master—Rush R. Wallace. Engineers—First
Assistant, J. A. Grier ; Third Assistants, L. Campbell, O. H. Lackey, and J. D.
STEAMER "WYANDOT"—FIVE GUNS.
Lieutenant Commanding—Abner Read.
Lieutenants--J. R. Eggleston, J. M. Stribling. Assistant Surgeon—Algernon S.
Garnet. Engineers—First Assistant, W. H. Cushman; Third Assistants, M. H.
Plunkett, K. Wilson. Purser—Emery J. Brooks.
STORE-SHIP "SUPPLY"---TWO GUNS.
Lieutenants—C. H. B. Caldwell, James S. Maxwell, Alfred Hopkins. Master—J. A.
Howell. Assistant Surgeon—A. W. Sandford. Paymaster—E. W. Dunn.
Clerks—Captain's, John Van Dyke; Paymaster's, A. C. Bowie.
THE DEPARTURE OF THE "
AND "BALTIC" WITH TROOPS.
ON Saturday, April 6, the
Atlantic sailed under sealed orders, with several hundred United States troops
and military stores on board ; and on Monday following the Baltic also sailed
with the like freight. We publish on
page 252 a couple of pictures illustrating
the shipment of military stores, etc., on board these vessels. The Herald
reporter thus describes the scene :
the ship every thing betokened
the mission on which she is bound. On every side something was met that spoke of
war; the decks were covered with loose plank, around the sides of the vessel
were ranged a number of water-casks, while piled up for future disposition were
boxes of shell and other warlike implements, among which were several boxes of
the newly rifled carbines used by the artillery. The upper deck, at the bow, was
devoted to the erection of stalls for the use of the horses that were to be
received on board. These were constructed with regard both to strength and
comfort, the sides and back being very carefully padded, so as to secure the
animals from injury during the passage. Eighty of these stalls were erected,
completely filling up the front part of the vessel. Every measure has been
adopted that was at all practicable to secure the comfort of the animals.
The sleeping accommodation for
the soldiers are little better than the horse-stalls—rough boards carelessly
nailed together forms the bedstead on which the men are to stretch themselves,
and more than stretch themselves they can't, there being very close quarters for
one, where two are intended to be put. It is intended that each of these stands
will hold six men, and as they are very narrow, very high, and packed together
as close as it is possible to do so, they will be able to carry a great number
in a very small space. The cabin, state-rooms, and other portions of the vessel
In the fore-part of the hold an
immense quantity of provisions are stored—flour, meats, bags, barrels, and
parcels are carefully stored away, and there is little fear of their provisions
falling short, at least for some time ; the rest of the hold is filled with the
guns, carriages, forges, and stores that may be needed at whatever place they
may be bound for.
of the troops and armament was
conducted in the usual military style. Some curiosity was manifested as to how
so many horses (seventy-eight)
were to be got on board, as the steamer was lying several feet from the dock,
but the presence of two strongly-built stalls soon explained that. The horse was
quietly placed in one of the stalls, and almost before he had time to know where
he was, the steam-hoisting apparatus had placed him with his companions on board
the ship. The time employed in putting all the animals in their quarters was
incredibly short, only a few moments being given to each. The guns and their
heavy carriages were stowed away carefully, and the baggage next received the
The steam-tug R. L. Mabey at five
o'clock came along-side; her deck was densely crowded with soldiers from Fort
Hamilton, and there was some little delay in getting them on board the larger
vessel. They presented a strange sight, with their knapsacks, water-bottles,
cans, and other accoutrements. They are nearly all young men—fine, healthy young
fellows, and full of spirit.
THE SAILING OF THE "
The work of shipping a cargo on
the Baltic was prosecuted with unceasing vigor during the whole of Sunday night
and yesterday, until the moment of departure. The articles shipped embrace
ordnance tools, muskets, foraging carts, and forge vices. A large number of
gunny bags was in the list. These gunny bags possess a warlike character,
inasmuch as they are used in throwing up redoubts, and are also very serviceable
in protecting a boat's crew in approaching a battery.
Among the commodities shipped was
a remarkable quantity of spirituous liquors of all kinds, the labels attached to
which were often times rather ludicrous, especially such as the following : "58
bottles firemen's rum."
During the afternoon the workmen
were principally engaged in shipping provisions and ammunition on board the
Baltic. A number of Bengalee lights were also shipped.
Toward five o'clock the
steam-tugs R. L. Mabey, C. P. Smith, and Catlin came to the dock with 500
troops. The R. L. Mabey placed 160 men, from
Governor's Island, on board the
Baltic, after which the steamship moved slowly out from the dock, the soldiers
on the top deck cheering, and gaining the middle of the river, turned toward the
Bay and went out to sea. She passed the Narrows at seven P.M., accompanied by
the steam-tug Yankee, which has been chartered by the Government.
YE KNYGHTE, YE SQUIRE, AND
A METRICAL ROMANCE OF THE MIDDLE
SIR. WALTER DE GREY was a gallant
young knight As ever was seen at a feast or a fight Ever fiat at the battle and first
at the board,
Were it blood to be spilled or
good wine to be poured. He had rode with six sword-strokes bestowed on his
Twice that number of pints might
be stowed 'neath his vest ;
And little the marvel that Walter
was tough, For the life of a ruffler in that day was rough. The most of his time
in the saddle was spent,
Or, when arms tired his arms, he
retired to a tent, And hung out a trumpet in reach of his foes, A blow upon
which was precursor of blows!
Of a sooth his armed heels he
might proudly display,
For he won them their spurs upon
Ascalon's day, Though then but a squire, be no wrought in the fight That Richard
at bed-time said, " Walter, good knight!" He had charged on the Moslem alone,
without feres, And had raised such a din about Saladin's ears, That the foe to
their Prophet cried, "Shield us, we pray,
From the old devil black and this
young devil Grey!"
Sir Walter, of course, was a
favorite with dames—The reason none know, and sure nobody blames; But certain it is that bright
plumes and bright swords Have made bright eyes forget both the Lord and theirlords, And that down to this day there
is nothing that charms The sex called divine like a good "man at arms." To tell
truth of my knight, our Good Lady above Came in for a very small share of his
If he knelt at her shrine, it is
more than I know, But I'll vouch that he knelt him to many below;
For these saddle-trained men were
sad rovers at best, And their love—like their lances—but seldom knew rest.
Sir Walter for squire had as
merry a knave As ever braced helmet or buckled a glaive.
Stout John was the man a young
master to aid, For, ready alike with his tongue and his blade,
He would ride by your side, and
cut throats or a joke, As the need might demand or the humor provoke. He could
tell you long stories—some sad and some queer Of a Barbary far and of Barbaras
For John had explored every nook
in the world Where a petticoat fluttered or pennon unfurled—He had followed the
steps of an optician knight Who sought to restore the old Sepulchre's site,
Yet I grieve to record did not
save it from loss—They were crossed in their efforts by foes of the Cross! But I
can not recount every region and spot
Where my good John had been—nor
can you where he'd not!
Well : As the knight and his squire
scoured the country one day,
In quest of some straggler to
succor or slay, They espied a fair castle--the evening was nigh, And our heroes
were weary, and hungry, and—dry. Said the squire, " What will next be the move
knight?" Quoth Sir Walter, "I'll castle."
Said John, " That move's right !"
So they spurred on like men of
decision and tact, On the spur of the moment accustomed to act,
Till they came to the gates--not
a soul was exposed, The draw-bridge was up and the portcullis closed; But a horn
hung outside—they had never heard tell In that quaint Middle Age of a door with
a bell. Quoth stout John, " When a traveler is wearied and worn, He can not be censured for taking
So lie put to his lips, and he
wound such a blast That the church-yards all round thought that day was the last
And a Gambler who long had lain
still as a dump Stepped out and demanded if that was the trump. While the Baron
inside swore he hadn't a doubt "If that man were a candle he'd blow himself
out." And the old warder sprang to unfasten his chains, Lest the parties outside
should blow out their brains. "You make," said the graybeard, as John cantered
through, "More noise with one horn than
the Foul Fiend with two!"
Inside of the castle was feasting
It was wassail and wine, beef,
brandy, and beer—Till the evening had waned, when the Baron arose : "Fair Sirs,
if it please, ere we go to repose
A few strains on the harp my
daughter shall play." "We attend the fair harpist," said Walter de Grey.
Don't tremble, good reader, I
mean not to tell Of the beauties and charms of the fair Isabel ;
For Sir Walter that night bored
the poor sleepy John With such tales of these trifles that, when he had done,
The squire spoke him, briefly : "I see, though too late, This castling was
wrong—it will end in a mate."
That night my poor knight very
little sleep knew, And he woke up his squire ere the cock fairly crew. "God save
us!" cried John, "have this young damsel's charms
Turned thy brain, that thus early
we take us to arms?" Quoth the knight, "Save thy jokes, for they please me not
We fell on this castle—you wet
Unhelmed and unhorsed, on my
knees and in need, I have called on my squire—shall
I see thee secede?" " Nay, nay," said stout John ; "and no caitiff shall dare Say the squire leaves the knight
till the knight leaves his square.
You shall mount, and I'll make
you quite rich in a trice With the coin that rich men give to poor—good advice.
If you're saddled by love, and
the boy's bridal rein Holds you steady in check, it is useless to strain, And
fret, and grow restise, man, learn front the horse, And take the field fair like
a courser, of course."
"Alas! my good squire," said Sir
Walter de Grey, "I've heard horses whinny and fillies cry neigh." Quoth John, "I
have ridden beside thee in light, And each deed was indeed like a gallant Sir
Knight; Upon bombards we've charged in the far sunny South—Shall we blench from
the fire of a fair lady's mouth?"
Sir Walter was silent, but soon
And in dressing that morning he
donned his best clothes.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I've
noticed this much When young men to their dress give artistical touch, The thing
is portentous as clouds in the sky—You may know that a wedding or funeral is
nigh. Well, Sir Walter that morning threw armor afar, And instead of his
falchion he bore a guitar ; In the garden below soon a tinkling was heard, - And
the Baron, half-roused, damned an innocent bird.
I remember that once some young
ladies next door Had a serenade--time, in the morning at four
And they opened their window and
flung out bouquet On the brazen young ass who'd woke me with his brays;
I remarked to my wife, had he
come beneath ours, I'd have flung out some favors more weighty than flowers.
But tastes don't agree—to return
to my theme, I'll tell you the words that broke Isabel's dream.
THE KNIGHT'S SONG.
Oh, Lady, leave thy slumber now,
For birds their matins tell;
The gems of Night deck Morning's
brow: Come down my Isabel !
The rose is breathing its sweet
prayer, And every lily-bell
Is ringing fragrance on the air:
Come down my Isabel!
And I have found an angel's
tear--This dew upon the dell
To mirror back thy beauty clear:
Come down my Isabel!
I bent above a blushing flower,
And heard the rose queen tell
To bring the brightest to her
bower: Come down my Isabel!
The stars swing silent in the
sky, So soft the zephyr's swell,
It scarce can drown a lover's
sigh: Come down my Isabel!
The lady came down, the knight
knelt in the dew, What he said as he knelt there is nothing to you; The act was
imprudent, he spoiled his guitar
And returned to the house with
it. shocking catarrh.
When Sir Walter and John after
breakfast had met—John never stirred out while the grass-plat was wet: "Tell me
now," said the squire, "have we gleanings
One would say by thy face 'twas a
very (lark knight." It was Walter that spoke, and his tongue was as slow As the
bell's that is tolled to tell tidings of tees: "Alas for my love, and also for
Its grief, And alas for my lady, her
father—the thief To the musty old church his fair
daughter has given, And to-morrow the maid will be wedded to Heaven!"
Loud laughed the stout squire,
"By this blade good and bright,
I will swear she had rather be
wed to a knight!
"One hope," said Sir Walter, "one
only remains, The hand that has forged may unrivet the chains." So they sought
out the Baron, they found him at play With two kittens—his felines were tender,
Sir Walter spoke deftly, "Thy
daughter is fair As the brow of the morning and pure as a prayer, Through all
the wide land can no lady be found."
The Baron called " puss" and he
looked on the ground "What's this," whispered Walter, "why calls he the cat?" "I
opine," said the squire, "that he snellelh a rat!
The Baron then spoke. "In his
young knightly clays He'd been given," he said, "to some weak, wicked ways--
Such as sacking of churches and
burning of priests, And robbing poor boors of their beauties and beasts But long
since of his sins be repented sincere, For the sight of his wine made
him think of his bier- And he'd deeded away both his castle and child, To atone
for deeds done while his young blood ran wild, And the Abbot had promised that
church bells should
toll, And masses of masses be said for
And he hinted that now, since the
day was well through, The knight should go on, and be wished him a-dew"
"By my soul," cried the squire,
"what a villainous sham!
It is meet that we met this poor
innocent lamb; How next shall we move, to win us the game?" "Alas," said Sir
Walter, "I fear to my shame We must call it a draw!" "Nay,"
said John, "that were green, Put a check on his Bishop and
capture the Queen."
There was bustle next morning the
castle about, It was bustle within and more hustle without, For, in cowl and in surplice, on
foot and on horse, The monks and the priests had turned out in such force, That
a jester remarked, as they wound o'er the plain, "No Bishop before dragged
behind such a train!" All was pomp and display: Isabel was to go As a bride to a