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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/79

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Passing of the Monitor Scorpion.


Was Built in England for the Confederate States Navy.


The following interesting account of the passing of the old monitor Scorpion, a relic of the Confederate navy, is taken from the Royal Gazette, of Hamilton, Bermuda, August 4, 1903:

"The foundering of the old monitor Scorpion off George's Shoal recently while being towed from Bermuda to St. John, N. B., where she was to be broken up as old metal, marks, perhaps, the passing of the last relic of the navy of the Confederate States of America.

"The Scorpion and her sister monitor, the Wivern, were constructed by Laird Bros., of Liverpool, under the supervision of Captain James D. Bullock, of the Confederate navy, an uncle of President Roosevelt. Owing to the protest of Mr. Adams, then minister to England, acting under orders from Secretary Seward, the British government seized the two vessels and refused to allow them to be turned over to the Confederacy. It has always been asserted by Southern and naval officers that the failure of the Confederate government to secure these two monitors, which were then the most formidable war vessel afloat, went far to change the result of the war between the States.

"There are today living in Washington two or three ex-Confederate naval officers who were among those sent to England to bring the Scorpion and the Wivern to this country, and one of them furnished the following account of the Scorpion:

"Soon after the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac in Hampton Roads in 1862 the Confederate government ordered from Laird Bros, two monitors and sent Captain Bullock to England to superintend their construction. The contract price was £93,750 or about $468,750 apiece. One was to be completed in March, 1863, and the other in May of the same year. They were known while undergoing construction as El Tousson and El Mounassir.

"There was some delay in the work, and it was not until May 27, 1863, that the Confederate officers who were to man the new boats ran the blockade at Charleston, S. C., and started for England.