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ORN Series 1, Vol. X: Letter from Commander John M. B. Clitz, USS Osceola, June 21, 1864

A view of two XV-inch Dahlgren guns in the turret of monitor USS Passaic

The XV-inch Dahlgren guns, shown here inside the turret of the USS Passaic, were monsters with massively heavy ammunition. The charge alone weighed 35 pounds! (Harper’s Weekly)

[Engagement of Federal fleet with Confederate ironclads and shore batteries at Howlett’s, June 21, 1864.]

Letter from Commander Clitz, U. S. Navy, to Commander Lynch, U. S. Navy.

U. S. S. Osceola,
Off City Point, James River, June 21, 1864.

Dear Captain: Be pleased to send to this place with all dispatch the following articles, viz, 200 XV-inch shells, 150 35-pounds plain chamber charges to be put in new cylinders, 500 5-second fuzes.

Our ironclads are having a smart time of it with the rebel ironclads and a fort, said to be formidable, unmasked to-day. Yours, very truly,

J[ohn]. M. B. Clitz,
Commander, U. S. Navy.

Commander Dominick Lynch,
Comdg. U. S. Frigate St. Lawrence, Hampton Roads, Virginia.1


  1. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 10, p. 177
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