By Alvah F. Hunter, Craig L. Symonds
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Extra resources for A Year on a Monitor and the Destruction of Fort Sumter
Adventurous youth that he was, Hunter used his liberty day ashore to explore the captured Confederate fort that had been the target of the Nahant's guns. Hunter's narrative is also useful for what it illuminates about the rapid technological changes that took place during the war. In addition to learning what he could about the mechanical mysteries of the monitors themselves, Hunter had to be on guard for repeated Confederate attempts to overcome Union numerical superiority with technological innovation.
Those not named by Hunter were the Camanche, Montauk, and Sangamon. In addition, the Union built nine single-turreted monitors of the Canonicus class. Page 12 top of the turret. They were also armed with heavier guns. They were planned to carry two XVinch guns each as against two XI-inch guns in the Monitor, but unfortunately, the gun-works were unable to turn out those great guns as rapidly as the monitors were being built, which resulted in each monitor being armed with one XV-inch and one XI-inch gun.
These two ladders were movable, and were taken down and stored whenever we went into battle, or when for any purpose the turret was to be revolved. On the outside of the turret was a fixed iron ladder leading down to the main deck. When we were at sea, with all the deck-hatches closed and battened down, to reach the main deck from the berthdeck or wardroom it was necessary to go through the turret-chamber, up the two ladders to the top of the turret, then down the fixed ladder to the deck. When the turret was to be revolved, it was lifted up a half-inch from the packing in the groove in the deck in which it rested when not in use, an ingenious mechanism having been devised for lifting the Page 16 huge bulk, guns and all.