USS Naugatuck  

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Naugatuck ScStr

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Naugatuck
(ScStr.: t. 192; 1. 110'; b. 20'; dr. 6'; a. 1 gun)

In 1841 the sons of Col. John Stevens of Hoboken, New Jersey, proposed to the Navy Department the construction of an ironclad vessel of high speed, with screw propellers and all machinery below the water line. This proposal was accepted and an Act of Congress, approved 14 April 1842 authorized the Secretary of the Navy to contract for the construction of a shot and shell proof steamer, to be built principally of iron, on the Stevens plan. The armor was to be 4~/2" thick, a thickness believed by the Stevens to be sufficient to resist any gun then known. But experiments made by John Eriesson with his big wrought iron gun proved that 4~" armor was insufficient, and the construction of the vessel was thus delayed. In 1854 the builders eonstrueted a larger battery, to be plated with 6~" of iron, but this in turn was never finished. This was referred to as the Stevens Battery.

To demonstrate the praetieality of the plan of the "Stevens Battery," the Stevens brothers built and fitted out at their own expense a small ironcIad vessel known as E. A. Stevens or Naugatuck, which they offered to the Government during the Civil War. She was taken into the Revenue Service by the Treasury Department and loaned to the Navy. She operated with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron from 2 April until 26 May 1862. She exchanged shots with CSS Merrimack and took part in engagements with batteries at Sewell's Point and Drewry's Bluff, her commanding officer receiving high commendations from Commodore Johrl Rodgers for his gallantry and for the excellent performance of his ship. Naugatuck returned to the Treasury Department and on 18 August 1889, reported at Baltimore, Maryland, to be sold.