The American Civil War, and the report that the Confederates were converting the "Merrimac" into an ironclad, caused the navy department to invite proposals for the construction of armoured ships.
Though wooden ships were still largely employed, the ironclad even then had begun to take a commanding place, and the sailing ship at last disappeared from naval warfare.
Making his way up the Roanoke as far as Plymouth he there sank the ironclad at her wharf by exploding a spar-torpedo (October 27).
Even then he was long delayed by the want of monitors with which to oppose the ironclad vessels of the enemy.
The Greek government now despatched an ironclad and a cruiser to Canea, which were followed a few days later by a torpedo flotilla commanded by Prince George.
The convention of 1861, by maintaining continuous government, had saved the state from anarchy and from reconstruction by the national power; but an ironclad test oath (it required denial of forty-five distinct offences) was provided, to be taken by all voters, state, county and municipal officers, lawyers, jurors, teachers and clergymen.
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The exciting and profitable occupation of blockade-running led to countless small fights off the various harbours, and sometimes the United States navy had to fight a more serious action when some new "rebel" ironclad emerged from her harbour, inlet or sound.
The ironclad ram "Albemarle," built at Edwards' Ferry on the Roanoke river, had done considerable damage to the Federal vessels which, since Burnside's expedition to Newberne, had cruised in Albemarle Sound, and in 1864 a force of double-enders and gunboats, under Captain Melancton Smith, U.S.N., was given the special task of destroying the rebel ram.
After this the ironclad retired upstream, where she was eventually destroyed in the most daring manner by a boat's crew under Lieutenant W.
On the Spanish model concordats were arranged with various Central and South American republics, perhaps the most ironclad being that concluded with Ecuador in 1862 (abrogated 1878).
On the same day Georgi Pasha, the Christian governor-general, took refuge on board a Russian ironclad, and, on the next, naval detachments from the warships of the powers occupied Canea.
On the 17th of June 1863 after a brief action the monitor "Weehawken" captured the Confederate ironclad "Atlanta" in Wassaw Sound, South Carolina.