from her slender sides, it follows that the small vessels are, guf for gun, capable of greater execution than the large ones.
By these six self-evident propositions it is made plain that small vessels armed, in smooth water, with rifled cannon throwing shells, are, gun for gun, superior to large vessels; in other words, the true naval doctrine for these times is, as you have often heard me say, "big guns and little ships"-an idea which I have for years been seeking to impress upon the Navy Department of the old, corrupt, and rotten concern yonder in Washington. Still further to impress you with just conceptions as to the power of a few guns in the open air when acting separately or in pairs against many guns in a large ship, let us suppose one of the enemy's heaviest frigates to be during the winter frozen up in the Potomac, and that while so frozen Walker were to attack her with his battery, mounted or runners and maneuvered on the ice, notwithstanding the difference in caliber and number of guns, and which would all be on the frigate's side, the chances are that she would be compelled to strike to such a force. One gun on the open beach has been known to whip a frigate. The reason is plain. The frigate, to damage her assailants on the ice, would have to strike gun after gun or the crew, which at long rifle range would be a very difficult matter, because of the smallness of the target theyw ould present, whereas she, with her large proportions, would be struck almost by every shot. So, if you imagine Lincoln's whole fleet to be thus fettered, you can readily conceive it would not take many of our six-bun batteries of flying artillery many days to "pepper the whole of them well," and riddle them, too. But, unfortunately for us, you will say there is no chance of any such freezing up. True. But, frotunately for us, I rejoin, we can, with the aid of steam and the facilities of our smooth waters, bring into play a far more effective species of flying artillery than Walker's battery would be on runners and the ice or than any that has ever been seen on land or sea.
Of such I propose to construct a navy for the Chesapeake. In a few words, it consists of rifled cannon of the largest caliber, mounted on launches propelled by steam, and floating just high enough to keep the water out. These launches are intended really to be nothing but floating gun carriages. They should hae no accommodations for cooking or sleeping. When cruising, officers and men should shift and fare just as they do in any other "boat service." When not cruising, they should cook and live in huts or tents on shore, taking care to place their launches under the protection of our shore batteries, or in some other places of safety, with a watch on board. By this arrangement we secure facility of construction, rapidity in equipment, economy in outfit, and efficiency in battle. The cost of 100 such launches, including armament, engine, and machinery, will, I estimate, be about $10,000 each. The enemy's Niagara cost over $1,000,000.
Each launch should carry two guns, pivot mounted, one forward, the other aft. None of them should be calculated to keep the sea for more than two or three days at a time. They should draw five or six feet, and with armament, crew, engines, and fuel aboard, with stema up, should not be more than about two feet above the water. Thus with about twenty feet beam any one would present a target end of something like forty square feet, which at the distance of a mile and a half or two miles (good rifled-cannon range) would be hard to hit. Practically such launches would be almost shot-proof, for the men, except when loading, could lie down in the bottom of their boats and be below