Naval War College Review


On 7 April 1863 nine Union Ironclads in line-ahead formation, under the command of Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont, stood into the harbor of Char1eston, South Carolina. Du Pont, one of the Union navy's leading officers, had already won fame by capturing Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861. Now commanding the Union's most technologically advanced ships--seven Passaic-class monitors, the broadside ironclad New Iron­sides, and the lightly armored Keokuk-he was setting his sights on "the cradle of the rebellion."