COMMANDANT’S OFFICE, NAVY YARD,
Washington, May 30, 1861.
SIR: I have just examined the fragments of a shell from the rifled gun at Sewell’s Point that lodged in the Monticello, late Star, from which I find the following:
First. The gun has the bore of a 3-pounder and the shell weighed probably 5 to 7 pounds.
Second. The shell is made of the kind patented by Dr. Reed, of Alabama, and now owned principally by Mr. Parrott, of Cold Spring.
Third. I have tried this kind to some extent, and know that they are not very accurate, though useful in some particular cases.
Fourth. The sand bank in front of these guns alone prevented the 10-inch shells of the Monticello (distant half a mile) from entirely destroying the battery.
Fifth. The Monticello was in no material danger from shells so small, as regards to her hull, but they would have been serious to her boilers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. A. DAHLGREN,
HON. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Vol. 5. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1897.