Transcribed from Moore, Frank. The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events. Vol. 4. Jan 62 - May 62. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1862. "Poetry, Rumors, and Incidents" p. 37. Originally from the Norfolk Day-Book, Feb. 6, 1862.

The Blacksmiths and the Merrimac

We alluded to the fact some day or two since that the blacksmith department of the Gosport Navy Yard had volunteered their services to Com. Forrest to perform extra work gratuitously, in order to expedite the completion of the Merrimac, or other work, the speedy completion of which would advance the interests of the government. Since then we have come in posession of a list of the workmen who thus proffered their services, which we take great pleasure in transferring to our columns. It is as follows:

We, the undersigned, blacksmiths, finishers, and strikers, agree to do any work that will expedite the completion of the Merrimac, free of charge, and continue on until eight o'clock every night; or any other work that will advance the interest of the Southern Confederacy:

BLACKSMITHS AND STRIKERS.

Jas. A. Farmer, M. S., David Wilkins
Chas. Snead, 1st Foreman, Jas. Wilbern,
Wm. T. Butt, 2d Foreman, Wm. Reynolds,
Pat. Parks, Walter Wilkins,
Jno. West, Thos. Kerby,
Jno. Cain, Samuel Davenport,
Jas. Watfield, Jas. Larkin,
H. Tatem, Lewis Ewer,
Wilson Guy, Jno. Davis,
Miles Foreman, Jas. Watson, Sen.,
Hugh Minter, James Flemming,
Jno. Green, Samuel Hodges,
Thos. Bloxom, Alex. Davis,
Jas. Mitchell, Thomas Guy,
Joseph Rickets, Smith Guy,
Thos. Franklin, Michael Conner,
Jas. Patterson, Wm. Perry,
Wm. Gray, Patrick Shasy,
Jno. Mooody, Lawson Etheredge,
Hillory Hopkins, Joshua Daily,
E. Woodward, Jas. Morand,
H. Reynolds, Miles Foreman,
Southey Rew, Jos. West,
Julius Morien, Thos. Powell,
Jos. Askew, Wm. Shephard,
Anthony Butt, Jno. Curram,
Thos. Bourke, Opie Jordan,
Wm. Hosier, Wiley Howard.

Finishers

Jno B. Rooke, Charles Sturdivant,
Elias Bridges, Jesse Kay,
Anderson Gwinn, William Shipp,
John Stoakes, William Pebworth,
E. H. Brown, Lawrence Herbert,
Harvey Barnes, T. I. Rooke,
Lemuel Leary, Calder Sherwood,
William Jones, George Collier,
John Rhea, Henry Hopkins,
William Leary, George Bear,
John Wilder, Walter Thornton,
Frederick Bowen, Edward Walker,
Thomas Dunn.

COMMODORE FORREST'S REPLY

Flag-Officer's Office, Dock-Yard
Gosport, VA., Jan. 11, 1862

Sir: The Commandant has received the proposition from the blacksmiths, finishers, and strikers of this yard, "offering gratuitously to work until eight o'clock every night on the Merrimac, in order to expedite her completion." He embraces an early occasion to express his high appreciation of the loyalty which influenced them in making this tender of their services, affording evidence, if any were wanting, of their patriotism and zeal in the discharge of their duties. If it should be found necessary to require their services as expressed, they will be duly notified by the executive officer of the yard. Respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. Forrest, Flag-Officer, etc.

Mr. James A. Farmer, Master Blacksmith, N.Y.G.


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Transcription copyright 2002 by Mabry Tyson