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The Confederate Steam-Ram Stonewall in the Lisbon Harbour

The Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1310, p. 351.

April 15, 1865

Lisbon Harbour.

It has been mentioned that the Portuguese fort of Belem, at the entrance of Lisbon Harbour, fired upon the American Federal ships of war Niagara and Sacramento, when the Governor of the fort believed that they were about to break the neutrality of the harbour by going out in pursuit of the Confederate vessel Stonewall. The Portuguese Government has since apologised, and dismissed the Governor from his post. We have received from a Lisbon correspondent, Mr. Henry Jauncey, the drawing which we have engraved, and it is accompanied with the following letter:--

"Lisbon, March 28, 1865.

"The Confederate steam-ram Stonewall having come into this port on the 26th, and thinking a likeness of her might prove acceptable to you, I take the liberty of forwarding one, which I flatter myself is a faithful one. The Stonewall is a steam-ram of about 1200 tons measurement, brig-rigged, and of 500-horse power, capable of working up as high as 1700. She carries three guns mounted--two 70-pounder Armstrong guns in the turret abaft the mainmast, and one 300-pounder Armstrong gun in the forecastle, just over the "ram;" this gun can also be trained as a broadside gun, and is a most formidable piece of artillery. The turret is not a movable one, but the guns can be trained to bear either fore or aft, or as broadside guns likewise. She is plated with 5½ in. iron plates, and 6 in. forward. The "ram" projects about 18 ft. under the water line, and is very sharp; it gradually rounds off to the deck, and is surmounted by the 300-pounder. She steams very fast, the officers say thirteen knots at sea. The Stonewall was built, at Bordeaux, for the Danish navy; but, not being finished in time, was rejected by the Danes, and then was bought by the Confederates. She has just come down from Ferrol, where she had been repairing; and the Niagara and Sacramento, who have been on the look out for her, arrived last evening. They cannot leave the port now till twenty-four hours after the sailing of the Stonewall, and are both off Belem, with steam up, as are also the Portuguese corvettes Sagres and Mindello. The Stonewall is commanded by Captain T. J. Page, of the Confederate navy, and has a strong company of officers and men. They show every attention to the numerous visitors who have gone on board. She has been ordered by the Portuguese Government to leave in twenty four hours, and is now going out, and the Niagara and Sacramento cannot leave till twenty-four hours after. I show in the sketch, besides the Stonewall, the Portuguese corvette Sagres and the Federals Niagara and Sacramento, and, in the distance, Fort St. Julian's and the Bugio Lighthouse."

On reference to our Illustration, it should be observed that the Sacramento and Niagara are seen to the left hand, the Niagara being the nearer of the two; while the Bugio Lighthouse is seen in the distance, between the Niagara and the Stonewall; the Portuguese corvette and Fort St. Julian are shown to the right hand of the View.

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