Lead: Most people thought would sink, but John Ericsson's odd little craft certainly did the job.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: Gideon Welles was Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy. In May, 1861 he began to pick up rumors that the new Confederacy was constructing a ship layered with iron that might possibly be able to break the blockade by which he was attempting to throttle the South. His advisors were not sure about the prospects of such a craft but Welles, to be on the safe side, began the search for a design that might counteract the threat. 

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