Spies description of the interior of the Alabama

Description of interior of vessel built at Lairds, reported Friday July 4th 1862.

State room right aft. The entrance to the cabin from the deck is abaft the mizzen mast, raised, about 2 foot 6 inches

The state room is seated all round; there are two small glass cases in it. At the bottom of the stairs, the communication to the right leads to a small saloon in the centre of which, is a small dining table and on each side are state cabins.

Passing from this to a little more forward, is a large saloon, where the Chief Officer`s and Chief Engineer`s cabins are situated on each side. fitted up with chart and bookcases.From this you pass through a doorway into the engine room. There is a platform over the engines, (which are two in number) and which are most complete and handsome pieces of machinery, only occupying a small place, and lying entirely at the bottom; they are on the oscillating principle.From here also you can pass in-to the stoke holes.

Forward of this, but no communication are the mens berths, which are quite open and spacious and run entirely forward, in the centre is the cooking apparatus.

The hooks are slung to the deck, for the mens hammocks. This is also seated all round. Under these seats are the places for the mens bags, with iron gratings which form the front of the seats. The entrance to this department is directly foreward of the foremast. At the bottom of the stairs, a little to the forepart of the ship is a small hatch which loads to the magazines, two in number.

The partition on each side of these magazines is three thicknesses of oak, between each thickness is lined with lead. These magazines are under the main deck, of what i should the men`s berths in the fore part of the ship, about six or eight feet forward of the mainmast. The canisters are fixtures on their sides, the screws lying one over the other. The magazines and entrance to them are filled with water during action, by a pipe on each side and by a pipe in the middle of the floor, the water descends to the bottom of the ship and is pumped out by steam power

The entrance to the cabins is abaft of the mizzen mast; each side is a brass ventilator, about 12 inches high. Forward of the mizzen mast is a skylight to the small saloon, and forward of this skylight is a larger one, which gives light to the larger saloon. These skylights do not stand more than a foot high on deck, and which have iron bars across. Forward of this skylight and abaft the funnel, is a skylight five or six feet long which gives light to the engine room. The base of the funnel forms a square about two feet high; each corner it latticed with iron rails, to throw light and air into the stoke room. Each side abaft the funnel, are two ventilators with round bell mouths and which stand five or six feet high; more forward of the mainmast are two are two more ventilators of the same description.

The entrance to the stoke hole is aft of the foremast. The entrance to the mens sleeping apartment, is raised, about two feet high. A small chimney, or brass and copper funnel rises here from the cooking apparatus. Each side of the gangway is carved oak, with an anchor and rope carved on.

Richard Broderick, a shipwright, states, that, on the day of the launch of the gunboat, "No. 290" Captain Bulloch and his wife, with several American gentlemen, were in attendance. Captain Bulloch`s wife was in one of the office windows, with other ladies. Her bonnet dropped from the window, he (Broderick) lifted it and passed it up to her. He also states that one of the gentleman who was present was tall, stout and wore red whiskers. He further states that he is sure that Captain Bulloch is the owner of the gunboat and that she belongs to the same parties as the Oreto s.s.(gunboat)(now the Florida)which was built by W.C.Miller, Toxteth Dock, and was built for the same purpose viz:- cruising about on the American coast.

He (Broderick) says, in fact she is for the Confederate Government, and that Captain Bulloch is a Southern commissioner.

Captain Butcher, who is a young man, with light whiskers and beard, is for the present, in command of her and is appointing and shipping crew. The Chief Officer, whose name, at present he (Broderick) does not know, has been in the Peninsular and Oriental`s Company service. The Chief Steward has beenon board the Royal Mail Steamer "Africa", one of the Cunard Line. There are to be two carpenters; viz:- carpenter and carpenters mate.

Captain Butcher wanted Broderick to go as carpenters mate, but he would not as the wageswere too small, they only offering L6 and he wanted L7per month, and also a guarantee from Mr John Laird that his wages would be all right, as they refused to say who the owners were. Mr Laird smiled when he was asked to be security, and said he had no doubt it would be all right, but Broderick refused to go.

The stores are all on board. Some person by the name of Barnett is shipping the crew, by direction of Captain Butcher.

Captain Bulloch is there every day.

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