From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/21/1862, p. 3, c. 1
The Ladies' Defence Association – Progress and Prospects.
The "Ladies Defence Association" takes pleasure in announcing that their gunboat is now in process of building on James river, on the Chesterfield side, opposite to Rocketts, under the superintendence of Commander Farrand, a well-known and efficient officer of the navy.
The President and Secretary of the Navy have given their cordial approval to this effort of the Ladies' Defence Association, and have detailed the best workmen in the Confederacy for the construction of the boat, Mr. Graves being the master carpenter, and we have every assurance of the speedy completion of their work.
In commencing his work the ladies have not counted the cost, but have gone on relying on the cheerful response of every patriotic heart to this most important movement; and as an evidence that they have not been too sanguine, contributions are coming in every day from gentlemen, ladies, and children. The ladies, where they lack money, are sending their watches and jewelry. All honor to the women of the South! No fairer page of history will be written than that recording their labors of love in this struggle of independence; the ladies need no urging to do their duty.
What shall we say to the gentlemen? Especially to those of large possessions and ample means. May we not feel certain that they, too, will come out nobly – not with their hundreds but with their thousands – that their hearts may feel glad when they see our beautiful boat launched on the broad bosom of the noble James. This boat, gentlemen, we hope will but be the beginning of many like it, so that when our Southern flag shall have free passage on the high seas, we may take a high rank as a maritime power among the nations of the earth. Then, gentlemen, be ready with your names; the book is now opened and will be presented to every one within the reach of the committee, and we urge those out of the city to send in their names, that our hearts may rejoice seeing the work of our hands prosper.
MARIA G. CLOPTON,
President, L. D. A.
All contributions to the Ladies' Defence Association of money, plate and jewelry, to be sent to Mr. Ro. H. Maury, or Messrs. Ro. H. Maury & Co., south side Main, corner 11th street.
Building materials, tools, &c., to Commander Farrand, at Capt. Haskins's, Rocketts.
Grain, flour and other produce, to Samuel D. Hicks, Cary street.
Iron and other metals, to the Tredegar Works. And we earnestly request every person will attend the collecting of iron, &c.
Articles for the Bazaar, pictures, books, furniture, &c., to Mrs. VERNON, corner of 9th and Broad streets.
Committee for collecting subscriber's names of gentlemen, for the thousand dollar subscriptions, Mrs. Judge CLOPTON, President, and Mrs. Gen. HENNINGSEN, Vice President.