“They were desperate. No shipyard still in their hands had the ability to lay down a vessel to Clarnaird’s design, and there was no ironworks or machine shop to tool the necessary parts. Overseas construction was the only choice.”

Paula removed another logbook from its shelf and added it to the cart. “So you’re looking for details about the ship, then,” she said. “It would really help me gather materials from the archive if you were more forthcoming, Mr. Hayes.”

“I have all the details about the ship that I need, right down to the original blueprints,” Hayes snapped. “Found in a Virginia barn. No, I need information on the shipyard, specifically when the ironclad CSS Clarnaird was launched and when it departed for the States.”

“They surely would have given that information when they arrived,” said Paula.

“That’s just the thing, Ms. Weatherby–it didn’t.”