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The war was already winding down, and assertions were made that the morale of the soldiers was bad.
The judgment is hard to quantify, but it would explain at least in part the poor performance of the defenders.
Once that was done she had to cross the Dog River Bar to get into the lower bay.
Tennessee drew 13 ft (4.0 m), but the bar had only 9 ft (2.7 m) of water at high tide.
Buchanan had been promoted to the rank of admiral for his exploits that day, the first admiral in the Confederacy.
Tennessee did not then retire, but engaged the entire Northern fleet.
Tennessees armor enabled her to inflict more injury than she received, but she could not overcome the imbalance in numbers.
The bay is about 33 mi (53 km) long; the lower bay is about 23 mi (37 km) at its greatest width.
It is deep enough to accommodate ocean-going vessels in the lower half without dredging; above the mouth of Dog River the water becomes shoal, preventing deep-draft vessels from approaching the city.