This is a copy of a letter dated Dec. 25, 1862, Confederate States Naval Station, Selma.
"The following is an extract from a letter this day received from Hon. S.R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.
"I have this day requested the Shelby Iron Works to roll the iron for "Pierce's" vessel. And you will please see Mr. Jones, the President of the Company, and urge upon him the importance of rolling iron."
Your early attention to the above would greatly oblige this department, as the boat is now ready to receive her plating - and an early delivery of it would enable me to order her lanuched on the first sufficient rise of the river. I would like to confer with you at your earliest convenience, when you are in this city
Yours very respectfully
E. Farrand Comd. in Charge"
Joseph Pierce was Naval Constructor for the Mobile area and supervised the building of the CSS Tennessee. The ship was laid down in October of 1862, and was launched in February of 1863.
Though the name of the ship is not mentioned, other than as "Pierce's vessel", this letter is in all likelihood the order for Shelby Iron to plate the CSS Tennessee.