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THE ROANOKE GOES IN.
by the Rebel gunboats, and was bat- | white flag flying to intimate her surtling them to the best of her ability, render. Having fired several shells until, seeing the fate of the Cumber- into her, the Merrimac left her to enland, she set her jib and topsail, and, gage the Minnesota, giving opportuwith the assistance of the gunboat nity for her crew to escape to the Zouave, ran aground not far from shore in sınall boats, with their our batteries at Newport News, wounded. About dark, the Merriwhere she was soon again assailed mac returned and poured hot shot by the Merrimac, which, taking po- into the deserted hulk, until she was sition about 150 yards from her stern, set on fire and utterly destroyed, her raked her fore and aft with shell, guns going off as they became heated while one of the smaller steamers —a shell from one of them striking from Norfolk kept up a fire on her a sloop at anchor at Newport News, starboard quarter; while the Patrick and blowing her up. At midnight, Henry and Thomas Jefferson-Rebel the fire had reached her magazines, steamers from up the James-like-containing five tuns of powder, and wise poured in their broadsides with she blew up with a tremendous exprecision and effect. The hapless plosion. Of her crew of 434 men, Congress could only reply from her | 218 answered to their names at rolltwo stern guns, whereof one was soon call at Newport News next morning. dismounted and the other had its Capt. John Marston, of the steammuzzle knocked off. Her command- ship Roanoke, whereof the machinery er, Lt. Joseph B. Smith, Acting- was disabled, being off Fortress MonMaster Thomas Moore, and Pilot roe, was in command of our fleet, William Rhodes, with nearly half when, at 1 P. M., one of his look-out her crew, having been killed or vessels reported by signal that the wounded, the ship on fire in seve enemy was coming. Signaling the ral places, without a gun that could steam-frigate Minnesota to get under be brought to bear on her destroyers, way, and slipping his cable, he had Lt. Pendergrast, on whom the com the Roanoke taken in tow by two mand had devolved, at 4:30 P. M. tugs, and started for the scene of hauled down our flag. She was soon action; but, before he reached it, he boarded by an officer from the Mer- had the mortification of seeing the rimac, who took her in charge, but Minnesota liard aground. Continuleft shortly afterward; when a small ing on his course, but unable to make Rebel tug came alongside and de- tolerable headway, he came in sight manded that her crew should get out of the Cumberland, only to find her of the ship, as her captors intended virtually destroyed ; having soon to burn her immediately. But our after the further mortification of seesoldiers on shore, who had not sur ing the Congress haul down her flag. rendered, and who regarded the Con- Continuing to stand on, he was soon gress as now a Rebel vessel, opened himself aground astern, in 34 fathoms, 50 brisk a fire upon her that the tug and was obliged to be hauled off by and her crew suddenly departed'; one of his tugs; when he decided to when the Merrimac again opened on come to the relief of the stranded the luckless craft, though she had a Minnesota, hoping with assistance to pull her off; but found himself un- | was dark enough, until, at 10 P. M., able to do so. Meantime, at 5 P. M., the new iron-clad Monitor, 2 guns, the frigate St. Lawrence, towed by Lt. John L. Worden, reached Fortthe Cambridge, passed them, and ress Monroe on her trial trip from soon also grounded, but was hauled New York, and was immediately off by the Cambridge, when she re- dispatched to the aid of the Minneturned to the harbor of the fort. sota, reporting to Capt. Van Brunt
The Minnesota, Capt. Van Brunt, at 2 A. m. Though but a pigmy having, in passing Sewell's Point, beside the Merrimac, and an entire received and returned a fire from the novelty for either land or water_" Rebel battery, which crippled her cheese-box on a raft”—the previous mainmast, had approached within a day's sore experience of the might mile and a half of Newport News, and invulnerability of iron-clads inwhen she grounded, with an ebbing sured her a hearty welcome. Never tide, and was still hard at work try had there been a more signal example ing to get off, when, at 4 P M., the of the value of a friend in need. Merrimac, Jamestown, and Patrick At 6 A. M., the Rebel flotilla rëapHenry, having finished their work at peared, and the drums of the Minthe News, bore down upon her. The nesota beat to quarters. But the shallowness of the water forbade the enemy ran past, as if heading for Merrimac to come within a mile of Fortress Monroe, and came around her, from which distance she fired in the channel by which the Minnefor the next two or three hours, but sota had reached her uncomfortable once hulling the Minnesota by a shot position. Again all hands were called through her bow. The Jamestown to quarters, and the Minnesota, openand the Patrick Henry, taking posi- ing with her stern guns, signaled the tion on the port bow and stern of the Monitor to attack, when the unMinnesota, where only her heavy daunted little cheese-box steamed pivot-gun could be brought to bear down upon the Rebel Apollyon and upon them, kept up a vigorous and laid herself alongside, directly beeffective fire on her, by which several tween the Minnesota and her asof her crew were killed and wounded; sailant. Gun after gun from the but they finally desisted and retired, Monitor, responded to with whole one of them apparently crippled. broadsides from the Merrimac, seemed At 7 P. M., the Merrimac hauled off to produce no more impression than also, and all three steamed toward a hailstorm on a mountain-cliff; until, Norfolk, leaving the Minnesota deep tired of thus wasting their ammunily imbedded, by the fire of her broad- tion, they commenced maneuvering side guns, in the mud-bank on which for the better position. In this, the she rested; so that it was impossible, Monitor, being lighter and far more even at high tide, by the help of manageable than her foe, had decidsteam-tugs and hawsers, with all edly the advantage; and the Merrihands at work through the night, to mac, disgusted, renewed her attenhaul her off.
tions to the Minnesota, disregarding The prospect for the coming day a broadside which would have sunk FIGHT OF THE MERRIMAC AND MONITOR. 119 any unplated ship on the globe, and Norfolk. The Minnesota, despite put a shell from her rifled bow-gun persistent efforts, was not fairly afloat through the Minnesota's side, which until 2 o'clock next morning. tore four of her rooms into one and In this memorable fight, the turret set her on fire ; but the flames were of the Monitor was struck by Rebel promptly extinguished. The Merri-bolts nine times, her side armor eight mac's next shot pierced the boiler of times, her deck thrice, and her pilotthe tug-boat Dragon, which was house twice—the last being her made fast to the port side of the Min- only vulnerable point. One of these nesota, to be ready to assist in tow- bolts struck her pilot-house squarely ing her off; killing or badly wound in front of the peep-hole through ing 7 of her crew and setting her on which Lt. Worden was watching his fire. By this time, the Minnesota enemy, knocking off some cement was raining iron upon her assailant; into his face with such force as utat least 50 solid shot from her great terly to blind him for some days, and guns having struck the Rebel's side permanently to destroy his left eye. without apparent effect. Now the Three men standing in the turret little Monitor again interposed be- when it was struck were knocked tween the larger combatants, com- down, one of them being Chief Enpelling the Merrimac to change her gineer Alban C. Stimers, who manposition; in doing which she ground. aged the revolving of the turret. The ed; and again a broadside was poured Merrimac had her prow twisted in her upon her at close range from all the collision with the Monitor, her anchor guns of the Minnesota that could be and flag-staff shot away, her smokebrought to bear. The Merrimac was stack and steam-pipe riddled, 2 of her soon afloat once more, and stood crew killed and 8 wounded, includdown the bay, chased by the Monitor; ing her commander, Buchanan. The when suddenly the former turned and Patrick Henry was disabled by a shot ran full speed into her pursuer, giving through one of her boilers, by which 4 her a tremendous shock, but inflicting of her crew were killed and 3 woundno serious damage. The Rebel's prowed. The other Rebel gunboats reportgrated over the deck of the Moni- ed an aggregate loss of only 6 men. tor; and was badly cut by it; so that The Merrimac was undoubtedly she was not inclined to repeat the disabled ” in this two-days' conflict, experiment. The Monitor soon after- or she would not have closed it as she ward stood down the Roads toward did, or would have renewed it diFortress Monroe; but the Merrimac rectly afterward. and her tenders did not see fit to Our total loss by this raid, beside pursue her, nor even to renew the the frigates Cumberland and Conattack on the now exposed Minne- gress, with all thcir armament, tlı sota; on the contrary, they gave up tug Dragon, and the serious damage the fight, which they were destined inflicted on the Minnesota, can hardnever to renew, and steamed back to ly have fallen short of 400 men, includ
* Sunday, March 9.
» A letter from Petersburg, March 10, to the son, and damaged her machinery, and is leaking Raleigh Standard, says: "The Merrimac lost her a little.” It was probably this leak which couenormous iron beak in the plunge at the Erics. | strained her to abandon the fight as she did.
ing 23 taken from the Congress and vance on the morning of the 4th; carried off by the gunboat Beaufort. and, before evening of the next day,
Gen. Heintzelman, in front of YorkGen. McClellan left Washington town, and Gen. Keyes, before Winn's on the 1st of April, arriving next day Mill," on the Warwick, were brought at Fortress Monroe. Of his army, to a halt by the fire of Rebel bat58,000 men and 100 guns were there teries." Gen. McClellan had been before him, and nearly as many more misled with regard to the topography on the way. Gen. Wool's force, hold of the country as well as the number ing the Fortress, is not included in of his foes. On his map, the Warthese numbers.
wick was traced as heading in or very Gen. J. B. Magruder, at Yorktown, near Skiff's creek, directly up the watched this ominous gathering in Peninsula from its mouth, some six his front at the head of a Rebel force or eight miles west of Yorktown; officially reported by him at 11,000 whereas it actually heads within in all : 6,000 being required to gar- a mile of that post, running diagrison Gloucester Point, Yorktown, onally and crookedly nearly across and Mulberry Island; leaving but the Peninsula, while it was in 5,000 available for the defense of a good part navigable by Rebel gunline of 13 miles. Gen. McClellan boats. His false information regardsays his information placed Magru- ing it was furnished, he states, by der's command at 15,000 to 20,000 Gen. Wool's topographical engineers; men, aside from Gen. Huger's force though there must have been a hunat Norfolk, estimated by him at dred negroes about the Fortress, each 20,000. Feeling the importance of of whom could and gladly would dealing decisively with Magruder have corrected it. Our ships of war before he could be rëenforced by -what the Merrimac had left of Johnston, McClellan ordered an ad them—were intently watching for 30 Called by Gen. McClellan, Lee's Mill. miles, reaching from Mulberry Island to Glou* Pollard says:
cester Point, a regiment being posted here and " General Magruder. the hero of Bethel, and there, in every gap plainly open to observation, a commander who was capable of much greater
and on other portions of the line the men being achievements, was left to confront the growing
posted at long intervals, to give the appearance forces on the Peninsula, which daily menaced
of numbers to the enemy. Had the weakness him, with an army of 7 500 men, while the
of Gen. Magruder at this time been known to great bulk of the Confederate forces were still in
the enemy, he might have suffered the consemotion in the neighborhood of the Rappahan.
quences of his devoted and self-sacrificing cournock and the Rapidan, and he had no assurance
age; but, as it was, he held his lines on the of rëenforcements. The force of the enemy was
Peninsula until they were rëenforced by the ten times his own; they had commenced a daily
most considerable portion of Gen. Johnston's cannonading upon his lines; and a council of
forces, and made the situation of a contest upon general officers was convened, to consult whe
which the attention of the public was unanither the little army of 7,500 men should main
mously fixed as the most decisive of the war.” tain its position in the face of tenfold odds, or Col. Fremantle, of the British Coldstream retire before the enemy. The opinion of the
Guards, in his "Three Months in the Southern council was unanimous for the latter alternative, with the exception of one officer, who declared
States," says: that every man should die in the intrenchments “He (Magruder] told me the different dodges before the little army should fall back. By | he resorted to to blind and deceive McClellan G-, it shall be sol' was the sudden exclamation as to his strength; and he spoke of the intense of Gen. Magruder, in sympathy with the gallant | relief and amusement with which he at length suggestion. The resolution demonstrated a re- saw that General, with his magnificent army, markable heroism and spirit. Our little force begin to break ground before miserable earthworks was adroitly extended over a distance of several | defended only by 8,000 men."
the rëappearance down the Elizabeth aware that time was precious, and of that marine monster and her three that a few days might greatly insatellite gunboats; and Com. Golds- crease the number of his foes, venture borough did not feel justified in de- to order a determined assault.“ On taching a part of them to reduce the the contrary, he sat down before water batteries at Yorktown and Magruder's lines, began to throw up Gloucester. The Commodore does earthworks, and sent orders to Washnot seem to have been asked to clear ington for siege-guns. Pressing too the Warwick river of Rebel gunboats close to Yorktown, the besiegers
-if, indeed, any were there. Ma- were repulsed by a sudden charge of gruder seems wholly unconscious of two battalions under Col. Ward. ever having had any naval assistance. On the 16th, a reconnoissance in force
McClellan felt of the Rebel lines by the ad division of the 4th corps, at different points, but did not, though Gen. W. F. Smith, was made at Dam * Magruder says:
steadiness of our troops. Thus, with 5,000 men, “On every portion of my lines, he attacked exclusive of the garrisons, we stopped and held us with a furious cannonading and musketry, in check over 100,000 of the enemy. Every prewhich was responded to with effect by our bat. paration was made in anticipation of another teries and troops of the line. His skirmishers attack by the enemy. The men slept in the were also well thrown forward on this and the trenches and under arıns; but, to my utter sursucceeding day, and energetically felt our whole prise, he permitted day after day to elapse withline: but were everywhere repulsed by the out an assault."