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THE ROANOKE GOES IN.
white flag flying to intimate her surrender. Having fired several shells into her, the Merrimac left her to engage the Minnesota, giving opportunity for her crew to escape to the shore in small boats, with their wounded. About dark, the Merrimac returned and poured hot shot into the deserted hulk, until she was set on fire and utterly destroyed, her guns going off as they became heated
she blew up with a tremendous explosion. Of her crew of 434 men, 218 answered to their names at rollcall at Newport News next morning.
by the Rebel gunboats, and was battling them to the best of her ability, until, seeing the fate of the Cumberland, she set her jib and topsail, and, with the assistance of the gunboat Zouave, ran aground not far from our batteries at Newport News, where she was soon again assailed by the Merrimac, which, taking position about 150 yards from her stern, raked her fore and aft with shell, 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 precision and effect. The hapless Congress could only reply from her two stern guns, whereof one was soon 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 hard 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 3 fathoms, so 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 unable to do so. Meantime, at 5 P. M., the frigate St. Lawrence, towed by the Cambridge, passed them, and soon also grounded, but was hauled off by the Cambridge, when she returned to the harbor of the fort.
The Minnesota, Capt. Van Brunt, having, in passing Sewell's Point, received and returned a fire from the Rebel battery, which crippled her mainmast, had approached within a mile and a half of Newport News, when she grounded, with an ebbing tide, and was still hard at work trying to get off, when, at 4 P. M., the Merrimac, Jamestown, and Patrick Henry, having finished their work at the News, bore down upon her. The shallowness of the water forbade the Merrimac to come within a mile of her, from which distance she fired for the next two or three hours, but once hulling the Minnesota by a shot through her bow. The Jamestown and the Patrick Henry, taking position on the port bow and stern of the Minnesota, where only her heavy pivot-gun could be brought to bear upon them, kept up a vigorous and effective fire on her, by which several of her crew were killed and wounded; but they finally desisted and retired, one of them apparently crippled. At 7 P. M., the Merrimac hauled off also, and all three steamed toward Norfolk, leaving the Minnesota deeply imbedded, by the fire of her broadside guns, in the mud-bank on which she rested; so that it was impossible, even at high tide, by the help of steam-tugs and hawsers, with all hands at work through the night, to haul her off.
was dark enough, until, at 10 P. M., the new iron-clad Monitor, 2 guns, Lt. John L. Worden, reached Fortress Monroe on her trial trip from New York, and was immediately dispatched to the aid of the Minnesota, reporting to Capt. Van Brunt at 2 A. M." Though but a pigmy beside the Merrimac, and an entire novelty for either land or water—“ a cheese-box on a raft"-the previous day's sore experience of the might and invulnerability of iron-clads insured her a hearty welcome. Never had there been a more signal example of the value of a friend in need.
At 6 A. M., the Rebel flotilla rëappeared, and the drums of the Minnesota beat to quarters. But the enemy ran past, as if heading for Fortress Monroe, and came around in the channel by which the Minnesota had reached her uncomfortable position. Again all hands were called to quarters, and the Minnesota, opening with her stern guns, signaled the Monitor to attack, when the undaunted little cheese-box steamed down upon the Rebel Apollyon and laid herself alongside, directly between the Minnesota and her assailant. Gun after gun from the Monitor, responded to with whole broadsides from the Merrimac, seemed to produce no more impression than a hailstorm on a mountain-cliff; until, tired of thus wasting their ammunition, they commenced maneuvering for the better position. In this, the Monitor, being lighter and far more manageable than her foe, had decidedly the advantage; and the Merrimac, disgusted, renewed her attentions to the Minnesota, disregarding a broadside which would have sunk 28 Sunday, March 9.
The prospect for the coming day
FIGHT OF THE MERRIMAC AND MONITOR.
In this memorable fight, the turret of the Monitor was struck by Rebel bolts nine times, her side armor eight times, her deck thrice, and her pilothouse twice the last being her only vulnerable point. One of these
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 set her on fire; but the flames were promptly extinguished. The Merrimac's next shot pierced the boiler of the tug-boat Dragon, which was made fast to the port side of the Minnesota, 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 prow ed. 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 she was not inclined to repeat the experiment. The Monitor soon afterward stood down the Roads toward Fortress Monroe; but the Merrimac and her tenders did not see fit to pursue her, nor even to renew the attack on the now exposed Minnesota; on the contrary, they gave up the fight, which they were destined never to renew, and steamed back to
* A letter from Petersburg, March 10, to the Raleigh Standard, says: "The Merrimac lost her enormous iron beak in the plunge at the Erics
The Merrimac was undoubtedly disabled" in this two-days' conflict, or she would not have closed it as she did, or would have renewed it directly afterward.
Our total loss by this raid, beside the frigates Cumberland and Congress, with all their armament, the tug Dragon, and the serious damage inflicted on the Minnesota, can hardly have fallen short of 400 men, includ
son, and damaged her machinery, and is leaking a little." It was probably this leak which con 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.
Gen. McClellan left Washington on the 1st of April, arriving next day at Fortress Monroe. Of his army, 58,000 men and 100 guns were there before him, and nearly as many more on the way. Gen. Wool's force, holding the Fortress, is not included in these numbers.
Gen. J. B. Magruder, at Yorktown, watched this ominous gathering in his front at the head of a Rebel force officially reported by him at 11,000 in all: 6,000 being required to garrison Gloucester Point, Yorktown, and Mulberry Island; leaving but 5,000 available for the defense of a line of 13 miles. Gen. McClellan says his information placed Magruder's command at 15,000 to 20,000 men, aside from Gen. Huger's force at Norfolk, estimated by him at 20,000. Feeling the importance of dealing decisively with Magruder before he could be rëenforced by Johnston, McClellan ordered an ad
Called by Gen. McClellan, Lee's Mill. "Pollard says:
and, before evening of the next day, Gen. Heintzelman, in front of Yorktown, and Gen. Keyes, before Winn's Mill," on the Warwick, were brought to a halt by the fire of Rebel batteries." Gen. McClellan had been misled with regard to the topography of the country as well as the number of his foes. On his map, the Warwick was traced as heading in or very near Skiff's creek, directly up the Peninsula from its mouth, some six or eight miles west of Yorktown; whereas it actually heads within a mile of that post, running diag onally and crookedly nearly across the Peninsula, while it was good part navigable by Rebel gunboats. His false information regarding it was furnished, he states, by Gen. Wool's topographical engineers; though there must have been a hundred negroes about the Fortress, each of whom could and gladly would have corrected it. Our ships of war
"General Magruder, the hero of Bethel, and a commander who was capable of much greater achievements, was left to confront the growing forces on the Peninsula, which daily menaced him, with an army of 7,500 men, while the great bulk of the Confederate forces were still in motion in the neighborhood of the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, and he had no assurance of rëenforcements. The force of the enemy was ten times his own; they had commenced a daily cannonading upon his lines; and a council of general officers was convened, to consult whether the little army of 7,500 men should maintain its position in the face of tenfold odds, or retire before the enemy. The opinion of the council was unanimous for the latter alternative, with the exception of one officer, who declared that every man should die in the intrenchments before the little army should fall back. By G-, it shall be so!' was the sudden exclamation of Gen. Magruder, in sympathy with the gallant suggestion. The resolution demonstrated a remarkable heroism and spirit. Our little force was adroitly extended over a distance of several
what the Merrimac had left of them-were intently watching for miles, reaching from Mulberry Island to Gloucester Point, a regiment being posted here and there, in every gap plainly open to observation, and on other portions of the line the men being posted at long intervals, to give the appearance of numbers to the enemy. Had the weakness of Gen. Magruder at this time been known to the enemy, he might have suffered the conse. quences of his devoted and self-sacrificing cour age; but, as it was, he held his lines on the Peninsula until they were reenforced by the most considerable portion of Gen. Johnston's forces, and made the situation of a contest upon which the attention of the public was unanimously fixed as the most decisive of the war."
Col. Fremantle, of the British Coldstream Guards, in his "Three Months in the Southern States," says:
"He [Magruder] told me the different dodges he resorted to to blind and deceive McClellan as to his strength; and he spoke of the intense relief and amusement with which he at length saw that General, with his magnificent army. begin to break ground before miserable earthworks defended only by 8,000 men."
aware that time was precious, and that a few days might greatly increase the number of his foes, venture to order a determined assault." On the contrary, he sat down before Magruder's lines, began to throw up earthworks, and sent orders to Washington for siege-guns. Pressing too close to Yorktown, the besiegers, were repulsed by a sudden charge of two battalions under Col. Ward. On the 16th, a reconnoissance in force by the 2d division of the 4th corps, Gen. W. F. Smith, was made at Dam steadiness of our troops. Thus, with 5,000 men, exclusive of the garrisons, we stopped and held in check over 100,000 of the enemy. Every preparation was made in anticipation of another attack by the enemy. The men slept in the trenches and under arms; but, to my utter surprise, he permitted day after day to elapse without an assault."