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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., chapter 1.1 (search)
breached, and both guns and gunners were fully exposed. Nevertheless, after a four-hours' combat the monitor slowly retired, evidently in a damaged condition. The importance of the success of this engagement lay in the demonstrated fact that iron-clads were not as formidable as they were supposed to be against land-batteries. As yet, their final test of invulnerability had not been fully ascertained. Reflecting upon the result of that encounter, I wrote to Brigadier-General Ripley, February 8th, 1863, minute instructions, But I consider also that the attack on Sumter, whenever it takes place, will probably be made at long range with their heaviest guns and mortars. This being admitted, they will necessarily attack it where it is weakest,--i. e., the gorge, south-east angle, and east face,--taking their position close along the eastern shore of Morris Island, after silencing Wagner. By adopting this plan their steamers, gun-boats, etc., would be, moreover, farther removed fro