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to the main bulkhead of the vessel. A spur-wheel, six and a half inches in diameter, eleven inch face, moved by a double-cylinder engine, turns the turret around and the guns as well, directing them to any point of the compass. A rod connected with the reversing gear of the engine will enable the gunner to control the aim, so that one officer has charge of both turret and guns, and the greatest possible accuracy may be attained in firing. The armament of the vessel will consist of two Dahlgren guns of the heaviest calibre. They will be parallel, and the turning of the turret will give them their direction. The two port-holes are within about two feet of each other on the same side, and about three feet from the deck. The guns will move on forged iron slides across the turret, the carriages, which are wrought iron, being made to fit them accurately. When the gun is run in for loading, a pendulum of wrought iron will fall over the port-holes, so that no ball can enter. The gun
to gain their position. The columns of troops were in motion. At starting the bands enlivened the movement, till the horrible condition of the roads compelled them to cease. The fleet slowly gained the head of the island and came into the following position: Diagram. The distance from the head of the island to the Fort is a mile and a quarter. As soon as the four boats came into position, the Cincinnati opened fire at thirty-four minutes past twelve o'clock, with an eight-inch Dahlgren gun, throwing a shell with a fifteen-second fuse into the Fort. The Carondelet and the St. Louis each gave the same kind of missile, while the Essex threw an eighty-pound shell. The rebels instantly replied, and the firing became general, though not at first rapid. The commanders obeyed the instructions, kept their boats in a line with the Cincinnati, and fired with deliberate aim. The consequence was, that almost every shell dropped in the right place. As only the bow-guns were use
e of three hundred yards, forming an open space to be played on by the rebel guns, about two hundred feet wide. The woods immediately in rear of the work were also cut down to permit the manoeuvring of their own forces. Their battery consisted of an earth-work with three faces covering the open space before and the woods at each side of the open space, but with a general direction of fire to the front. The guns were mounted in embrasure and consisted of a fine twenty-four-pounder brass Dahlgren howitzer, a long eighteen-pounder brass field-gun of the date of 1834, and a new twelve-pounder brass field-piece. In front of the work is a ditch eight feet wide and about three feet deep, and filled with water. This earth-work is about thirty-five yards wide, and is erected across the road by which our men must advance. The ground in front of the work is a deep marsh on which the trees which were felled still lay. The difficult nature of this ground was increased by the pits from which
ame purpose. Master's Mate J. H. Hammond, of this vessel, then assumed the command of the launch Delaware. At this time the Captain called away his gig, and, together with his aid, Acting Assistant Paymaster F. R. Curtis, made the first landing on Roanoke Island, for the purpose of reconnoitring and capturing a rebel tent, which was accomplished and brought on board. After which, believing that there was a large body of rebel troops in the woods, we fired several shell from our nine-inch Dahlgren, commanded by J. H. Kerens, which it was afterwards ascertained lodged in the midst of their encampment, compelling them to disperse and desist from throwing up intrenchments. At a quarter past five P. M. reported to flag-ship, and requested permission to land troops from the transports, which was granted, and we landed the Fifty-first Pennsylvania regiment, accomplishing it by eight o'clock P. M., when we hauled off and anchored, distant some hundred yards from the shore, where we remai
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 4. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 82.-fight in Hampton roads, Va., March 8th and 9th, 1862. (search)
as a smoke-stack or pipe near her middle, and she was probably a propeller, no side-wheels or machinery being visible. She is probably covered with railroad-iron. Immediately on the appearing of the Merrimac, the command was given to make ready for instant action. All hands were ordered to their places, and the Cumberland was sprung across the channel, so that her broadside would bear on the Merrimac. The armament we could bring to bear on the Merrimac was about eleven nine and ten-inch Dahlgren guns, and two pivot-guns of the same make. The gunners were at their posts, and we waited eagerly for her approach within range. She came up at the rate of four or five knots per hour. When the Merrimac arrived within about a mile, we opened on her with our pivot-guns, and as soon as we could bear upon her, our whole broadside commenced. Still she came on, the balls bouncing upon her mailed sides like India-rubber, apparently making not the least impression, except to cut off her flag-s
nd Jackson and St. Philip opened upon us. We could bring no gun to bear, but steered directly on. We were struck from stem to stern. At length we were close up with St. Philip, when we opened with grape and canister. Scarcely were we above the line of fire, when we found ourselves attacked by the rebel fleet of gunboats. This was hot, but more congenial work. Two large steamers now attempted to board at our starboard bow; the other astern, a third on our starboard-beam. The eleven-inch Dahlgren being trained on this fellow, we fired at a range of thirty yards. The effect was very destructive. She immediately steered in shore, run aground, and sunk. The Parrott gun on the forecastle drove off the one on the bow, while we prepared to repel boarders, so close was our remaining enemy about this time. Boggs and Lee came dashing in, and made a finish of the rebel boats, eleven in all. In the grey of the morning we discovered a camp, with the rebel flag flying; opened with canister