He had no doubt but that the Merrimac was at this moment on her way to Washington, and not unlikely we shall have a shell or cannon-ball from one of her guns in the White House before we leave this room.
On March 9th Mr. Stanton telegraphed the Governors of New York, Massachusetts and Maine to protect their harbors with large timber rafts— Rebellion Records, page 20, series 1, volume I. On the same date General McClellan sent telegrams to the commanding officers at New York, Newport, New London, Boston and Portland, Maine, to the same effect.
Admiral Dalhgren is busy at Washington having twenty-four canal boats laden with stone to close the Potomac river.
General McClellan on March 9th sends a telegram to General Wool, at Fort Monroe, in which, foreseeing the necessity of evacuating Newport News in the event the Merrimac gains possession of the Roads, he consents to a withdrawal of the garrison to Old Point, Rebellion Records, page 23, series 1, volume I. March 10t