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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)
sterday morning, at nine A. M., I discovered two steamers at anchor off Smithfield Point, on the left-hand or western side of the river, distant about twelve miles. At twelve meridian I discovered three vessels under steam, standing down the Elizabeth river toward Sewall's Point. I beat to quarters, double-breeched the guns on the main deck, and cleared ship for action. At one P. M. the enemy hove in sight, gradually nearing us. The iron-clad steamer Merrimac, accompanied by two steam gunbog between the two iron-clad vessels, the high cliffs at Newport News and vicinity were crowded with spectators, earnestly watching the progress of the fight. Baltimore American account. The Merrimac made her appearance, coming out from Elizabeth River about noon on Saturday. She stood directly across the roads toward Newport News. As soon as she was made out and her direction ascertained, the crews were beat to quarters on both the Cumberland and Congress, and preparations made for what
tered. The forests of masts between the Fortress and Sewell's Point disappeared, and the broad, open expanse of water bore on its surface only the rebel fleet, and two French and one English men-of-war, which, with steam up, still maintained their position. Half-past 8 o'clock.--For the last hour the manoeuvres of the rebel fleet have apparently been directed toward decoying our fleet up toward Sewall's Point. When the Merrimac first appeared, she stood directly across the mouth of Elizabeth River, followed by her consorts, as if they were bound to Newport News. The Merrimac approached the English sloop-of-war, and after apparently communicating with her, fell slowly around, and moved back toward her consorts in the rear. The English and French vessels then moved up, as if they had been informed that the Lower Roads were to be the scene of conflict and they had been warned to get out of the range. For an hour the rebel fleet kept changing position, without making any decided a