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han thrice a match in number and weight of metal for our whole fleet. But the Virginia took a position as near as she could approach her, and, aided by the other vessels, poured an incessant fire into her, enflaming her several times, and rendering her condition almost hopeless.--She returned our courtesies with much skill and power; and now, whilst the contest was hottest between the Minnesota, several gunboats, and the shore batteries, on their part, and the Virginia, Patrick Henry, and Jamestown, on our side, Buchanan, who had too daringly exposed his person on the elevated deck during the whole action, was wounded in the leg by a Minie ball, and was forced to go below, leaving the active command to Lieut. Catesby Jones, than whom none could be more worthy of the perilous office. Surely the Commodore must have borne a charmed life, for all this time shot of every description, from ship and shore, had passed and fallen like rain at his feet, whilst the smokestack, near which he st
innesota, Roanoke and St. Lawrence. The frigates being sailing vessels were completely at the mercy of the monster Merrimac and her attendant iron-mailed gunboats. The Merrimac made an attack on the Cumberland with her iron prow, and fairly cut her open; then drawing off she gave her a broadside and dashed into her again. The Cumberland immediately went down under this terrific shock, and it is said that about a hundred of her crew of five hundred were lost.--The Merrimac, Yorktown, and Jamestown then engaged the Congress with a heavy fire, our batteries at Newport News playing briskly on the rebel boats meanwhile, and the enemy returning with shell. The Congress, though she fought gallantly, had to succumb to the superior force of the enemy, and surrendered. Her officers were taken prisoners, the crew was allowed to escape in boats, and the frigate was then burned by the enemy.--The steamer going up to assist the frigates, although they opened a severe fire on the enemy, unfortu