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 dauntless crew, before they had fairly recovered from the surprise of the portentous shock. The Merrimac next approaches the Congress; but she has probably broken or displaced her prow in running into the Cumberland, and she attacks the Congress, therefore, by shot and shells. But before her tremendous armament the Congress proves as powerless as was the Cumberland before her beak. Her colors are hauled down; she is run ashore, and set on fire by the Merrimac's battery. Of the other three vessels which have been mentioned, the Minnesota was the only one which could have been of any service; and she, unfortunately, ran aground. The Merrimac, after firing a few shots at her, deeming her a sure prey for the next day, turns aside to shell the camp and batteries at Newport News,--but with very little effect. In the night the gallant little Monitor arrives,--as opportunely as one of Homer's gods coming down from Olympus to share in a mortal fray,--attacks the Merrimac the next morning, and, after a contest resembling a fight between a swordfish and a whale, drives away her gigantic adversary, baffled and disabled, thus rendering us a service cheaply estimated at her weight in gold. On the 11th of April, the Merrimac again appears in Hampton Roads, attended by five small vessels. As soon as she is discerned, a large fleet of transports and sailing-vessels in the upper roads scuds away to a place of safety, like a flock of “tame villatic fowl” that seeks a sheltering covert when the hawk is seen in the air. Aided by her
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