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[119] any unplated ship on the globe, and put a shell from her rifled bow-gun through the Minnesota's side, which tore four of her rooms into one and set her on fire; but the flames were promptly extinguished. The Merrimac's next shot pierced the boiler of the tug-boat Dragon, which was made fast to the port side of the Minnesota, to be ready to assist in towing her off; killing or badly wounding 7 of lier crew and setting her on fire. By this time, the Minnesota was raining iron upon her assailant; at least 50 solid shot from her great guns having struck the Rebel's side without apparent effect. Now the little Monitor again interposed between the larger combatants, compelling the Merrimac to chagre her position ; in doing which she grounded ; and again a broadside was poured upon her at close range from all the guns of the Minnesota that could be brought to bear. The Merrimac was soon afloat once more, and stood down the bay, chased by the Monitor; when suddenly the former turned and ran full speed into her purser, giving her a tremendous shock, but inflicting no serious damage. The Rebel's prow grated over the deck of the Monitor; and was badly cut by it; so that she was not inclined to repeat the experiment. The Monitor soon afterward stood down the Roads toward Fortress Monroe; but the Merrimac and her tenders did not see fit to pursue her, nor even to renew the attack on the now exposed Minnesota; on the contrary, they gave up the fight, which they were destined never to renew, and steamed back to Norfolk. The Minnesota, despite persistent efforts, was not fairly afloat until 2 o'clock next morning.

In this memorable fight, the turret of the Monitor was struck by Rebel bolts nine times, her side armor eight times, her deck thrice, and her pilothouse twice — the last being her only vulnerable point. One of these bolts struck her pilot-house squarely in front of the peep-hole through which Lt. Worden was watching his enemy, knocking off some cement into his face with such force as utterly to blind him for some days, and permanently to destroy his left eye. Three men standing in the turret when it was struck were knocked down, one of them being Chief Engineer Alban C. Stimers, who managed the revolving of the turret. The Merrimac had her prow twisted in her collision with the Monitor, her anchor and flag-staff shot away, her smoke-stack and steam-pipe riddled, 2 of her crew killed and 8 wounded, including her commander, Buchanan. The Patrick Henry was disabled by a shot through one of her boilers, by which 4 of her crew were killed and 3 wounded. The other Rebel gunboats reported an aggregate loss of only 6 men.

The Merrimac was undoubtedly disabled1 in this two-days' conflict, or she would not have closed it as she did, or would have renewed it directly afterward.

Our total loss by this raid, beside the frigates Cumberland and Congress, with all their armament, tho tug Dragon, and the serious damage inflicted on the Minnesota, can hardly have fallen short of 400 men, including

1 A letter from Petersburg, March 10, to the Raleigh Standard, says: “The Merrimac lost her enormous iron beak in the plunge at the Ericsson, and damaged her machinery, and is leaking a little.” It was probably this leak which constrained her to abandon the fight as she did.

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