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[271] and our sharp upper-edged side cut through the light iron shoe upon her stem and well into her oak. She will not try that again. She gave us a tremendous thump, but did not injure us in the least. We are just able to find the point of contact.

The turret is a splendid structure. I don't think much of the shield, but the pendulums are fine things, though I cannot tell you how they would stand the shot, as they were not hit.

You were very correct in your estimate of the effect of shot upon the man inside of the turret when it was struck near him. Three men were knocked down, of whom I was one; the other two had to be carried below, but I was not disabled at all, and the others recovered before the battle was over. Captain Worden stationed himself at the pilot-house, Greene fired the guns, and I turned the turret until the Captain was disabled and was relieved by Greene, when I managed the turret myself, Master Stodden having been one of the two stunned men.

Captain Ericsson, I congratulate you upon your great success. Thousands have this day blessed you. I have heard whole crews cheer you. Every man feels that you have saved this place to the nation by furnishing us with the means to whip an iron-clad frigate that was, until our arrival, having it all her own way with our most powerful vessels.

I am, with much esteem, very truly yours,

Alban C. Stimers. Captain J. Ericsson, No. 95 Franklin Street, New-York.

Official reports to the rebel Congress, sent in March 13, 1862.

President's message.

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States:
I herewith transmit a letter of the Secretary of the Navy, of this date, covering the official report of the naval engagement between the James River squadron and the enemy's fleet at Hampton Roads on the eighth instant. The officers and men of the navy engaged in this brilliant affair deserve well of the country, and are commended to the consideration of Congress. The disparity of the forces engaged did not justify the anticipation of so great a victory, and it is doubly gratifying that it has been won upon an element where we were supposed to be least able to compete with our enemy. Special attention is called to the perfidious conduct of the enemy in hoisting, on the frigate Congress, a white flag, and renewing fire from that vessel under the impunity thus obtained.

Jefferson Davis. March 11, 1862.

C. S. Steam-battery Virginia, off Sewall's Point, March 8, 1862.
Flag-officer: In consequence of the wound of Flag-Officer Buchanan, it becomes my duty to report that the Virginia left the yard this morning, at eleven A. M., steamed down the river past our batteries and over to Newport News, where we engaged the batteries ashore, and also two large steam frigates, supposed to be the Minnesota and Roanoke, and a sailing frigate and several small steamers, armed with heavy rifled guns. We sunk the Cumberland, drove the Congress ashore, when she hauled down her colors and hoisted the white flag; but she fired upon us with the white flag flying, wounding Lieut. Minor and several of our men. We again opened fire upon her, and she is now in flames. The shoal-water prevented our reaching the other frigates. This, with the approach of night, we think, saved them from destruction. Our loss is two killed and eight wounded. Two of our guns have the muzzles shot off. The prow was twisted and the armor somewhat damaged. The anchor and all flagstaffs shot away, and smoke-stack and steampipe were riddled. The bearing of the officers and men was all that could be wished, and in fact it could not have been otherwise, after the noble and daring conduct of the Flag-Officer, whose wound is deeply regretted by all on board, who would gladly have sacrificed themselves in order to save him. We were accompanied from the yard by the Beaufort (Lieut. Parker) and Raleigh, (Lieut. Alexander,) and as soon as it was discovered up the James River that the action had commenced we were joined by the Patrick Henry, (Com. Tucker,) the Jamestown, (Lieut. Barney,) and the Teazer, (Serg. Webb.) all which were actually engaged, and rendered very effective service. Enclosed I send the surgeon's report of casualties. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant.

Catesby ap R. Jones. Executive and Ordnance Officer. Flag-Officer F. Forest.

The official report of the naval battle in Hampton Roads was read. The accompanying letter of the Secretary of the Navy states that Flag-Officer F. Buchanan was disabled near the close of the engagement by a painful wound, though not very dangerous. The report was made by the executive officer, upon whom thee command devolved, Lieut. Jones. The confederate vessels engaged were the steam-sloop Virginia, of ten guns; the Patrick Henry, Com. Tucker, of six guns; the Jamestown, Lieut.-Com. Barney, of two guns; the Raleigh, Lieut. Commanding Alexander; the Beaufort, Lieut. Commanding Parker; the Teazer, Lieut. Commanding Webb, each of one gun. With this force (twenty guns) Flag-Officer Buchanan engaged the enemy's fleet, consisting of the frigate Cumberland, of twenty-four guns; the Congress, of fifty guns; the St. Lawrence, of fifty guns; the steam-frigate Minnesota, of forty guns; the enemy's batteries at Newport News and several small steamers, armed with heavy rifled guns.

The engagement commenced at half-past 3 P. M., and at four P. M. Capt. Buchanan had sunk the Cumberland, captured and burned the Congress, disabled and driven the Minnesota ashore, and defeated the St. Lawrence and Roanoke, which sought shelter under the guns of Fortress Monroe. Two of the enemy's small steamers

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