12.10 o'clock.--The United States side-wheel steamer Susquehanna moved up, passing the Seminole and San Jacinto. In the mean time, the Dacotah and the Monitor had reached the channel, and taken possession of Sewell's Point, and the Dacotah fired a shot towards Craney Island, which fell short. A second shot from the Dacotah struck on the beach at Sewell's Point. A third also fell short. 12.20 o'clock.--The Susquehanna moves up, and takes the lead of the San Jacinto and Seminole. There was no return from either of the rebel forts, and the Dacotah and Monitor are steaming up the Elizabeth River, the Naugatuck laying off towards the mouth of James River. 12.30 o'clock.--The Dacotah and Monitor are moving up abreast, and are approaching Craney Island and Sewell's Point. The Dacotah stops and fires every few minutes, alternately at Sewell's Point and Craney Island, the enemy making no reply, although the balls all reach their intended destination. The Monitor is now taking the lead, but has not fired. In the mean time the Seminole and Susquehanna open fire on Sewell's Point, and two shots are fired from the Point, all of which fall short of the Monitor, which is now a mile above the other vessels. 12.40 o'clock.--The rebels are firing rapidly from Sewell's Point, principally at the Monitor, whilst a continual succession of shells are being poured in from the Susquehanna, Dacotah, Seminole and San Jacinto, broadside after broadside. The Rip Raps also threw an occasional shell into Sewell's Point. 12.50 o'clock.--The Susquehanna, Dacotah, San Jacinto and Seminole are pouring in shells, and the Monitor threw her first two shells from a point full a mile and a half ahead of the vessels. The guns from Sewell's Point fall short of the regular fleet, and many of them explode high in the air at half the distance. The Monitor is still moving forward, firing an occasional shot, whilst the Rip Raps and the fleet, lying off in line of battle, are still firing steadily. 1 o'clock.--The Monitor is now within a mile of Sewell's Point, moving slowly forward and firing. The enemy is firing briskly from Sewell's Point at the Monitor, and the shells are falling briskly around her. Craney Island is also joining in the fight, and has just thrown several shells at the Monitor, one of which has just exploded directly over her. 1.10 o'clock.--The Monitor is moving steadily forward, occasionally firing, and receiving the shells and shot from the rebel batteries with perfect nonchalance. 2 o'clock.--During the past hour there has been but little if any change in the progress of the bombardment. The Monitor has fallen back, and lies alongside of the Susquehanna, probably for the purpose of communicating with her. The Naugatuck, in the mean time, has been throwing shells into the Pig Point battery, and the fleet have also thrown a number of shell in the same direction. 2.15 o'clock.--The Monitor and the Dacotah are moving along again slowly up the Elizabeth River, and a dense black smoke has commenced to rise from Sewell's Point, indicating that some of the incendiary shells thrown have fired their barracks. The Dacotah continues to throw her shells direct into the Point, the explosions of which can be distinctly seen. The shells from the Point mostly fall short, and splash along in the water or explode in the air, the constant changing of the positions of the vessels destroying the range of the rebel gunners. They are, however, making quite a determined fight from their works, giving the fleet almost shell for shell and shot for shot. Sewell's Point is almost enveloped in smoke, the constant explosion of shells and the smoke from its own guns and the fire raging in the vicinity, making it a most hot place for suffering humanity. 2.30 o'clock.--The Monitor has lain out of action for nearly an hour, whilst the four larger vessels throw an occasional shot, all of which enter the works of the enemy, or explode within the woods. The Rip Raps also keep up a constant cross-fire, throwing a large number of shells in the rear of the Point batteries, giving them the benefit of a cross-fire. The Rip Rap battery has the range from Sewell's Point most perfectly. 2.45 o'clock.--The rebel monster Merrimac has just passed out from behind Sewell's Point, and is moving down slowly towards the Federal fleet. Her black hull can be seen moving slowly along the shore, in front of the Craney Island batteries. Simultaneously with the appearance of the Merrimac, the Monitor started up from behind the wooden vessels, and moved up to meet the enemy. Dense volumes of smoke rolled from the pipes of the Merrimac, and the Monitor, with only a puff of white steam escaping from her, looked in the distance an infinitesimal atom on the surface of the water. The larger vessels drew on one side, and left the Monitor and the Naugatuck in the path of the approaching enemy, the contestants being now fully two miles apart. 3 o'clock.--The Minnesota fires her signal-gun, and the long roll is being beat in the fort. The Minnesota is also coming up slowly from her anchorage below the fort. The fleet had been all lying quietly at anchor for the past half-hour, when a signal from the flag-ship ordered them all to return. The Susquehanna leads the way, followed by the San Jacinto, the Seminole and the Dacotah, the Monitor bringing up the rear, all apparently using their greatest speed towards the fort. To the spectators this seemed rather mortifying; but as they moved down in line, the Monitor was observed to halt, and the San Jacinto and the Dacotah also followed her example, leaving the Susquehanna and the Seminole moving ahead. The four steamers and the Monitor having taken their positions, the Merrimac also halted, and the five vessels stood not more than a mile and a half apart, the rebel monster not apparently willing to come further down, and the Monitor unwilling to go further up. The Minnesota had also steamed up in front of the Fortress
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.