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[182] by resisting the Merrimac as long as she did, even if she did have to withdraw. The Minnesota was gotten afloat that night and towed below Old Point. I suspect the Merrimac was making more water from the leak in her bow than her officers were willing to admit.

This last statement is borne out by the testimony of Boatswain Hasker of the Merrimac, who states that they reached Norfolk just in time to get into dry dock by high water.

But there is no use in fighting all the contested points of this battle over again. It was a drawn fight, bravely fought, and there is honor enough for both. The thrill of the meeting between these two armored ships was in its novelty. The results were in the reconstruction of the navies of the world.

Neither vessel long survived their famous encounter, and the Merrimac was the first to finish her days. Owing to Flag-Officer Buchanan's injuries, the command on that memorable 9th of March had fallen on Lieutenant Jones, and he was relieved before the end of the month by Flag-Officer Josiah Tatnall. Though the Monitor stayed close at hand, there was no further meeting after her valiant foe was released from the drydock on April 4th.

When Norfolk was evacuated by the Confederates, on the 10th of May, the further disposition of the Merrimac became a grave problem. Tatnall had her lightened three feet in order to take her up the James, but the pilots refused to attempt this in the face of a westerly breeze, and now every officer agreed with Tatnall that she must be blown up. This was done on the 11th. The indignation throughout the South was great, but Tatnall was completely exonerated by a court of inquiry.

After the destruction of the Merrimac, the Monitor went up the James with Commander Rodgers' squadron in the attack on the entrenchments at Drewry's Bluff. Finally on the 31st of December the Monitor was sunk in a gale, while on the way to Beaufort, North Carolina, and sixteen of her officers and crew went to the bottom with her.

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