previous next

[308] to her station and continued to perform good service during the remainder of that day and the following. Having sunk the Cumberland, I turned our attention to the Congress. We were some time in getting our proper position, in consequence of the shoalness of the water, and the great difficulty of managing the ship when in or near the mud. To succeed in my object I was obliged to run the ship a short distance above the batteries on James river in order to wind her. During all this time her keel was in the mud; of course she moved but slowly. Thus we were subjected twice to the heavy guns of all the batteries in passing up and down the river, but it could not be avoided. We silenced several of the batteries, and did much injury on shore. A large transport steamer alongside the wharf was blown up, one schooner sunk and another captured and sent to Norfolk. The loss of life on shore we have no means of ascertaining.

While the Virginia was thus engaged in getting her position for attacking the Congress, the prisoners state it was believed on board that ship that we had hauled off; the men left their guns and gave three cheers. They were soon sadly undeceived, for a few minutes after we opened upon her again, she having run on shore in shoal water. The carnage, havoc and dismay caused by our fire compelled them to haul down their colors and to hoist a white flag at their gaff, and half-mast another at the main. The crew instantly took to their boats and landed. Our fire immediately ceased, and a signal was made for the Beaufort to come within hail. I then ordered Lieutenant-Commanding Parker to take possession of the Congress, secure the officers as prisoners, allow the crew to land and burn the ship. He ran alongside, received her flag and surrender from Commander William Smith and Lieutenant Pendergrast, with the side-arms of those officers. They delivered themselves as prisoners of war on board the Beaufort, and afterwards were permitted, at their own request, to return to the Congress, to assist in removing the wounded to the Beaufort. They never returned, and I submit to the decision of the Department whether they are not our prisoners. While the Beaufort and Raleigh were alongside the Congress, and the surrender of that vessel had been received from the commander, she having two white flags flying, hoisted by her own people, a heavy fire was opened upon them from the shore and from the Congress, killing some valuable officers and men. Under this fire the steamers left the Congress; but as I was not informed that any injury had been sustained by those vessels


Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)
Norfolk (Virginia, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William Smith (1)
Pendergrast (1)
W. H. Parker (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: