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[209] was his intention to run into the Weehawken and blow her up with his bow torpedo. But he went aground about 600 yards from the monitor, and after backing off went aground again so hard and fast that it was impossible for the engines to move his doomed vessel. The Weehawken came up within 300 yards and opened fire. Her first shot, a 15-inch spherical, struck the armor of the Atlanta at such an angle that it passed through about eleven inches of iron and four feet of wood. The effect was terrific. Great quantities of wood and iron splinters were scattered over the gun deck. Sixteen men were wounded and 40 more were made insensible by the shock. A second shot partly crushed the pilot-house, wounding both pilots and one helmsman, and stunning the other. The firing was continued with serious effect. Eight shots were fired from the Atlanta, none of which struck the Weehawken. The Nahant did not come into the fight at all. Webb found it impossible to bring his guns to bear effectively in his unfortunate position, and it was evident that lying there a fixed mark, it would be a matter of but a few minutes before his boat would be crushed and his men killed. Accordingly the unfortunate commander hoisted the white flag, and sent Lieut. J. W. Alexander to inform Captain Rodgers that he had surrendered. The Federals made prisoners of 165 men, including the officers, and these, with the exception of the wounded, were sent to Fort Lafayette, New York harbor. The captured boat was repaired and used in the United States navy. This sudden loss of the Atlanta, from which important service was expected, was a distressing blow to the South, but Webb and his men were not to blame for the misfortune. Even if they had escaped the sandbars, the armor of the Atlanta would have been ineffectual against the guns of the two monitors.

In the spring of 1863 there occurred in north Georgia one of the most celebrated cavalry exploits of the war,

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Georgia (Georgia, United States) (1)

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William A. Webb (2)
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1863 AD (1)
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