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[72] wooden stem, the iron prow having been lost the day before. The Monitor received the blow in such a manner as to weaken its effect, and the damage was to her trifling. Shortly after an alarming leak in the bows was reported. It, however, did not long continue.

Whilst contending with the Monitor, we received the fire of the Minnesota,1 which we never failed to return whenever our guns could be brought to bear. We set her on fire and did her serious injury, though much less than we then supposed. Generally the distance was too great for effective firing. We blew up a steamer alongside of her.

The fight had continued over three hours. To us the Monitor appeared unharmed. We were therefore surprised to see her run off into shoal water where our great draft would not permit us to follow, and where our shell could not reach her. The loss of our prow and anchor, and consumption of coal, water, &c., had lightened us so that the lower part of the forward end of the shield was awash.

We for some time awaited the return of the Monitor to the Roads. After consultation it was decided that we should proceed to the navyyard, in order that the vessel should be brought down in the water and completed. The pilots said if we did not then leave that we could not pass the bar until noon of the next day. We therefore at 12 M. quit the Roads and stood for Norfolk. Had there been any sign of the Monitor's willingness to renew the contest we would have remained to fight her. We left her in the shoal water to which she had withdrawn, and which she did not leave until after we had crossed the bar on our way to Norfolk.

The official report says: ‘Our loss is two killed and nineteen wounded. The stem is twisted and the ship leaks; we have lost the prow, starboard anchor, and all the boats; the armor is somewhat damaged, the steam-pipe and smoke-stack both riddled, the muzzles of two of the guns shot away. It was not easy to keep a flag flying; the flag-staffs were repeatedly shot away; the colors were hoisted to the smoke-stack, and several times cut down from it.’ None were killed or wounded in the fight with the Monitor. The only damage she did was to the armor. She fired forty-one shots. We were enabled to receive most of them obliquely. The effect of a shot striking obliquely on the shield was to break all the iron, and sometimes

1 She was a screw steam frigate of 3,200 tons, mounting forty-three guns of eight, nine and ten-inch calbre. She fired 145 ten-inch, 349 nine-inch, and 35 eight-inch shot and shell, and 5,567 pounds of powder. Her draft was about the same as the Virginia.

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