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[74] expressly fitted for running us down, joined the other vessels between the forts. It looked as if the fleet was about to make a fierce onslaught upon us. But we were again to be disappointed. The Monitor and the other vessels did not venture to meet us, although we advanced until projectiles from the Rip Raps fell more than half a mile beyond us. Our object, however, was accomplished; we had put an end to the bombardment, and we returned to our buoy.

Norfolk was evacuated on the 10th of May. In order that the ship might be carried up the James river, we commenced to lighten her, but ceased on the pilots saying they could not take her up. Her shield was then out of water; we were not in fighting condition. We therefore ran her ashore in the bight of Craney Island, landed the crew, and set the vessel on fire. The magazine exploded about half-past 4 on the morning of the 11th of May, 1862. The crew arrived at Drewry's Bluff the next day, and assisted in defeating the Monitor, Galena, and other vessels on the 15th of May.

Commodore Tatnall was tried by court-marshal for destroying the Virginia, and was ‘honorably acquitted’ of all the charges. The court stated the facts, and their motives for acquitting him. Some of them are as follows: ‘That after the evacuation of Norfolk, Westover on James river became the most suitable position for her to occupy; that while in the act of lightening her for the purpose of taking her up to that point, the pilots for the first time declared their inability to take her up. . . . . That when lightened she was made vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. . . . . The only alternative, in the opinion of the court, was to abandon and burn the ship then and there, which, in the judgment of the court, was deliberately and wisely done.’


List of officers of the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia, March 8th, 1862.

Flag-OfficerFranklin Buchanan. LieutenantsCatesby Ap R. Jones, Executive and Ordnance officer; Charles C. Simms, R. D. Minor (flag), Hunter Davidson, J. Taylor Wood, J. R. Eggleston, Walter Butt. Midshipmen—Foute, Marmaduke, Littlepage, Craig, Long, and Roots. PaymasterJames Semple. SurgeonDinwiddie Phillips. Assistant-SurgeonAlgernon S. Garnett. Captain of MarinesReuben Thom. Engineers—H. A. Ramsey, Acting Chief; Assistants—Tynan, Campbell, Herring, Jack and White. Boatswain—Hasker. Gunner—Oliver. Carpenter—Lindsey. Clerk


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