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[31] use of the future historian. The official report of Admiral Buchanan (Vol. 7, page 305, Southern Historical Society Papers), and the admirable narrative of Captain Catesby Ap. R. Jones (which we printed in the Southern Magazine and shall reprint hereafter), settle the question beyond peradventure, and we cannot conceive that partizan influence can prevail on Congress to grant this absurd claim of the crew of the Monitor.

General D. H. Maury has given a summary of the facts in the following letter addressed to Senator Johnston:

Letter from General Maury.

office of the Southern Historical Society, November, 1882.
Senator John W. Johnston, of Virginia .
Dear Sir,—At your request I forward to you the essential facts about the Battle in Hampton Roads between the Confederate ironclad, Virginia (Merrimac) and the Federal fleet, consisting of the Monitor (ironclad) and the Cumberland, Congress, and Minnesota.

On March 8, 1862, the Virginia steamed out of Norfolk to attack the frigates Congress and Cumberland, then lying in Hampton Roads. She was commanded by Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

She first encountered the United States frigate Cumberland, whom she struck with her prow and sunk—her iron prow was broken off in the collision and sunk with the Cumberland.

The Cumberland behaved with conspicuous devotion from first to last. She was at anchor and received the Virginia firmly, and sunk working her battery and with her colors flying.

The Congress slipped her cables and ran ashore and after a gallant defence surrendered and was taken possession of. She was set on fire and blew up at midnight.

The Monitor had not yet appeared. All of the other ships retired below Old Point except the Minnesota, and she got ashore, beyond the reach of the Virginia, and so escaped.

On the morning of March 9th the Monitor hove in sight, and steamed to attack the Virginia.

These two ironclads exchanged a number of shots. No serious damage was inflicted by either upon the other—but after having been rammed by the Virginia with her wooden prow and having received a shot which jarred her turret and disabled her commander, the Monitor retired into shoal water beyond the Virginia's reach and never again encountered her.



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