previous next

[33] be given to the gallant officers and crew of the Cumberland, which went down with her colors flying after doing nearly all the damage sustained by the Merrimac on the 8th and 9th of March, 1862. The broadside fired by the Cumberland just as the Merrimac rammed her cut one of the Merrimac's guns off at the trunnions, the muzzle off another, tore up the carriage of her bow pivot gun, swept away her anchors, boats and howitzers, riddled her smoke-stack and steam-pipe, and killed and wounded nineteen men.

The next day in the fight with the Monitor the Merrimac did not have a man killed or wounded nor a gun disabled. The only damage sustained by her worth mentioning was by ramming the Monitor with her wooden stem, her cast-iron bow having been wrenched off the day before in the Cumberland. This probably saved the Monitor from a similar fate. 'Tis true the Monitor struck us some powerful blows with her eleven-inch guns when only a few feet from us, but not one of her shots penetrated our armor. If instead of scattering her shot over our shield she had concentrated them upon some particular spot, a breach might have been made. When the Merrimac left Hampton Roads for Norfolk, the Monitor had passed over the bar and hauled off into shoal water, where we could not reach her— the Merrimac's draft being over twenty-two feet, and hers only about ten. As there was nothing more to fight, the tide being favorable, the Merrimac returned to Norfolk, where she was docked. She was then thoroughly overhauled and equipped for fighting an ironclad. A prow of steel and wrought iron was put on. Bolts of wrought iron and chilled iron were supplied for the rifle guns, and other preparations made especially for the Monitor. They were such as to make all on the Merrimac feel confident that we would either make a prize of or destroy the Monitor when we met again. On the 11th of April, all being ready for the expected fray, the Merrimac again went to Hampton Roads. The Monitor was laying at our moorings, at the mouth of the Elizabeth river, publishing to the world that she was blockading the Merrimac. Greatly to our surprise she refused to fight us, and as we approached she gracefully retired, and closely hugged the shore under the guns of Fortress Monroe. As if to provoke her to combat, the Jamestown was sent in, and she captured several prizes, in which the Monitor seemed to acquiesce, as she offered no resistance. French and English men-of-war were present; the latter cheered and dipped their flags as the Jamestown passed with the prizes.

On the 8th of May, when the Merrimac had returned to Norfolk



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)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
March 9th, 1862 AD (2)
March 8th, 1862 AD (2)
May 8th (2)
April 11th (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: