previous next

[38] sides. As to her going outside of Cape Henry it was impossible; she would have foundered. She could not have lived in Hampton Roads in a moderate gale.

I served in the Palmetto State at Charleston, a similarly constructed vessel, but better sea-boat, and infinitely more buoyant, and have seen the time when we had to leave the outer harbor and take refuge in the inner in only a moderate blow!

VI. From the above-mentioned facts I think it clearly appears, (I) that the Monitor, after her engagement with the Merrimac on the 9th of March, never again dared encounter her, though offered frequent opportunities; (2) that so much doubt existed in the minds of the Federal authorities as to her power to meet the Merrimac, that orders were given her Commander not to fight her voluntarily; (3) that the Monitor never ventured above Old Point from the 9th of March until after the destruction of the Merrimac by her own crew, save on the occasion above referred to; (4) that the Merrimac, so far from being seriously injured in her engagement, efficiently protected the approaches to Norfolk and Richmond until Norfolk was evacuated; (5) that the Merrimac could not have gotten to Washington or Baltimore in her normal condition; (6) that she could not have gone to sea at all; (7) that, although she could have run by the Federal fleet and Old Point (barring torpedoes in the channel) and threatened McClellan's base at Yorktown, in exceptionably good weather, yet would have had to leave the James river open.

VII. For the truth of the very important facts mentioned in sections I, II and III, I am willing to abide by the log-book of the Monitor, the dispatches of Flag officer Goldsborough, or the testimony of Commander Dana Greene, United States Navy, who was the gallant and efficient executive officer of the Monitor from the day she left New York until she foundered off Cape Hatteras.

VIII. In conclusion I would like to say, and I do so most cheerfully, that the Monitor made her appearance in Hampton Roads at a critical time—the night of the 8th of March, 1862—and although an untried vessel, of a new and peculiar construction, did on the next day what the old Federal fleet present declined to do—she fought the Merrimac.

If the claim for a reward was put upon this ground alone, no one would be more gratified to see it granted her gallant crew than myself; but to claim prize-money on the ground that the Monitor defeated and permanently disabled the Merrimac, thus saving Washington

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 People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
H. B. McClellan (2)
Dana Greene (2)
Goldsborough (2)
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 (4)
March 8th, 1862 AD (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: