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[100] bill for the relief of the officers and crew of the United States steamer Monitor, who participated in the action with the rebel iron-clad Merrimac, on the 9th day of March, 1862.

The remarkable battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac, and the important service rendered by the Monitor on that occasion, are so well known that a recital of the circumstances attending that engagement and its results is not deemed necessary.

The Merrimac was not destroyed or captured by the Monitor; but it is fair to presume that the injuries she received in the action prevented her from again encountering the Monitor, which vessel remained ready to confront her had she resumed the attack upon the fleet. These circumstances, together with the fact that other vessels of the Navy were there, prepared to assist in opposing the Merrimac, led, no doubt, to the final destruction of that vessel.

The conduct of the officers and men of the Monitor, a vessel entirely novel in her construction, and untried, in seeking an encounter with an antagonist of greater size and power, and the skill and gallantry exhibited by them throughout the engagement, deserve grateful recognition by the Government.

The copy of the bill, and the printed memorial and brief, transmitted with your letter, are herewith returned.

Very respectfully,

William H. Hunt, Secretary of the Navy. Hon. John R. Thomas, Committee on Naval Affairs, House of Representatives.

State of New York, County of Erie:
Personally appeared before me this 21st day of November, 1874, Captain James Byers, who deposes and says as follows:

I was at Norfolk from September, 1860, to the 8th day of May, 1862, master of steam-tug J. B. White, built at Buffalo by George Notter. I was employed by the contractors building the Albermarle Canal. The Merrimac was sunk by the Federals near the navy-yard, previous to the evacuation of Norfolk, to avoid her falling into the hands of the Confederates. She was raised by the Confederates by Baker Brothers, wreckers, and put into the dock at Norfolk, cut down and fitted up—a heavy frame of wood covered with heavy plate iron. They worked on her night and day. She was armed with four heavy guns on each side, one on her bow, and one aft—ten heavy guns in all.

She went out on Saturday, the 8th of March, 1862, under command of Admiral Buchanan, and sunk the Cumberland and Congress on that date. I saw the fight from the deck of my steamer. She also exchanged shots with the Minnesota, which was aground on the middle ground in Hampton Roads, half-way between Sewell's Point and Newport News. The Merrimac could have easily destroyed the Minnesota on Saturday (March 8), but they did not wish to harm


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