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[101] her—she would be too valuable to them as a prize. They felt sure of her on the morrow, with all the other craft in the Roads and at anchor off Fortress Monroe.

The Merrimac retired for the night and anchored off Sewell's Point until next morning. In her encounter with the Cumberland and Congress, a shot from one of the guns of the Cumberland entered the muzzle of the bow gun of the Merrimac, bursting the gun and killing seven men.

Sunday, March 9, the Merrimac hove up and steamed out to finish up the work of destruction and capture left undone the day before. The day was clear and pleasant, the sun shining brightly, with little or no wind. Some Confederate officers and citizens of Norfolk came on board my steamer at Norfolk and ordered me to get under way and run out to see the Merrimac finish up. We ran down off Craney Island and from our deck saw the fight between the Monitor and Merrimac. The Confederates were all in high spirits, anticipating an easy victory. They talked very freely over the mission and marked programme of the Merrimac. She was to capture the Minnesota and all the vessels in the Roads, and then to proceed to New York and other Eastern cities. There was no doubt about the result, and that she would go where she wished, with impunity to herself.

We had been off Craney Island about half an hour, in plain sight of Hampton Roads, and the different craft there. We saw the Merrimac and presently the Monitor came out and attacked her. We could not tell what the Monitor was—nothing had ever been known of her in Norfolk, and it was all speculation what she was. The fight was watched with great interest. Soon there began to be doubts about the result. Some Confederate officers who had been nearer than we were, came back, and in passing, told us that the unknown craft was a wicked thing and we had better not get too near her. One of the shots from one of the combatants came skipping over the water very near us from nearly a mile distant.

We staid there until the fight was over. The Merrimac came back into the river badly disabled, and almost in a sinking condition. (Tugs had to be used to get her into the dry-dock at the navy-yard, the crew pumping and bailing water with all their might to keep her afloat.) I saw her in the dock at Norfolk next day; was on board of her, and made a personal examination of the ship. The effect of the Monitor's guns upon the Merrimac was terrible. Her plated sides were broken in, the iron plating rent and broken, the massive timbers of her sides crushed, and the officers themselves stated that she could not have withstood the effect of the Monitor's guns any longer, and that they barely escaped in time from her. The Merrimac lay in dry-dock, repairing and strengthening, for six weeks, when she was again put afloat under the command of Admiral Tattnall.

After the Merrimac was repaired and came out of dock the only thing she did was to form part of an expedition to go out into the Roads to attempt to capture the Monitor. The expedition was made

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