further testimony or reasons for the passage of this bill, than those given in the report of the Forty-seventh Congress. The ‘precedents’ cited, are the same set forth in that report, with perhaps some additions, but in every case the vessel or vessels were either actually captured or destroyed, which was not the fact in the case before us. The new authorities cited are histories, where accounts of the naval engagement in Hampton Roads are evidently not made up from the official reports of the affair which we have, and yet none of them sustain the theory of the advocates of this bill. The History of the Civil War in America, by the Count of Paris, which is quoted, does not sustain the position claimed by the memorialists. In vol. 1, page 607, after describing the engagement, he says:
The Virginia (Merrimac) had suffered from the engagement, but her injuries were of such a character as to admit of being promptly repaired.And again:
The Federal naval authorities fully appreciated all the draw backs to the success of March the 9th, and in order to avert the damages of another attack from the enemy's iron-clad, they hastened to station several large vessels at the mouth of the James River, which were to board the Virginia (Merrimac) and sink her as soon as she should appear.Swinton, another authority referred to, in his Twelve Decisive Battles of the War, gives no facts which sustain the theory of this application. On page 249 he says:
Even the Monitor's 11-inch ordnance, though it told heavily against the casemate of the Merrimac, often driving in splinters, could not penetrate it.On page 250 he says:
But in general, on both ships, the armor defied the artillery.And on page 252:
However, with the wounding of Worden, the contest was substantially over. A few well-depressed shots rang against the cuirass of the Merrimac, and the latter despairing of subduing her eager and obstinate antagonist, after four hours of fierce effort, abandoned the fight, &c.