previous next

[108] by the Monitor, or such a destruction as to bring this application within the purview and meaning of the law? If the answer to this be in the affirmative, it is singular that the officers and crew of the Monitor have not long since received their money. Compensation is allowed by law to officers and crews who destroy enemy's property, and this Government has not only not been slow, but has been exceedingly generous to the men and officers, both on land and sea, who protected and fought for its flag in the late civil war, as it should have been, and we cannot see why, if these petitioners have a valid claim for compensation, it has not long since been granted.

We assume that the proof shows that the only serious damage sustained by the Merrimac was inflicted by the Cumberland, and that the Merrimac went back to Norfolk when her adversaries were out of her reach; and, they being in shoal water, and she, on account of the great depth of water which she drew, unable to attack them, went into dock for repairs, and again came out and offered battle, which was refused; and that eventually, on the evacuation of Norfolk by the Confederate forces, she was destroyed by her officers and crew, to prevent her falling into the hands of the Union forces, and that, therefore, her destruction was not the result of her engagement with the Monitor, and that if the proof shows this state of facts to exist that the claim of the petitioners in this memorial ought not to be allowed. We submit some testimony bearing on these points.

Brigadier-General Joseph K. F. Mansfield, U. S. A., in his official report of the engagement, made to General John E. Wool, U. S. A., bearing date March, 12, 1862, the day after the engagement, says:

Our ships were perfectly harmless against the Merrimac, as their broadsides produced no material effect on her.

Major-General Benjamin Huger, of the Confederate army, in his official report, dated Norfolk, Va., March 10, 1862, says:

The Virginia (Merrimac) I understand has gone into dock for repairs, which will be made at once.

This action shows the power of iron-clad vessels; cannon shot do not harm them, and they can pass batteries or destroy large ships. A vessel like the Virginia or Monitor, with her two guns, can pass any of our batteries with impunity. * * * The Virginia being the most powerful, can stop the Monitor. * * * The Virginia and the Monitor were in actual contact, without inflicting serious injury on either. At present in the Virginia we have the advantage.

The testimony contained in the official report of Flag-Officer

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Norfolk (Virginia, United States) (3)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
John E. Wool (1)
Merrimac (1)
Joseph K. F. Mansfield (1)
Benjamin Huger (1)
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 12th, 1862 AD (1)
March 10th, 1862 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: