Buchanan, commanding the Merrimac, has been fully set out, and is in keeping with all of the other evidence. Captain G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, in a dispatch to Hon. Gideon Welles, says:
Nearly all here are of opinion that the Merrimac is disabled. I was the nearest person to her, outside of the Monitor, and I am of the opinion she is not seriously injured.General George B. McClellan, in a letter to General John E. Wool, dated March 9, 1862, 1 P. M., says:
The performances of the Merrimac place a new aspect upon everything, and may probably change my old plan of campaign just on the eve of execution.Captain G. V. Fox, telegraphing to General McClellan, March 9, 1862, 10:45 P. M., referring to the latter's dispatch, above mentioned, to General Wool, says:
The damage to the Merrimac cannot be ascertained. She retreated under steam without assistance. The Monitor is all ready for her to-morrow, but I think the Merrimac will be obliged to lay up for a few days. She is an ugly customer, and it is too good luck to believe we are yet clear of her.On March 10, P. H. Watson, Assistant Secretary of War, telegraphed to Henry B. Renwick, New York city, and advises that three large and swift steamers be fitted up to run down and destroy the Merrimac. If the vessel had been destroyed the day before, there was no necessity for this. On March 10, 1862, at 10:27 A. M., Hon. Gideon Welles telegraphed Captain G. V. Fox, then at Fort Monroe:
It is directed by the President that the Monitor be not too much exposed, and that in no event shall any attempt be made to proceed with her unattended to Norfolk.General John E. Wool, in dispatch dated Fortress Monroe, March 11, 1862, to General McClellan, says:
No information obtained in regard to the injury sustained by the Merrimac. The enemy under the command of Magruder, in some force about eight miles from Newport News, expecting, no doubt, that the Merrimac will again make her appearance.