The expedition did not succeed in its mission. Why not? Hear Captain Byers s answer:
Luckily for the Merrimac and the tugs, the Monitor did not come out over the bar to give them a chance to try the experiment.So it seems that Captain Byers holding no place either civil or military in the Confederate Government—a man of no known prominence or character—simply the master of a little trading boat, which had come from the North and had been for some time around Norfolk, waiting an opportunity to escape into the Union lines-which he did at the first opportunity—was invited to join in this expedition, an expedition composed of some of the best and bravest men in the Confederacy, who were fighting for their homes, their firesides, their household gods, and their loved ones, an expedition which they had cause to believe at that time was ‘even unto the death’—was taken into the confidence of the commander of the Merrimac, invited to take part in this very perilous expedition, and given full details of all his plans. Can enlightened human credulity go further than to place reliance on such statements? Holding to these views, we respectfully report adversely to the passage of the bill.