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[96] professional ability of Flag-Officer Buchanan and his associates achieved the most remarkable victory which naval annals record.

In the same volume from which a portion of Mr. Mallory's report is quoted, on page 60, is a letter from General J. Bankhead Magruder, dated Youngs Mill, Va., March 10, 1862, in which he says:

Commodore,—It is with the most cordial satisfaction that I tender you my most hearty congratulations on the glorious and brilliant victory you achieved over the enemy on Saturday and Sunday last. I consider it the greatest achievement of the age, and am delighted beyond expression that it was accomplished under your auspices and that of my friend, Lieutenant Catesby Ap R. Jones.

These two reports certainly negative in the strongest terms that language can employ the assertion that there had been no denial that the Monitor achieved a victory over the Merrimac.

The official report of Flag Officer Buchanan, who commanded the Merrimac on the 9th of March, 1862, which is on file in the War Department, gives the following account of the engagement:

Naval hospital, Norfolk, March 27, 1862.
Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy:
sir,—Having been confined to my bed in this building since the 9th instant in consequence of a wound received in the action of the previous day, I have not had it in my power at an earlier date to prepare the official report which I now have the honor to make of the proceedings on the 8th and 9th instant of the James River squadron under my command, composed of the following named vessels: Steamer Virginia, flag-ship, 10 guns; steamer Patrick Henry, 12 guns, Commander John R. Tucker; steamer Jamestown, Lieutenant-Commander J. N. Barney, 2 guns, and gunboats Teaser, Lieutenant-Commanding W. A. Webb, Beaufort, Lieutenant-Commanding W. H. Parker, and Raleigh, Lieutenant-Commanding J. W. Alexander, each one gun; total, 27 guns. On the 8th instant, at 11 A. M., the Virginia left the navy-yard, Norfolk, accompanied by the Raleigh and Beaufort, and proceeded to Newport News, to engage the enemy's frigates Cumberland and Congress, gunboats, and shore batteries. When within less than a mile of the Cumberland, the Virginia commenced the engagement with that ship with her bowgun, and the action soon became general, the Cumberland, Congress, gunboats, and shore batteries concentrating upon us their heavy fire, which was returned with great spirit and determination.

The Virginia stood rapidly on towards the Cumberland, which ship I had determined to sink with our prow, if possible. In about

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