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The loss.

The loss in the Cumberland is reported by Federal account at one hundred and twenty-one killed and drowned; in the Congress, one hundred and twenty-five killed, wounded, and missing. No report is made of the Minnesota, though she, too, had some killed and wounded. In the Confederate fleet we had some forty-five killed and wounded, the larger number of killed being on our wooden vessels. Exhausted with the nervous strain of the day, we slept soundly that night, anticipating a similar career of victory for the morrow.

The Monitor (or Ericsson) had been built in one hundred days especially to meet the Merrimac. She arrived at Fort Monroe at 9 P. M. of March 8th. Secretary Welles had telegraphed Commodore Paulding at the New York yard March 6th: ‘Let the Monitor come direct to Washington, anchoring below Alexandria.’ Similar orders had been sent to Captain John Marston, United States Navy, at Fort Monroe. Marston took upon himself the responsibility of disobeying, and kept the Monitor in Hampton Roads. Had Secretary Welles' order been obeyed, the Merrimac on the 9th would have captured not only the Minnesota, St. Lawrence and Roanoke, but every vessel that remained inside of Fortress Monroe. In the engagement of the 8th the Merrimac had lost her prow in striking the Cumberland, two of her guns had been disabled, so as to be useless, by shot from the Cumberland, and her smoke-stack and steam-pipe had been so riddled that it was difficult to keep up sufficient steam. In this plight she was to meet her antagonist. At daylight on the 9th we discovered that the frigates Roanoke and St. Lawrence had been floated and moved to Old Point, but the Minnesota was yet aground in the same position. Near her we discovered an object like a raft, floating low in the water, with smoke-stack and turret amidships.

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