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The fight.

Closer inspection convinced us it was (Ericsson's Battery) the Monitor. Having sent our wounded ashore we moved out into the Roads, to resume the engagement at 8 A. M. The Merrimac being in advance, our wooden vessels in the rear, to take part if occasion should offer. Lieutenant Jones, then in command of the Merrimac, says of this engagement:

‘We stood for the Minnesota and opened fire. Our pilots were to have placed us within half a mile of her, but at no time were we nearer than a mile. At one third of a mile's distance the monitor opened upon us. We rapidly approached each other, and at times were only a ship's length apart. Once we fired a broadside at her only a few yards distant. She and her turret were under perfect control. Once she took a position where we could not bring a gun to bear upon her. Another movement, which gave us great anxiety, was an attempt to run afoul of our rudder and propeller, which could easily have been disabled. Her guns were seen only at the moment of discharge—this done, her turret revolved shuting them out of view. We had no solid shot, and our shell had no effect upon her. With all our caution we ran aground, and remained so for a quarter of an hour. Finding we could make no impression with our shell, we determined if possible to run her down.’

Of this attempt Lieutenant Wood, of the Merrimac, says:

‘For an hour we manoeuvred for position. Now go ahead!. Now stop! Now astern! The Merrimac was as unweildy as Noah's ark. At last an opportunity offered, but before we had sufficient headway the Monitor sheered off, and our disabled ram gave a glancing blow, which did no apparent harm.’

Within a few moments after this collision the Monitor made her first withdrawal from the action. The Merrimac now resumed her fire at the Minnesota, doing her serious injury and blowing up the boiler of a tug alongside. The Monitor returned to the action, and taking a position with her bow against the Merrimac, fired twice at this distance. The impact of these shots forced the side of the Merrimac in two or three inches, and the concussion knocked down all the men at the after pivot gun, many of whom bled from the nose or ears. ‘The action had now continued some three hours,’ says

Lieutenant Jones, ‘without apparent injury to the Monitor. We ’

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Catesby Ap. R. Jones (2)
John Taylor Wood (1)
Noah (1)
Ericsson (1)
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