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[293] full head of steam they seemed to be greatly astonished. ‘There was rushing to and fro and signaling in hot haste.’ But there were brave men on those ships, and they were getting ready to receive us. Farragut, himself a Southerner, as were Jenkins and Jouett.

We dashed in among them, but they were too fleet for us. We could not use the ship as a ram, but a fight with heavy artillery was precipitated, which beggarded discription. ‘Then was the noise of conflict, arms upon armor, clashing, brayed horrible discord.’ Suddenly the firing ceases, we come in collision with something. The ship is gradually being upset, everything movable gravitates to one side. It seems as if we are about to suffer the fate of the Royal George, but after a few violent oscillations the ship comes to an equilibrium, and the fight goes on. This was occasioned by one of the enemy's ships, the Monongahela, trying to run over and sink us, which it very nearly succeeded in doing. Under the incessant storm of ponderous missiles hurled upon us at close range, every joint and rib in the ship seemed to quiver and shake. A messenger comes to inform us that the Admiral is wounded; he is brought on the berth deck and placed on a mattress. We find that he hassuffered a fracture of the leg. He had a similar wound in the Merrimac fight. In a short time a messenger comes from Captain Johnston, saying the ship is disabled, and he thinks we had better surrender. The old Admiral rouses up, sparks seem to flash from his eyes, he brings his clenched fist down on the deck: ‘Go back and tell Captain Johnston to fight the ship to the very last man.’ Soon the Captain came himself and told the Admiral the ship would be sunk in five minutes if we did not surrender. He replied, sadly: ‘I leave the whole matter to you, Captain Johnston.’ The Captain then tied his white handkerchief to the ramrod of a musket, and pushed it up through the hatchway. Unfortunately the noise was so great that the order to cease firing had not been understood, and one of our guns fired after the white flag had been raised.

The Federal officer who came aboard to receive the surrender of the ship demanded why this had been done, and talked of taking summary vengeance on us, but Captain Johnston's explanation seemed to satisfy him.

Mr. Forrest, of Virginia, master's mate, learning that the ship was about to surrender, ran down and begged the Admiral to give him his sword. He did not want Farragut to have it. He made no reply,

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James W. Johnston (4)
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