previous next

[247] our guns to bear on the Minnesota properly, and, although we set her on fire and did considerable damage, we were too far away to make a clean sweep of her.

The fight between the Virginia and the Monitor was on for fully four hours, neither vessel seeming to suffer from the effects of the other's broadsides. Finally the Monitor ran off into shoal water, trying to coax us to follow her (a Yankee trick) and go aground. This we did not do, and from the ,Monitor's position neither vessel could reach the other with shot.

We now made an examination and found we had lost our prow, had two guns disabled and had sprung a leak. We remained, however, thinking that the Monitor would come out into deep water again and renew the engagement. She staid safely in shoal water though, and after some time we saw that no more fighting was in view. Our officers held a consultation and decided to return to Norfolk for repairs.

The Monitor remained in her position on the shoals until we had crossed the bar on our way to Norfolk.

The official report of the damage sustained by the Virginia from the time she left the Gosport navy-yard says: “ The Virginia's loss is two killed and nineteen wounded. The stem is twisted and the ship leaks. We lost our prow, starboard anchor and all the boats. The armor is somewhat damaged, the steam-pipes and smokestack riddled, the muzzles of two guns shot away. The colors were hoisted to the smokestack and were shot away several times. No one was killed or wounded in the fight with the Monitor.”

The only damage done by the Monitor was to the armor, the effect of shot striking obliquely on the shield, breaking the iron and sometimes displacing several feet of the outside courses and the wooden backing inside.

After being repaired at the Gosport navy-yard and having the disabled guns replaced, under the supervision of Commodore Josiah Tatnall, the Virginia steamed down Hampton Roads about the middle of April, expecting to have another fight with the Monitor. But there was no fight. The Monitor hugged the other shore under the protection of the guns of Fort Monroe. Our commander tried several times to persuade the vessel to come out and fight, but she never came.

On May 8th, a squadron including the Monitor, Galena and Nagatuck, bombarded our batteries at Sewall's Point. When our

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Josiah Tatnall (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
May 8th (1)
April (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: