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It was now past 4 o'clock. The Confederate fleet steamed off towards Fortress Monroe, and after that our personal observation was unworthy of note. The Minnesota grounded in the north channel, where, by reason of the receding tide, the Virginia could not win a near approach, but the smaller steamers of the Confederate fleet got within effective range and inflicted, says Secretary Welles, considerable damage on that ship. Lieutenant Jones says of the latter operations that ‘the pilots having declared it to be unsafe to remain longer near the middle shoal, we returned by the south channel, and again had an opportunity of opening upon the Minnesota, receiving her heavy fire in return, and shortly afterwards upon the St. Lawrence, from which vessel several broadsides were received. It had by this time become dark, and we soon afterwards anchored off Sewell's Point. The rest of the squadron followed the movements of the Virginia, except the Beaufort, which proceeded to Norfolk with the wounded and prisoners.’

The Federal losses in the day's brilliant work have already been recited. The Confederates won their success cheaply, all things being considered. Early in the action a solid shot perforated the boiler of the Patrick Henry, scalding four persons to death and wounding four others. The ship was turned out of action by the Jamestown, but the damages were soon repaired, when the ship returned to her station and did splendid service during the remainder of the day. The Raleigh was also forced to temporary retirement by the disabling of the carriage of her single gun, but she, too, was soon again on duty. The Virginia was practically uninjured, except for the loss of her ram, and was ready at dawn of the coming day to take part in that remarkable conflict with the Monitor, which will form the subject of my next paper.

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