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Second day's fight.

Relative to the first day's engagement, that of March 8th, there has been no dispute, but on the second day, March 9th, the failure of Lieutenant Jones to destroy the Minnesota after the Monitor retired to shallow water, when Lieutenant, Worden was incapacitated by a shot fired by the Virginia, enabled claims to be made for the Monitor, which are not sustained by official records. It is true that those who had become panic—stricken when the reverse of the 8th was flashed to them had good reason to rejoice that the Virginia had met the Monitor in conflict and that the Minnesota had not been destroyed by the former, as was expected would be the case at the close of the engagement of the 8th, but it does not justify claims that cannot be sustained by the records. The student of these records will find that very extravagant claims were made for the Monitor, and later on that such claims were not founded upon fact. Chief Engineer Stimers, of the Monitor, in a letter to Commodore Joseph Smith, under date of March 17th, page 27, says: ‘We fired nothing but solid cast-iron shot, and when we were directly abeam of her (Merrimac) and hit her our shot went right through her.’ Assistant Secretary of the Navy, G. V. Fox, in a telegram to Major-General George B. McClellan, at Fairfax Courthouse, dated Navy Department, March 13th, page 100, says:

“The Monitor is more than a match for the Merrimac, but she might be disabled in the next encounter. * * * The Monitor may, and I think will, destroy the Merrimac in the next fight, but this is hope, not certainty.” Despite these expressions, which are about the strongest that are to be found in the volume of records, the claim is here made that—

1. The monitor on the 9th of March, 1862, was the first to retire from the engagement with the Virginia.

2. That the Monitor and all of the vessels near Old Point and the Rip-Raps declined the Virginia's offer to battle on the 11th of April, 1862, when three transports were taken from under the guns of Fortress Monroe and towed to Norfolk.

3. That on the 8th of May, 1862, when the Monitor and five other vessels were bombarding Sewell's Point, just two

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