This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 having been fired ‘in gear.’ But we afterward came to the conclusion that it had in two charges of both powder and shot, as the report was very loud, indeed, as burnt grains of powder fell at our gun (the line of fire being very oblique). It remained disabled nearly the whole time. And Captain Tucker's naval gun, as before mentioned, was disabled by the rain causing its superstructure to give away so that its casemate of heavy logs caved in on it, which deprived us of their help also, until near the end of the fight. No doubt the moral effect caused by the presence of the crew of the Merrimac was great. But otherwise without any fault of theirs, they rendered very little help towards the repulse of the hostile fleet of gunboats. It was true that Captain Farrand, with his professional skill, in giving very pertinent commands, rendered valuable aid. Yet they have always claimed the almost entire credit for the victory. And but for the fact that Captain Drewry was promoted to the rank of major of artillery, and ordered to take command of the main fort at Drewry's Bluff by the Secretary of War, George W. Randolph, upon the recommendation of General William Mahone, who had witnessed the fight, seconded by Governor John Letcher, who knew of all the circumstances of the defence, his company's claim to fame would have been entirely ignored by the officers and men of the Confederate navy, as well as by others higher in command. But truth struck down will rise again. When history, as well as posterity, will finally be compelled to give honor to whom honor is due. Perhaps, here, it would be well to state that our skill of gunnery and the effectiveness of our fire, were greatly aided by the fact that, unfortunately for us, the Monitor and Galena (the front sights of our guns being short), came within point-blank range, thus rendering themselves conspicuous targets easy to hit, so that we wasted very few shots. Our height, ninety feet above the water, caused the line of fire of our guns to be about three degrees depression to reach them, while theirs on the contrary, had to be about the same degrees of elevation to reach us. It is now useless to discuss the ‘might have beens,’ but if our two guns had been ten-inch calibre instead of eight-inch,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.