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 In order to get over the sand-banks of the river more easily, he lightened the ship, in pursuance of his pilot's advice, by landing the guns, ammunition and all the war materiel he had on board. But when on the 11th, this operation completed, he wished to go up the James, the same pilots declared that, in consequence of a westerly wind, the tide was not sufficiently high to enable the Virginia to get over the banks. The vessel was disarmed; her hull, rising higher than the water-line and the iron covering, was no longer proof against Goldsborough's cannon-balls. The latter might arrive at any moment. Tatnall was perplexed; and without attempting to remedy the error of the previous day, he set fire to his ship. The James River was open. The Federal gunboats hastened to steam into it, and ascending the stream with speed appeared on the 15th within less than twelve kilometres of Richmond. There was great excitement in the Confederate capital. The excessive confidence inspired by the success of the Virginia two months before caused her loss to be severely felt. There were cries of treason. People expected every moment to see the broadside of the little Monitor bear upon the edifice where the delegates of all the Southern States were in session. The rich were preparing for flight and the poor for plunder. Courage and determination were displayed side by side with the most abject fears. The cannon spoke out at last, and the whole day was spent in listening to its solemn voice from a distance. It ceased to speak; evening came, and the gunboats did not make their appearance. Richmond was saved. The Federal flotilla had encountered a large battery known as Fort Darling, perched upon the summit of a steep acclivity called Drury's Bluff. A stockade rendered it impossible to pass this battery rapidly, which was manned with cannon of heavy calibre, while an angle in the river prevented the vessels from perceiving it afar off. On the 15th of May the Monitor, accompanied by the Galena, a lightly-sheathed gunboat of which we have already spoken, and two wooden vessels, made an unsuccessful attack upon Fort Darling. The Monitor could not give sufficient elevation to her guns to reach the heights occupied by the enemy, and the two wooden vessels had not the requisite strength to sustain the conflict. The Galena,
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