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[279] having acted with the utmost courage and bravery during the contest. It is related of Capt. Buchanan, that during the thickest of the fight he remained on the deck of the Virginia, and that he discharged musket after musket at the enemy as they were handed up to him. It was while thus exposed that he received the wound of which mention is made above.

It is said that all of the batteries on Newport News were silenced except one, and that our shot and shell were thrown with such unerring aim and precision among the enemy, that great numbers of them were killed and wounded.


Raleigh standard account.

Petersburg, Monday, March 10, 3 P. M.
To the Editor of the Standard:
The Merrimac went out from Norfolk on Saturday at two o'clock, and sunk the Federal ship Cumberland, burnt the Congress, and shelled Newport News until dark. The Minnesota came to the aid of the Cumberland and Congress, and the Merrimac got her ashore and peppered her terribly, until eleven o'clock P. M.

The fight was renewed on Sunday, the Patrick Henry and Jamestown running the blockade at the mouth of James River, and taking part with the Merrimac. The Federal frigate St. Lawrence and Ericsson iron propeller came up from Old Point and engaged the Merrimac.

A terrific battle ensued until two P. M. The Ericsson battered away at the Merrimac at only forty yards distance, for one hour, when the Ericsson made a plunge at the Merrimac's propeller and rudder. The latter evaded the blow and plunged full tilt at the Ericsson, causing the Yankee iron monster to head instantly for Old Point, with all hands at pumps, in a supposed sinking condition. The Merrimac fired rifled shots through the large steamer sent to assist the Minnesota, and blew her up.

The Merrimac then took the Patrick Henry and Jamestown in tow, and proceeded to Norfolk. The Merrimac lost her enormous iron beak in the plunge at the Ericsson, and damaged her machinery, and is leaking a little.

The battle was altogether terrific, resulting in the destruction of two first-class frigates of the enemy, the supposed loss of the Minnesota, and serious damage to the Ericsson; also the death of many Yankees, and the annihilation of three gunboats.

Our loss was four killed and ten wounded--among the latter Com. Buchanan, of the Merrimac. The Patrick Henry was shot through the boiler, and four killed, and three wounded by scalding.

The Merrimac is a perfect success. She is a terror to the Yankees, and will visit them again soon.



Who planned the Merrimac?

Confederate States Navy Department, Richmond, March 29, 1832.
Hon. Thomas S. Bocock, Speaker of the House of Representatives:
sir: In compliance with the resolution adopted by the House of Representatives, on the eighteenth inst., “That the Secretary of the Navy be requested to make a report to this House of the plan and construction of the Virginia, so far as the same can be properly communicated; of the reasons for applying the plan to the Merrimac; and, also, what persons have rendered especial aid in designing and building the ship,” I have the honor to reply, that on the tenth day of June, 1861, Lieut. John M. Brooke, confederate States navy, was directed to aid the department in designing an iron-clad war-vessel and framing the necessary specifications.

He entered upon this duty at once, and a few days thereafter submitted to the department, as the result of his investigations, rough drawings of a casemated vessel, with submerged ends, and inclined iron-plated sides. The ends of the vessel, and the eaves of the casemate, according to his plan, were to be submerged two feet; and a light bulwark, or false bow, was designed to divide the water, and prevent it from banking up on the forward part of the shield with the vessel in motion, and also to serve as a tank, to regulate the ship's draft. His design was approved by the department, and a practical mechanic was brought from Norfolk to aid in preparing the drawings and specifications.

This mechanic aided in the statement of details of timber, etc., but was unable to make the drawings; and the department then ordered Chief-Engineer Williamson and Constructor Porter, from the navy-yard at Norfolk, to Richmond, about the twenty-third of June, for consultation on the same subject generally, and to aid in the work.

Constructor Porter brought and submitted the model of a flat-bottomed, light-draft propeller case-mated battery, with inclined iron — covered sides and ends, which is deposited in the department. Mr. Porter and Lieut. Brooke have adopted for their casemate a thickness of wood and iron and an angle of inclination nearly identical. Mr. Williamson and Mr. Porter approved of the plan of having submerged ends to obtain the requisite flotation and invulnerability, and the department adopted the design, and a clean drawing was prepared by Mr. Porter of Lieutenant Brooke's plan, which that officer then filed with the department. The steam-frigate Merrimac had been burned and sunk, and her engine greatly damaged by the enemy; and the department directed Mr. Williamson, Lieut. Brooke and Mr. Porter to consider and report upon the best mode of making her useful. The result of their investigations was their recommendation of the submerged ends, and the inclined casemates for this vessel, which was adopted by the department.

The following is the report upon the Merrimac:

In obedience to your orders, we have carefully examined and considered the various plans and propositions for constructing a shot-proof steam-battery, and respectfully report that, in our opinion, the steam-frigate Merrimac, which is in such condition from the effects of fire as to be useless for any other purpose, without incurring a very heavy expense in rebuilding, etc., can be made an efficient vessel of that character, mounting



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