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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 29 1 Browse Search
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1. 12 0 Browse Search
Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War. Volume 1. 10 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events, Diary from December 17, 1860 - April 30, 1864 (ed. Frank Moore) 9 1 Browse Search
The Daily Dispatch: May 8, 1862., [Electronic resource] 8 0 Browse Search
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 11. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones) 8 0 Browse Search
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 4. (ed. Frank Moore) 6 0 Browse Search
John G. Nicolay, A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln, condensed from Nicolay and Hayes' Abraham Lincoln: A History 6 0 Browse Search
Maj. Jed. Hotchkiss, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 3, Virginia (ed. Clement Anselm Evans) 6 0 Browse Search
James Barnes, author of David G. Farragut, Naval Actions of 1812, Yank ee Ships and Yankee Sailors, Commodore Bainbridge , The Blockaders, and other naval and historical works, The Photographic History of The Civil War: in ten volumes, Thousands of Scenes Photographed 1861-65, with Text by many Special Authorities, Volume 6: The Navy. (ed. Francis Trevelyan Miller) 6 0 Browse Search
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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., Ellet and his steam-rams at Memphis. (search)
e. Of these five, two are on the lower Mississippi, two are at Mobile, and one is at Norfolk. The last of the five, the one at Norfolk, is doubtless the most formidable, being the United States steam-frigate Merrimac, which has been so strengthened that, in the opinion of the rebels, it may be used as a ram. But we have not yet a single vessel at sea, nor, so far as I know, in course of construction, able to cope at all with a well-built ram. If the Merrimac is permitted to escape from Elizabeth River, she will be almost certain to commit great depredations on our armed and unarmed vessels in Hampton Roads, and may even be expected to pass out under the guns of Fortress Monroe and prey upon our commerce in Chesapeake Bay. Indeed, if the alterations have been skillfully made, and she succeeds in getting to sea, she will not only be a terrible scourge to our commerce, but may prove also to be a most dangerous visitor to our blockading squadrons off the harbors of the southern coasts.
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., The first fight of iron-clads. (search)
at time. From the start we saw that she was slow, not over five knots; she steered so badly that, with her great length, it took from thirty to forty minutes to turn. She drew twenty-two feet, which confined us to a comparatively narrow channel in the Roads; and, Lieutenant Catesby ap R. Jones. From a photograph. as I have before said, the engines were our weak point. She was as unmanageable as a water-logged vessel. It was at noon on the 8th of 3March that we steamed down the Elizabeth River. Passing by our batteries, lined with troops, who cheered us as we passed, and through the obstructions at Craney Island, we took the south channel and headed for Newport News. At anchor at this time off Fort Monroe were the frigates Minnesota, Roanoke, and St. Lawrence, and several gun-boats. The first two were sister ships of the Virginia before the war; the last was a sailing frigate of fifty guns. Off Newport News, seven miles above, which was strongly fortified and held by a la
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 15.58 (search)
e guards of the frigate Raritan, 60 guns, in ordinary; the frigate Columbia, 50 guns, in ordinary; the frigate United States, 50 guns,in ordinary; the steam-frigate Merrimac, 40 guns, under repairs; the ship of the line Delaware, 74 guns, in ordinary; the ship of the line Columbus, 74 guns, in ordinary; and the ship of the line Pennsylvania, 120 guns, receiving-ship ;--all lying at the yard or in the stream. The yard was walled around with a high brick inclosure, and protected by the Elizabeth River, and there were over 800 marines and sailors with officers. On the side of Virginia the situation was: that of General Taliaferro with his staff; Captain Heth and Major Tyler, two volunteer companies,--the Blues of Norfolk and the Grays of Portsmouth,--and Captains Pegram and Jones, of the navy. These were the only troops in Norfolk, until after the evacuation of the navy yard and the departure of the Federal ships. Captain H. G. Wright, of the Engineers, who was on the United Stat
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., chapter 15.59 (search)
acted as a tender for the Cumberland and Congress. On the 8th of March, after coming in from picket duty, we went to Fort Monroe for the mail and fresh provisions, which we got on the arrival of the mail-boat from Baltimore. We returned to Newport News about 10 o'clock. After delivering the stores belonging to the Congress and Cumberland, we went to the wharf to lie until wanted. A little after dinner, about 12:30, the quartermaster on watch called my attention to black smoke in the Elizabeth River, close to Craney Island. We let go from the wharf and ran alongside the Cumberland. The officer of the deck ordered us to run down toward Pig Point and find out what was coming down from Norfolk. It did not take us long to find out, for we had not gone over two miles when we saw what to all appearances looked like the roof of a very big barn belching forth smoke as from a chimney on fire. We were all divided in opinion as to what was coming. The boatswain's mate was the first to ma
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., In the monitor turret. (search)
course to pursue in the damaged condition of the vessel, it is impossible to state; but it could hardly have exceeded twenty minutes at the utmost. During this time the Merrimac, which was leaking badly, had started in the direction of the Elizabeth River; and; on taking my station in the pilot-house and turning the vessel's head in the direction of the Merrimac, I saw that she was already in retreat. A few shots were fired at the retiring vessel, and she continued on to Norfolk. I returned your position, and you must appreciate mine, and serve with the same zeal and fidelity. With the kindest wishes for you all, most truly, G. V. Fox. For the next two months we lay at Hampton Roads. Twice the Merrimac came out of the Elizabeth River, but did not attack. We, on our side, had received positive orders not to attack in the comparatively shoal waters above Hampton Roads, where the Union fleet could not maneuver. The Merrimac protected the James River, and the Monitor prote
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), The First iron-clad Monitor. (search)
When the contract for the Monitor was made, in October, with a primary condition that she should be ready for sea in one hundred days, the Navy Department intended that the battery should, immediately after reaching Hampton Roads, proceed up Elizabeth river to the Navy Yard at Norfolk, place herself opposite the dry-dock, and with her heavy guns destroy both the dock and the Merrimac. This was our secret. The Monitor could easily have done what was required, for her appearance at Norfolk woulrred to run her down. That vessel in her conflict with the Monitor sustained serious injury, and her officers, dreading more the novel craft which she had encountered on the 9th of March than the large wooden steamers, never again descended Elizabeth river to the Roads. In the early part of May, the President, accompanied by Secretaries Chase and Stanton, took a steamer to visit Fortress Monroe and the army under McClellan, then on the York peninsula. While descending the Potomac the a
e test of her fighting qualities was attended by what almost suggested a miraculous coincidence. On Saturday, March 8, 1862, about noon, a strange-looking craft resembling a huge turtle was seen coming into Hampton Roads out of the mouth of Elizabeth River, and it quickly became certain that this was the much talked of rebel ironclad Merrimac, or, as the Confederates had renamed her, the Virginia. She steamed rapidly toward Newport News, three miles to the southwest, where the Union ships Cont by a few unimportant dents in her plating, ran into shoal water to permit surgical attendance to her wounded officer. On her part, the Merrimac, abandoning any further molestation of the other ships, steamed away at noon to her retreat in Elizabeth River. The forty-one rounds fired from the Monitor's guns had so far weakened the:Merrimac's armor that, added to the injuries of the previous day, it was of the highest prudence to avoid further conflict. A tragic fate soon ended the careers of
d. In the afternoon, however, apprehension was greatly quieted. That very day a cable was laid across the bay, giving direct telegraphic communication with Fortress Monroe, and Captain Fox, who happened to be on the spot, concisely reported at about 4 P. M. the dramatic sequel — the timely arrival of the Monitor, the interesting naval battle between the two ironclads, and that at noon the Merrimac had withdrawn from the conflict, and with her three small consorts steamed back into Elizabeth River. Scarcely had the excitement over the Monitor and Merrimac news begun to subside, when, on the same afternoon, a new surprise burst upon the military authorities in a report that the whole Confederate army had evacuated its stronghold at Manassas and the batteries on the Potomac, and had retired southward to a new line behind the Rappahannock. General Mc-Clellan hastened across the-river, and, finding the news to be correct, issued orders during the night for a general movement of
John G. Nicolay, The Outbreak of Rebellion, Chapter 8: Washington. (search)
and preparation made to bring away the more valuable ships. It was Gen. eral Scott's design to advance troops to its support the moment Fortress Monroe should be secure. Under these circumstances occurred the sudden fall of Sumter, the President's proclamation, the secession of Virginia, and the immediate movement of Governor Letcher's State forces against both Harper's Ferry and Gosport. As a preliminary act, he thought to absolutely prevent the escape of the ships by obstructing Elizabeth River with small sunken vessels. The device did not completely succeed, though it greatly enhanced the danger. It is possible that all might yet have been ultimately saved, but for a contingency against which foresight was impossible. The ships were ready to move out ; the most valuable of them — the Merrimack-had steam up and was on point of sailing, when, by the treachery and false counsel of his subordinate officers, Commandant McCauley, of the navy yard, whose loyalty had hitherto not
May 8. The Salem, Mass., Zouaves arrived at Washington. They number 66 men, and are officered as follows: Captain, A. F. Devereux; 1st Lieutenant, G. F. Austin; 2d Lieutenant, E. A. P. Brewster; 3d Lieutenant, G. D, Putnam. They are armed with the Minie musket, and uniformed in dark blue jackets and pants, trimmed with scarlet braid, and red fatigue caps.--National Intelligencer, May 11. A privateer was captured at the mouth of the Chesapeake, by the steamer Harriet Lane. The officers and crew, with the exception of two seamen, escaped.--Philadelphia Press, May 9. The Richmond Examiner of to-day demands a Dictator; it says: No power in executive hands can be too great, no discretion too absolute, at such moments as these. We need a Dictator. Let lawyers talk when the world has time to hear them. Now let the sword do its work. Usurpations of power by the chief, for the preservation of the people from robbers and murderers, will be reckoned as genius and patriotism
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