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order to scuttle them, of course prevented their destruction. Thus, when the Plymouth was reached in its turn by Lieut. Wise, she had sunk below her upper deck, so flooding the train that it could not be fired. Lieut. Wise, who narrowly escaped with a scorching from the inconceivably rapid combustion of the upper portion of the Merrimac, when he fired his train while on board of her, pulled down the channel in his small boat after the escaping vessels, and got on board the Pawnee below Craney Island, when seven or eight miles on her way. The Pawnee, towing the Cumberland, moved slowly down the river at 4 A. M. (high tide), brilliantly lighted on their course by the remaining vessels and all the combustible property left behind. The Cumberland, drawing seventeen feet of water, grounded in passing one of the vessels sunk in the channel, but was got off, an hour or two afterward, uninjured. No molestation was offered them by the Rebels, who, very naturally, thought themselves fortuna
an open, turbulent sea, was left undecided by her brief but memorable career. A little before noon, on Saturday, March 8th, a strange craft was descried from our vessels off Newport News, coming down the Elizabeth river from Norfolk, past Craney Island, attended by two unremarkable steam gunboats. Two other Rebel gunboats, which had, evidently by preconcert, dropped down the James from Richmond, had been discovered at anchor off Smithfield Point, some 12 miles distant, about three hours bethey left, destroying every thing that would burn, partially blowing up the Dry Dock, and completely destroying their famous ironclad known to us as the Merrimac. May 11, 5 A. M. They left about 200 cannon, including 39 of large caliber at Craney Island, and those in the Sewell's Point batteries, which, though spiked, were valuable; 29 pieces were found mounted on strong earthworks two miles from Norfolk, but deserted. In fact, it had been decided, at a council held at Norfolk some days bef
escription of the siege of, 227-8; Rosecrans's official report, 229-30; Van Dorn repulsed at, 230; captures and losses, 231. Couch, Gen. D. N., at Fair Oaks, 144 to 146; commands a division at Malvern Hill, 165; at Fredericksburg, 344; at Chancellorsville, 361. Cowles, Col. D. S., 128th N. Y., killed at Port Hudson, 333. Cox, Gen. J. D., ordered to reenforce Pope's army, 179; at South Mountain, 196; in North Carolina, 715-16. Crampton's Gap, fight at and map of, 199-200. Craney Island, Va., evacuated by Rebels, 127. Crawford, Gen., at Cedar Mountain, 177; at Antietam, 206; his advance at Gettysburg, 887; charges at Five Forks, 733. Creighton, Col., 7th Ohio, wounded, 177. crisis, opinion of Gov. H. Seymour on, 499. Crittenden, Col. Geo. B., treachery of, 19; relieves Zollicoffer, 42. Crocker, Brig.-Gen., at Champion Hills, 308. Crook, Gen., surprised at Cedar Creek, 613. Cross, Col., 5th N. H., killed at Gettysburg, 388. Cross-Keys, Va., Fremont
r gun at the Rip Raps opened fire and threw shell at the battery on Sewall's Point. We learn that the gunboats threw several shell or shot at the battery on Craney Island, and received a prompt reply from that direction. We are pleased to record the fact, that the boys at our batteries took deliberate aim with each gun they fow in the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal for this vessel (the Sea Bird) to proceed to Roanoke Island, we last evening steamed down and anchored in the bight of Craney Island. This morning, a little before daylight, we weighed anchor and stood across to Newport News. About half past 7 A. M. an enemy's steamer passed out of James R The schooner, in the mean time, having been left to its fate, was taken in tow by the Northampton, (the name of the rebel gunboat,) and made off with toward Craney Island. The crew of the schooner, on finding themselves in such close proximity to gunpowder, lowered the lifeboat, and in that rowed back to Newport News for dear l
Benjamnin F. Butler, Butler's Book: Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benjamin Butler, Chapter 5: Baltimore and Fortress Monroe. (search)
er your command as disposable for aggressive purposes and employ it accordingly. In respect to more distant operations, you may expect specific instruction at a later date. In the meantime I will direct your attention to the following objects: 1st, Not to let the enemy erect batteries to annoy Fortress Monroe; 2d, To capture any batteries the enemy may have within a half day's march of you, and which may be reached by land; 3d, The same in respect to the enemy's batteries at or about Craney Island, though requiring water craft; and 4th, To menace and recapture the navy-yard at Gosport, in order to complete its destruction, with its contents, except what it may be practical to bring away in safety. These instructions effectually precluded anything like reaching the enemy, as Norfolk, thirteen miles away, could be approached only by water. The entrance to the port of Norfolk through Elizabeth River was well covered by forts and batteries. Meanwhile, before the New York regim
would have exploded at that moment, but it is agreed that it did not explode until twenty-two minutes later. But the explosion did not occur until the after part of the vessel was enveloped in flames. To do him justice I append so much of Captain Rhind's report as relates to this part of the matter. See Appendix No. 129. In his letter, called for by the Ordnance Department of the Navy, he says that the Gomez fuse had not been put into that part of the powder which had been held at Craney Island, Fortress Monroe; that he was ordered to put fuse in, but did not because it could not be done without breaking out the cargo which he did not do. See Appendix No. 130. He says he put the fuses in the part which he loaded at Beaufort — a small portion only,--but it could not have been done. And even if it were done and the fuses connected with the clocks, they were not the means of exploding the powder, for he admits that the clocks did not set off the powder. The failure to start
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 4. (ed. Frank Moore), Doc. 82.-fight in Hampton roads, Va., March 8th and 9th, 1862. (search)
stand by us in our hour of trial. At six A. M. the enemy again appeared, coming down from Craney Island, and I beat to quarters ; but they ran past my ship, and were heading for Fortress Monroe, aoop-deck, I observed that the enemy's vessels had changed their course, and were heading for Craney Island; then I determined to lighten the ship by throwing overboard my eight-inch guns, hoisting ouoteworthy incident. About eleven o'clock, a dark-looking object was discovered coming round Craney Island through Norfolk Channel, and proceeding straight in our direction. It was instantly recogni and other reasons may suffice to show why the Monitor did not follow among the batteries of Craney Island and Norfolk. Gen. Wool, I understand, has ordered all the women and children away from Forte rebels gave no indication of what were their further designs. The Merrimac laid up toward Craney Island, in view, but motionless. At one o'clock she was observed in motion, and came out, followed
rt, though well in line; the Naugatuck then took part, and discharged her rifled gun, making a splendid shot, but the ball fell beyond the Merrimac full half a mile. The Naugatuck then fired at the rebel gunboats Yorktown and Jamestown, which were lying beyond the Merrimac; the practice was excellent and her guns showed extraordinary length of range. Turning her attention from the Merrimac, her shots were all directed at the rebel gunboats, and of four which were fired all appeared to strike near the object aimed at. The rebel vessels fell slowly back, and firing soon ceased. The practice and prowess of the Naugatuck's rifled gun excited great admiration, and if brought into play this morning would probably have prevented the rebels from capturing any prizes. As I close, at five P. M., the firing has ceased, and the Merrimac appeared to be returning to Craney Island. We look for warm work to-morrow. Half--past 5 o'clock.--All the rebel fleet are moving off toward Norfolk.
n fire by the rebels, who, at the same time, partially blew up the dry-dock. I also visited Craney Island, where I found thirty-nine guns of large calibre, most of which were spiked; also a large nuumber of shot and shell, as well as many other articles of value stationed at the Navy-Yard, Craney Island, Sewell's Point, and other places. John E. Wool, Major-General Commanding New-York timegime, considered this a favorable opportunity for effecting their object. They slipped past Craney Island without attracting any hostile observation, and then steered directly for Newport News. On with enthusiastic cheering by the troops who were embarking. The Merrimac still lies off Craney Island, and the Monitor has resumed her usual position. The fleet are floating quietly at their ann the sea side. The iron monster, the Merrimac, still remains moored under the shore of the Craney Island battery, and has not apparently budged a peg for the last twenty-four hours. The Monitor has
red that its execution would oblige him to abandon immediately his forts on Craney Island, at Sewell's Point, and their guns to the enemy. I informed him that, as tve been abandoned: I despatched Lieut. J. P. Jones, the Flag-Lieutenant, to Craney Island, where the confederate flag was still flying, and he there learned that a l was treating for its surrender. On returning to the ship, he found that Craney Island and all the other batteries on the river had been abandoned. It was now nd flag-lieutenants, to save the crew for future service by landing them at Craney Island, the only road for retreat open to us, and to destroy the ship, to prevent e ship was accordingly put on shore as near the mainland in the vicinity of Craney Island as possible, and the crew landed. She was then fired, and after burning fiederate States Steamer Virginia, on the morning of May eleventh, 1862, near Craney Island, respectfully report that it was effected by the order and under the superv
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