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s unexpected confirmation rendered prompt measures necessary for the safety of the Virginia. The pilots had assured me that they could take the ship, with a draft of eighteen feet, to within forty miles of Richmond. This the chief pilot, Mr. Parrish, and his chief assistant, Mr. Wright, had asserted again and again; and on the afternoon of the seventh, in my cabin, in the presence of Com. Hollins and Capt. Sterrett, in reply to a question of mine, they both emphatically declared their abi the ship so as to render her unfit for action, the pilots had declared their inability to carry eighteen feet above the Jamestown Flats, up to which point the shore on each side was occupied by the enemy. On demanding from the chief pilot, Mr. Parrish, an explanation of this palpable deception, he replied that eighteen feet could be carried after the prevalence of easterly winds, and that the wind for the last two days had been westerly. I had no time to lose. The ship was not in condit
Ap Catesby Jones (search for this): chapter 12
and the officers pressent were, Col. Anderson and Capt.----, of the army, selected by Gen. Huger, who was too unwell to attend himself; and of the navy, myself, Corn. Hollins, and Capts. Sterrett and Lee, Commander Richard L. Jones, and Lieuts. Ap Catesby Jones and J. Pembroke Jones. The opinion was unanimous that the Virginia was then employed to the best advantage, and that she should continue, for the present, to protect Norfolk, and thus afford time to remove the public property. On tbattle is not their occupation, they adopted this deceitful course to avoid it. I cannot imagine another motive, for I had seen no reason to distrust their good faith to the Confederacy. My acknowledgments are due to the First Lieutenant, Ap Catesby Jones, for his untiring exertions and for the aid he rendered me in all things. The details for firing for the ship and landing the crew were left to him, and everything was conducted with the most perfect order. To the other officers of the s
R. H. Anderson (search for this): chapter 12
at point apparently with the intention of joining their squadron in the Roads. Before, however, we got within gun-shot, the enemy ceased firing, and retired with all speed under the protection of the guns of the fortress, followed by the Virginia, until the shells from the Rip Raps passed over her. The Virginia was then placed at her moorings near Sewell's Point, and I returned to Norfolk to hold the conference referred to. It was held on the ninth, and the officers pressent were, Col. Anderson and Capt.----, of the army, selected by Gen. Huger, who was too unwell to attend himself; and of the navy, myself, Corn. Hollins, and Capts. Sterrett and Lee, Commander Richard L. Jones, and Lieuts. Ap Catesby Jones and J. Pembroke Jones. The opinion was unanimous that the Virginia was then employed to the best advantage, and that she should continue, for the present, to protect Norfolk, and thus afford time to remove the public property. On the next day, at ten o'clock A. M., we
John J. Wright (search for this): chapter 12
t the Mayor 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 seven o'clock in the evening, and this unexpected confirmation rendered prompt measures necessary for the safety of the Virginia. The pilots had assured me that they could take the ship, with a draft of eighteen feet, to within forty miles of Richmond. This the chief pilot, Mr. Parrish, and his chief assistant, Mr. Wright, had asserted again and again; and on the afternoon of the seventh, in my cabin, in the presence of Com. Hollins and Capt. Sterrett, in reply to a question of mine, they both emphatically declared their ability to do so. Confiding in these assurances, and, after consulting with the first and flag-lieutenants, and learning that the officers generally thought it the most judicious course, I determined to lighten the ship at once, and run up the river for the protection of Richmond. All
Richard L. Jones (search for this): chapter 12
he protection of the guns of the fortress, followed by the Virginia, until the shells from the Rip Raps passed over her. The Virginia was then placed at her moorings near Sewell's Point, and I returned to Norfolk to hold the conference referred to. It was held on the ninth, and the officers pressent were, Col. Anderson and Capt.----, of the army, selected by Gen. Huger, who was too unwell to attend himself; and of the navy, myself, Corn. Hollins, and Capts. Sterrett and Lee, Commander Richard L. Jones, and Lieuts. Ap Catesby Jones and J. Pembroke Jones. The opinion was unanimous that the Virginia was then employed to the best advantage, and that she should continue, for the present, to protect Norfolk, and thus afford time to remove the public property. On the next day, at ten o'clock A. M., we observed from the Virginia that the flag was not flying on the Sewell's Point battery, and that it appeared to have been abandoned: I despatched Lieut. J. P. Jones, the Flag-Lieuten
Frederick Harrison (search for this): chapter 12
the evidence connected with the destruction by fire of the confederate 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 supervision of Flag-Officer Tatnall, after her draft had been reduced to twenty feet six inches, and on the representations of the pilots that in consequence of recent prevalent westerly winds, she could not be taken with a draft of eighteen feet as high as Westover, near Harrison's Bar, in James River, (whither he designed to take her,) which they previously stated they could do. 1. The destruction of the Virginia was, in the opinion of the court, unnecessary at the time and place it was effected. 2. It being clearly in evidence that Norfolk being evacuated, and Flag-Officer Tatnall having been instructed to prevent the enemy from ascending James River, the Virginia, with very little more, if any, lessening of draft, after lightening her to twenty feet six inc
S. R. Mallory (search for this): chapter 12
be ordered to examine into all the circumstances I have narrated, and I earnestly solicit it. Public opinion will never be put right without it. I am, sir, with great respect, your ob't servant, Josiah Tatnall, Flag-Officer Commanding. Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of Navy. Findings of the Court of Inquiry. C. S. Navy Department, Richmond, June 11. The Court of Inquiry convoked by the order of this Department of the twentieth ultimo, whereof French Forrest, Captain in the navy oed and unprotected, no doubt conspired to produce in the minds of the officers of the Virginia the necessity of her destruction at the time, as, in their opinion, the only means left of preventing her from falling into the hands of the enemy; and seems to have precluded the consideration of the possibility of getting her up James River to the point or points indicated. The Court of Inquiry, of which Captain F. Forrest is president, is hereby dissolved. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.
'clock A. M., we observed from the Virginia that the flag was not flying on the Sewell's Point battery, and that it appeared to have 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 large force of the enemy had landed on Bay Shore, and were marching rapidly on Norfolk; that Sewell's Point battery was abandoned, and our troops were retreating. I then despatched the same officer to Norfolk, to confer with Gen. Huger and Capt. Lee. He found the navy-yard in flames, and that all its officers had left by railroad. On reaching Norfolk he found that Gen. Huger and all the other officers of the army had also left, that the enemy were within half a mile of the city, and that the Mayor 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 seven o'clock in the evening, and t
hould notify me when his preparations for the evacuation of Norfolk were sufficiently advanced to enable me to act independently. On the seventh instant Corn. Hollins reached Norfolk, with orders from you to communicate with me and such officers as I might select in regard to the best disposition to be made of the Virginia, undhe officers pressent were, Col. Anderson and Capt.----, of the army, selected by Gen. Huger, who was too unwell to attend himself; and of the navy, myself, Corn. Hollins, and Capts. Sterrett and Lee, Commander Richard L. Jones, and Lieuts. Ap Catesby Jones and J. Pembroke Jones. The opinion was unanimous that the Virginia was tief pilot, Mr. Parrish, and his chief assistant, Mr. Wright, had asserted again and again; and on the afternoon of the seventh, in my cabin, in the presence of Com. Hollins and Capt. Sterrett, in reply to a question of mine, they both emphatically declared their ability to do so. Confiding in these assurances, and, after consul
French Forrest (search for this): chapter 12
-Officer Commanding. Hon. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of Navy. Findings of the Court of Inquiry. C. S. Navy Department, Richmond, June 11. The Court of Inquiry convoked by the order of this Department of the twentieth ultimo, whereof French Forrest, Captain in the navy of the confederate States, is president, and which court convened at the city of Richmond on the twenty-second day of May, 1862, to investigate and inquire into the destruction of the steamer Virginia, and report the sameed and unprotected, no doubt conspired to produce in the minds of the officers of the Virginia the necessity of her destruction at the time, as, in their opinion, the only means left of preventing her from falling into the hands of the enemy; and seems to have precluded the consideration of the possibility of getting her up James River to the point or points indicated. The Court of Inquiry, of which Captain F. Forrest is president, is hereby dissolved. S. R. Mallory, Secretary of the Navy.
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