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1 “ The skillful and gallant movements of Major-general John E. Wool, and the forces under his command,” said Secretary Stanton, in an order issued by direction of the President, on the 11th, “which resulted in the surrender of Norfolk, and the evacuation of strong batteries erected by the rebels on Sewell's Point and Craney Island, and the destruction of the rebel iron-clad steamer Merrimack, are regarded by the President as among the most important successes of the present war; he therefore orders that his thanks, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, be communicated by the War Department to Major-general John E. Wool, and the officers and soldiers of his command, for their gallantry and good conduct in the brilliant operations mentioned.”
2 The Merrimack, then in command of Commodore Tatnall, was at Craney Island, for the two-fold purpose of protecting Norfolk and guarding the mouth of the James River. The land troops had fled without informing Tatnall of the movement, and the unfortunate old man, seeing the Navy Yard in flames, and all the works abandoned, could do nothing better than to destroy his ship and fly, for with his best efforts he could not get her into the James River.
3 Craney Island was much more strongly fortified now for the defense of Norfolk than it was in 1813. See Losing's Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Captain Case, of the Navy, was the first man to land on the abandoned Island, and to pull down the ensign of rebellion and place the National flag there.
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