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4 Series I Volume IX- Serial 9 - Roanoke

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Page 4 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

It is reported that Magruder is approaching Newport News with a large force of infantry. I have re-enforced that post with three regiments, a light battery of six pieces, and a company of dragoons. The command will consist altogether of over or about 8,000 men. My command consist altogether of 10,000 effective men.

The Cumberland was sunk, and we lost more than one-half of her crew. The Congress surrendered, but the crew was released and the officers taken as prisoners. The Minnesota has got off, but it is reported she is in a sinking condition.

it is to be hoped that I will be largely re-enforced, including two additional light batteries. The Monitor is far superior to the Merrimac. The first has only two guns, while the Merrimac has eight. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN W. WOOL,

Major-General.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Commanding the Army, Washington, D. C.

[Similar report to Secretary of War.]


Numbers 3. Report of Brigadier General Joseph K. F. Mansfield, U. S. Army, commanding brigade.


HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., DEPT. OF VIRGINIA,
Newport News, Va., March 10, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in the forenoon of Saturday, the 8th instant, the commanders of the Congress and Cumberland, at anchor in the stream, notified me that the iron-clad Merrimac steamer of the enemy was approaching from Norfolk to attack them, and I immediately telegraphed you to that effect. At about 2 o'clock p. m. she approached very near these vessels slowly, engaged first the Congress and passed on to the Cumberland and ran into her, and all within a mile of our batteries. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Colonel G. Nauman, chief of artillery, to open our batteries of our columbaids and one 42-pounder James gun to fire to her. It was done with alacrity, and kept up continuously with spirit as long as she was in range, and although our shot often struck her, they made no impression on her at all. I also ordered three of our 8-inch siege howitzers from the land batteries hauled by hand and brought to bear on her from the bank of the river and two of Howard's light battery rifled guns, but no visible serious damage to her from our guns was done, such was the strength of her mail.

As soon as the Cumberland was sunk three steamers, supposed to be the Yorktown, Jamestown, and tug, came down the river from Day's Point under full head of steam. Our guns were then turned of them, but they kept at a distance and moved rapidly past, and received but little damage from us.

During the sinking of the Cumberland the Congress slipped her cable and hoisted sail and ran ashore just above Signal Point, where many of her men escaped to the shore, and was there followed by the Merrimac, and after two raking shots she hauled down her flag and


Page 4 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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