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LIEUTENANT WORDEN WOUNDED.
to sink the Monitor, and with a full head of steam, drove straight upon her.
her. But the iron prow glided up on her low and sheathed deck like a runner, simply careening her over. But in doing this, she exposed her hull below the iron casing, which the Monitor immediately took advantage of, and sent under her sheathing one of her ponderous shots. The former was glad to back off, and concluded not to try that experiment again. Other steamers engaged in the contest, but the whole interest of the conflict centered on these two vessels.
A little after twelve, the Merrimac abandoned the struggle, and wheeling, slowly steamed under the battery at Sewall's Point where she signaled for help--showing that she was seriously disabled. Tugs came up, and taking her in tow, steamed away to Norfolk. The Monitor was uninjured. Some of the gunners in the turret had been stunned by a heavy shot striking against it, and rendered unfit for duty for several minutes. Licutenant Worden had been seriously wounded in both eyes by fragments of iron that had been thrown off, as a shot struck the pilot house at the very moment he was looking through a small aperture to direct the management of the vessel. These were the only casualties all through these hours of terrible fighting. Buchanan, the rebel commander, was severely, and it was thoaght mortally wounded.
After the battle was over, Lieutenant Wise jumped into a boat, and went off to the Moritor, to ascertain her condition. As he descended through the “man-hole" to the cabin below, a scene as calm and quiet met his view, as if nothing unusual had happened. One officer stood by the mirror leisurely combing his hair, another was washing some blood from his hands, while the gallant commander lay on a settee with his eyes bandaged, giving no signs of the pain that racked him. The first thing he said on recovering from the stunning effects
of his wound, was, “Have I saved the Minnesota?" "Yes." was the reply, “and whipped the Merrimac.” Then said ho "I don't care what becomes of me." Noble words, that will live as long as the memory of this novel momentous engage ment.
Fortunately for the country, the news of the first day's devastation by the Merrimac, and the victory of the Monitor on the following day, were in the same papers on Monday, thus preventing the excitement which would otherwise have been created; still much alarm was felt, especially in New York, which suddenly saw herself wholly unprotected. Her strong forts had crumbled in a single day, and all pondered with the deepest alarm on what might have happened, had the Monitor not arrived just as she did to prevent the Merrimac from going to sea.
Her arrival at the critical moment seemed like a special interposition of Providence in our behalf.
The whole story reads like a tale of the Arabian Nights, The sudden appearance of the Merrimac, a new engine of destruction, and her career as a destroying angel the first day, checked only by the night—the burning and blowing up of the Congress---the unexpected appearance of the Monitor in the
very crisis of events, looking like nothing that had ever been seen on earth or water before her dash to the rescue, and her victory, are all so many parts of a fairy story.
After the first burst of astonishment and wonder had subsided, there went up a loud cry of indignation against the Secretary of the Navy for his neglect to provide against the appearance of the Merrimac. One of the vessels which had been only partially destroyed at the burning of the Navy Yard, she had been put on the dry dock at Norfolk, and copered with iron, and armed with a prong to do the very work she had accomplished. All this had been known and discussed in the public press the entire winter, and only a month
SENSATION IN EUROPE
before she came out, some French officers who had visited her declared her a most formidable vessel. And yet nothing had been done to prepare for her reception, except to wait the completion of the Monitor, which might have been, and nearly was, too late to prevent disasters to which there seemed no limit, and which at the best was an untried experiment that might not be successful. Such declarations were in every one's mouth, and when it is remembered that the quaint device carried but two guns, which in a long, close combat might have bursted or been struck in the muzzles by a shell, one can not but look back on the encounter with trembling. The merchants of New York were especially indignant, and all felt that though we had been saved, it was not by any foresight or good management of the Navy departnrent. The news of this first conflict between two iron-clad vessels produced the profoundest sensation in Europe, especially in England. Her boasted navy had vanished in a single day. Her thousand national vessels, which in case of a war with us were to drive us from the sea and blockade all our ports, became powerless as river steamers The little Monitor alone would sink a whole fleet of them in an hour. As her inventor had said when he named her, she had proved a Monitor to England.
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BATTLE OF PEA RIDG.SKILL AND BRAVERY OF SIGELGALLANT DEFENSE
OF CARR—DEATH OF MC CULLOCH-SECOND DAY'S FIGHT-THE VICTORI-
SHUT UPPOOR PROSPECT OF REDUCING THE ISLAND,
LTHOUGH the decisive battle of Pea Ridge occurred
on the same Saturday that the Merrimac made her attack on the Cumberland and Congress, the two days preceding it had witnessed some very hard fighting-in fact there were three distinct battles. As before stated, Curtis had steadily driven Price before him till he chased him across the Arkansas border. But here McCulloch and Van Dorn, with their respective commands, joined him, swelling the rebel force to thirty thousand men.
BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
The latter immediately took chief command, and determined at once to give Curtis battle. The army of the latter was greatly inferior in numbers, but he gladly accepted the conflict, for he was getting tired of this long, tedious pursuit. He had, during the week, sert out three Gifferent expeditions to capture rebel bands said to be gathering in southwestern Missouri and northern Arkansas, and also to obtain forage, and hence his force was much scattered. Couriers, however, were dispatched to these as soon as he heard of the arrival of Van Dorn and his army, to return with all speed.