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THE MERRIMAC BLOWN UP.
draft of water was too great to allow her to go up to Richmond. It therefore occasioned no surprise, to hear that she had been blown up by her crew.
Wool entered Norfolk on Saturday. The same night, this rebel craft, which had caused us so much damage, was set on fire. She presented a grand spectacle in her ignominious death. When she was fairly aflame, she lighted up the tranquil waters of the bay for miles around and wrapped in her üery shroud, burned on for hours, till the flames reached the magazine, when her iron ribbed sides burst with the sound of thunder, shaking the shores with the explosion; then she suddenly sunk in the deep, a companion at last to the Cumberland and Congress. The news of her destruction was received with intense satisfaction, not merely because she had sent to the bottom two national vessels with a part of their gallant crews, but her menacing attitude in the waters of the Chesapeake, keeping a whole fleet occupied in watching her motions, irritated the national pride. Her presence there was regarded as a perpetual insult and taunt.
Our self re. srect demanded that she should be disposed of; hence there was a sort of personal gratification in having her commit suicide. To this, there was added a sense of relief, for no one could exactly measure her power to do mischief, and as long as she was in existence there was a feeling of insecurity, Besides, she being disposed of, left the Galena, Naugatuck, and other vessels, at liberty to go up the James river, and operate against the batteries that lined its banks, and perhaps reach Richmond itself.
The rebels, before evacuating Norfolk, destroyed the navy yard, inflicted what injury they could on the grarite dry dock, and left as complete a wreck as their time and ab ity would permit. Sewall's Point, and all the other neighboring batteries fell, of course, and a large quantity of heary ordnance came into our possession. General Viele was ap.
ATTACK ON FORT DARLING.
pointed military Governor, and gave universal satisfaction, by the quiet, yet stern, manner in which he maintained order. It had been supposed that a great deal of Union feeling prevailed in the city, as its entire prosperity had grown out of the national patronage, but whatever had existed seemed to have been extinguished by the war, and though there was much suffering among the inhabitants, they manifested a sullen spirit under their transfer back to the old Confederacy.
The Galena proceeded at once, up the James river,.silencing or passing the batteries on the way, until she arrived nearly opposite Williamsburg. Joined by the Monitor, Arostook, Naugatuck, and Port Royal, she proceeded on towards Richmond, constantly assailed from rifle pits on shore, till she came to a sharp bend, about seven miles from the city. Here, on a bluff a hundred and fifty feet high, they found a strong fortification called fort Darling, mounted with guns of large caliber, and long range, which completely commanded the river. Here too, piles were driven across the channel, and vessels sunk to arrest the farther progress of the boats, and hold them under the terrible fire of the battery..
BOMBARDMENT OF FORT DARLING.
The Galena boldly ran to within six hundred yards of the battery, and was swung across the channel, which, at that point, was only about twice as wide as the vessel was long, and in this stationary position, a little before eight in the morning of the fifteenth, opened fire. The Monitor, at first anchored near her, then passed above, but finding the elevation too great for her guns, dropped down the stream again, and taking up her position, wheeled her turret on the bluff, and began to hurl her ponderous shots up the hights. The other vessels took the positions assigned them, and the bombard. ment commenced. The battery replied, sending its heavy metal down with terrible effect. For more than two hours
REPULSE OF THE FLEET.
the firing was constant, the heavy reports echoing above the houses of Richmond like heavy thunder, and filling the inhabitants with terror. But the fight was too unequal—the boats were never designed to act against works placed on such an elevation, and a vast majority of their shots were thrown
away; while the plunging balls of the battery went through and through the sides and deck of the Galena. She however gallantly maintained the fight, till twenty-four of her crew were killed and wounded, her ammunition exhausted, and her sides pierced with eighteen shots, when she dropped out of fire. Her heavy loss and damage were owing to the fact, that she was compelled, from the narrowness of the stream, to remain stationary. Hence, when the rebel gunners once got the range, they had but to load and fire. The Monitor was hit three times—once square on the turret by a solid eight--inch shot, but she maintained her reputation for invincibility—not one piercing her armor, and producing no effect save to bend the plates. Not a man was hurt aboard hér. The Nalgatuck had fired her one-hundredpound Parrot gun but a few times, when it burst into fragments, and she became powerless. The other vesels suffered only slightly. For the first time since tiic attack on fort Donelson, our gun boats had met with a reverse, anā the people of Ričmond were highly elated.
In the mean time, McClellan was pushing his immense army steadily towards Richmond, until at length ac drew it up on the banks of the Chickahominy river, a small stream within ten miles of the rebel Capital. Here the building of bridges, and the presence of the enemy, arrested his progress, and he was compelled to take each step with great caution. General Stoneman, with the cavalry, kept constantly in ad, vance, and with a vigilance, and energy, and patient endurance of toil that won the admiration of the country, carried out every plan of his commander successful
à BOLD EXPEDITION.
Skirmishing with pickets, and bold reconnoissances, occurred almost every day, and it became iunrn and more evident that the rebels were determined to ramke a desperate stand for their Capital. The public had looked for its speedy overthrow, but it was now clear, that the march to it, if performed at all, must be over heaps of slain.
McClellan kept drawing his lines closer and closer round the city-pushing his columns across the Chickahominy, preparatory to a final advance. By a bold dash on Mechanicsville, he had been able to cut the Fredericksburg and Richmond rail road, thus preventing a sudden concentration of forces on McDowell. The month wore away in this manner without any
deci. sive results, but in the last week, public expectation was raised by a telegraphic dispatch, stating that our forces after a sharp contest had captured Hanover Court House. This town lies nearly twenty miles north of Richmond, and is intersected by the Richmond and Potomac, and Central rail roads. Being so far north of Richmond, and away from the main army, its capture pointed, unmistakably it was thought, to a sudden advance of McDowell from Fredericksburg with his division, estimated to be forty thousand strong. McClel. lan was reaching out his band nearly a third of the way to him, asking him iz mate örat pleading accents, to fulfill the promise of the government, without which he knew his long and terrible march would end in failure. This important expedition was entrusted to General Por
At daylight on the morning of the twenty-seventh, the reveille was beat in the camps, and in an hour after, the columns were in motion-Major Williams, with a squadron of cavalry, moving in advance. A regiment of infantry, acting as skirmishers, followed, plunging into every thicket, and exploring every doubtful locality. Then came the bat. teries, and the division. It was a gloomy morning in which
A GLOOMY MARCA.
to march, for the soldiers had not finished their breakfasts when the black and heavy clouds that curtained the sky opened, and the rain came down in torrents. For three hours it poured like a heavy thunder shower, making it difficult to keep the ammunition dry, and drenching the soldiers so thoroughly that the water ran in rivulets from them, while the road became a pool of 'mud. The march, however, was pushed steadily forward for six miles, when some mounted pickets were encountered. These being quickly dispersed, the column kept on till noon, when it halted within three miles of the Court House.
The troops had now marched about twelve miles, and had three more to go before they reached Hanover. The storm had broke, and for the last three hours the march had been under a broiling sun, and the men were much fatigued. The halt was, however, a short one, and the col. umn moved on.
BATTLE OF HANOVER COURT HOUSE.
The advance soon came upon a body of the enemy concealed in the woods, when a sharp contest began. The regi
. ments held their ground bravely, but could make no headway against the force before them. Soon, however, the artillery came up on a gallop, and unlimbering, fent canister and shell through the woods. The Berdan sharp shooters also hurried forward, and taking such concealed positions as they could, or lying flat on their stomachs, picked off the enemy rapidly. Reinforcements in the mean time continued to arrive from Martindale's and Butterfield's brigades, and the engagement became general. The artillery kept the woods alive with shells bursting in every direction amid the concealed foe, while the roll of musketry was fierce and constant. Sheltered by the trees, the rebels made a stubborn