Records of the Union Navy
Prelude to the Hampton
Roads Battles - October 17, 1861 to March 7, 1862
Report of Flag-Officer Goldsborough, U. S. Navy,
commanding Atlantic Blockading Squadron, regarding the preparation of the
Merrimack (C. S. S. Virginia).
Confidential.] U.S. FLAGSHIP MINNESOTA, Hampton Roads,
October 17, 1861.
SIR: I have received further minute reliable information
with regard to the preparation of the Merrimack for an attack on Newport
News and these roads, and I am now quite satisfied that unless her stability be
compromitted by her heavy top works of wood and iron and her weight of
batteries, she will, in all probability, prove to be exceedingly formidable.
The supposition of the insurgents is that she will be
impregnable, and a trial of her sufficiently to resist shot of the heaviest
caliber, at a short range, is to take place before she is sent out to engage
She is still in the dry dock at Norfolk, and yet needs a
goodly quantity of iron to complete her casing, all of which is furnished from
Richmond. She has her old engines on board, and they have been made to work
tolerably well. They are not expected, however, I understand, to afford
anything more than a moderate velocity.
On coming out, she must necessarily, proceed as low down as
about Sewell's Point before she can shape her course to the westward for
Newport News, and this will bring her within 3½ miles of us. My present
purpose is to let her get well over toward the Congress and
Cumberland, off Newport News, and then to put at her with this ship and
everything else that may be on hand at the time, with the view of bringing her
between the fire of those ships and these, and cutting off all retreat on her
part. It is understood that she is to be assisted by the two steamers now up
the James River, but as they can not be made very powerful I attach no very
great consequences to this intention.
Nothing, I think, but very close work can possibly be of
service in accomplishing the destruction of the Merrimack, and even of
that a great deal may be necessary. From what I gather, boarding is
impracticable, as she can only be assailed in that way through her ports, of
which she has, in all, but fourteen.
If I could be furnished with a couple of tugs, or small
steamers, to attend upon the Congress and Cumberland in season,
so as to tow them promptly into position in case of necessity, they might prove
of very great service. It will be, I infer, at least a fortnight before the
Merrimack will make her attempt, but in the meantime I could employ
those tugs or steamers very advantageously in the way of guard vessels at
night, dispatch and tow vessels by day, etc. On the 9th instant all attempt, no
doubt, was made by the insurgents to get an infernal machine among our shipping
here, but it was happily foiled by the alertness of the Lockwood, which they
tried to cut off with their two tugs engaged in the nefarious business. The
night was dark and boisterous. Since then, they dispatched a tug with six armed
boats in tow, toward Newport News, during the night; but, after proceeding a
considerable way in that direction, concluded that it was too light for their
purposes. I only mention these things to show the utility of active guard
Your most obedient servant,
L.M. GOLDSBOROUGH, Flag-Officer.
Letter from Commodore Smith, U.S. Navy, Chief of Bureau
Yards and Docks, to Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, regarding the command of the
U.S.S. Monitor, under construction.
Private.] JANUARY l1, 1862.
MY DEAR SIR: I have only time to say I have named you for
the command of the battery under contract with Captain Ericsson, now nearly
ready at New York. This vessel is an experiment. I believe you are the right
sort of officer to put in command of her.
Yours, truly, in haste, JOS. SMITH.
Letter from lieutenant Worden, U. S. Navy, to
Commodore Smith, U.S. Navy, Chief Bureau of Yards and Docks, regarding the
command of the U S. S. Monitor.
NEW YORK, January 13, 1862.
DEAR SIR: I received your letter of the 11th instant
yesterday and thank you for the feeling which prompted you to name me for the
command of the Ericsson battery. I went immediately to see her, and, after a
hasty examination of her, am induced to believe that she may prove a success.
At all events, I am quite willing to be an agent in testing her capabilities,
and will readily devote whatever of capacity and energy I have to that object.
If the Department decides that I am to have the command, I
would like to be ordered to her as soon as possible, so that I may acquaint
myself with all her points and peculiarities.
Very truly, yours,
JOHN L. WORDEN, Lieutenant.
Order of the Secretary of the Navy to Lieutenant Worden,
U. S. Navy, to assume command of the U.S.S. Monitor.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 13, 1862.
SIR: You are hereby detached from the rendezvous, New York,
and you will report to Commodore Paulding for the command of the United States
ironclad steamer building by Captain Ericsson.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Endorsement.] Reported January 16,1862. H. PAULDING,
[Note by T.L.W.]
January 30, Monitor (the above) launched. February 25,
Monitor put in commission.
Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Flag-Officer
Goldsborough, U.S. Navy, commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
transmitting statement of Master's Mate Abbott, U.S. Navy, regarding
information obtained while a prisoner in the Confederate States.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 14, 1862.
SIR: I enclose for your information Master's Mate William
A. Abbott's statement of facts relative to the enemy learned while a prisoner
at Norfolk and Richmond.
Very respectfully, GIDEON WELLES.
ANDOVER, MASS., January 9, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to the wishes of the Department, I have
the honor of reporting the following facts concerning the enemy, which I
learned during my imprisonment. At a late hour of the day on which I was
released at Richmond, a gentleman called upon me, named Osgood, stating who and
what he was, and gave me an account of a set of infernal machines, or
torpedoes, then being manufactured at the Tredegar Iron Works, in Richmond, the
invention of a Northern man. Mr. Osgood is an engineer by profession, well
known in New York, was a long time in the employ of the Collins Line of
steamers, and more recently in the steam line from Charleston to Havana. He is,
or was, at the head of a Union club in Richmond, and has in various ways added
much to the comfort of our prisoners. The rebels watch him sharply, knowing the
ability of the man, and, though he spurns very great offers from them, they are
determined he shall not aid us. He is a native of Haverhill, in this county. He
stated that the machines were very complicated affairs, and so arranged that
the destruction of a part of it does not prevent the operation of the machine
or affect the intended result. They are to be taken down the James River in the
night, and to be sunk; at the same time a feigned attack is to be made upon our
vessels by two steamers and a revenue cutter. There is not necessarily a
connection between the machines and the shore, as the explosion may be produced
by the mere striking of a vessel against it.
While I was confined at Norfolk, a soldier, who was a
carpenter by trade, and had worked considerable time on the Merrimack
battery, was brought in and confined near me. He was a Northern man, and the
day before I was sent to Richmond he sent me a file and wrench, having
previously informed me that he would desert to one of our vessels with me. He
told me that the ends of the Merrimack are sharp, both fitted with
rudders and protected, her sides and top angling sufficiently to glance off
shot. Each port has a door which shuts down as the guns are run in. On her top,
over each gun, is a small barred scuttle, and these are the only means of
obtaining fresh air. He said it was the opinion of most of the workmen that the
men could not fight long in so confined a place. Her wheel is in the forward
part, the helmsman looking through bull's eyes, and she has two engines of
great power, and is pierced for twenty guns. The enemy seem to rely more on her
power to run down an opposing vessel than on the effect of her guns. She is
also fitted with a number of pipes for throwing hot water.
While on my way to the prison at Richmond I saw a number of
carloads of iron plates marked for the Merrimack; the longest were from
10 to 15 feet long and about an inch and three-quarters thick, the small ones
for bends from 2 to 2½ inches in thickness. Although I had a pretty fair
view of the navy yard, I saw only the frigate United States, the
Merrimack, and one or two small schooners. The greater part of the
carriages for the large columbiads which I saw were of pine.
I conversed at different times with hundreds of their
officers and men, and they all wished they were at home, and blamed their
leaders very much. Some of the guard at Richmond were men who had been paroled
at [in] western Virginia. There are said to be 1,000 stands of arms in the
hands of Union men at Richmond, mostly Northern men. During the short time I
was at Richmond, at liberty, I visited a number of the prominent hotels, and
frequently heard expressions of regret at the existence of this rebellion. At
Norfolk I had several short interviews with Union men, who assured me that
there were Union men enough in Norfolk and vicinity, but that the great number
of Southern troops prevented their speaking or acting out their true
sentiments. Between Craney Island and Fort Norfolk a strong obstruction of
piles is placed. From what I could learn there are in and about Norfolk 15,000
troops, and I think my information was obtained from good authority.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM A. ABBOTT, Master's Mate, U. S. Navy.
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, appointed to the
command of the U.S.S. Monitor.
NEW YORK, January 16, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I have this day
reported for duty for the command of the U.S. ironclad steamer building by
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
John L. Worden, Lieutenant.
Report of Commander Smith, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S.
ship Congress, regarding the insufficient complement of that vessel.
U. S. FRIGATE CONGRESS,
Newport News, Va., January 21, 1862.
SIR: The old crew of this ship were discharged on the, 13th
instant. A few men received at Boston on [in] August last remained, and we have
received from different vessels here men enough to make our number 267. To fill
our complement we still need the following, viz:
|One carpenter's mate, One cooper
|Musicians, or instead ordinary seamen
|Making ship's complement
We have 82 noncommissioned officers and privates of the
coast guard, loaned to us by General Wool, but as this is only a temporary
arrangement, and they may be taken from us any day, we can not rely much on
The present position of this ship (threatened daily with
attacks from Norfolk by the Merrimack and other steamers, and from the
James River by the Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and other steamers,
submarine batteries, torpedoes, fire rafts) makes it very important that we
should have our full crew. I therefore very respectfully request that our
deficiencies may be made up as soon as possible.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient
W. SMITH, Commanding U.S. Frigate Congress.
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, regarding the
allowance of officers and men for the U.S.S. Monitor.
NAVY YARD, NEW YORK, January 22, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt this day
of a copy of the contract with Captain Ericsson for an ironclad battery, and
the accompanying communication, dated the 15th instant.
I have been in consultation with Mr. Stimers in relation to
the allowance of officers and men for the battery and I enclose herewith a
list,¹ which we deem quite sufficient for the efficient working of her
battery in action.
The ordnance officer at the yard informs me that he has no
XI-inch guns on hand for the battery, but that he is soon expecting some. It
will take four or five days to sight them after they arrive.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN L. WORDEN,
Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Lieutenant
Worden, U. S. Navy, regarding the complement of officers and men for the U.S.S.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 24, 1862.
SIR: Arrangements have been made by the Bureau of Ordnance
to supply guns to the Ericsson ironclad battery. The complement of officers for
the battery will be in accordance with your suggestions. Two master's mates may
be added if there are accommodations for them. The complement should be
increased so as to allow as nearly as possible a full crew to each gun, taking
into consideration the available force from the engineer's department. Some of
the petty officers might be dispensed with, should the limited accommodations
of the battery prevent this increase.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, - GIDEON WELLES;
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, regarding the
complement of officers and crew for the U.S.S. Monitor.
NAVY YARD, NEW YORK, January 27, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
communication of the 24th instant, in relation to the complement of officers
and crew for Ericsson's ironclad battery.
In estimating the number of her crew, I allowed 15 men and
a quarter gunner for the two guns, 11 men for the powder division, and 1 for
the wheel, which I deem ample for the efficient working of her guns in action.
That would leave 12 men (including those available in the engineer's
department) to supply deficiencies at the guns, caused by sickness or
casualties. I propose to use a portion of the petty officers at the guns, and
in naming the number of that class I thought I would be enabled to obtain a
better class of men for that purpose.
It is believed that 17 men and 2 officers in the turret
would be as many as could work there with advantage; a greater number would be
in each other's way and cause embarrassment.
The limited accommodations of the battery and the
insufficiency of ventilation renders it important that as few as is consistent
with her efficiency in action should be put in her.
In relation to master's mates, one might be ordered; more
would overcrowd her accommodations and seems to be unnecessary.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN L. WORDEN,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 30, 1862.
I congratulate you and trust she² will be a success.
Hurry her for sea, as the Merrimack is nearly ready at Norfolk and we wish to
send her here.
Assistant Secretary Navy
Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Captain Marston,
U.S. Navy, senior officer in Hampton Roads, regarding the complement of the
U.S. ship Congress.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 31, 1862.
SIR: In reference to Commander Smith's letter of the 21st
instant, asking for more men, I regret to say that it is impossible to assist
him, as men do not enlist as fast as required. If this frigate is not capable
of defending herself at Newport News, the Department suggests whether one of
the steam frigates should not relieve her. In the absence of Flag-Officer
Goldsborough, the Department relies upon your skill and judgment to defeat any
attempts of the enemy.
Very respectfully, etc., GIDEON WELLES
Letter from Captain Van Brunt, U.S. Navy, commanding
U.S.S. Minnesota, to Flag-Officer Goldsborough, U. S. Navy, commanding North
Atlantic Blockading Squadron, referring to the C.S.S. Virginia
U.S.S. MINNESOTA, February 2, 1862.
MY DEAR GOLDSBOROUGH: I have just learned that a vessel
(transport) would leave this evening for Hatteras. I am very anxious to hear
from you. The Gemsbok passed Hatteras on the 29th and heard heavy firing in the
vicinity of Roanoke Island, which put us all upon the qui vive. I send you a
number of letters and some newspapers. We have very little news here. The
Merrimack is, without doubt, out of dock and almost ready for a move. I
am anxiously expecting her and believe I am ready, but I have doubts about her
venturing out of Elizabeth River. I understand they have been putting down
moorings for her about a mile inside of Sewell's Point, and should not be
surprised if she was only used for harbor defense, as I am told she floats with
her roofing 2 feet under water, and that, in consequence, she can carry no
battery. She is exceedingly crank and would be unsafe if she happened to get
across the tides and might turn turtle.
I hope all the stores sent have arrived safely. Please tell
Case I will send those I was obliged to order from Baltimore as soon as
possible. Your ginhave you received it? It was sent by same conveyance as
the provisions (by Kemberly), but I trust you will have no occasion for its
The backgammon does not flourish since you left. Doctor
Dillard has been detached through the intercession of some of his friends and
left us on Friday. This parting with old friends is unpleasant. Doctor Wood has
been ordered to relieve him as fleet [surgeon].
Farragut, in his flagship, the Hartford, who has
been here three or four days, sailed this morning for his command. Commander
Bell is his fleet captain and Commander R. Wainwright commands the ship.
Your old friend and messmate, G. J. VAN BRUNT.
Letter from the Chief of bureau of Ordnance and
Hydrography to the Chief of Bureau of Yards and Docks, regarding weight of
projectiles for the U.S.S. Monitor.
BUREAU OF ORDNANCE AND HYDROGRAPHY, Navy Department,
Washington City, February 7, 1862.
SIR: With reference to the weight of the wrought-iron shot,
which the Bureau understands have been supplied for the XI-inch guns on board
the ironclad Ericsson battery, Commander Dahlgren informs the Bureau that "in
no case ought a projectile weighing over 170 pounds be fired from a XI-inch
gun," and positive instructions will be issued to that effect to the officers
in command of the battery.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant, ANDREW A.
HARWOOD, Chief of Bureau Ordnance and hydrography.
Report of Captain Marston, U. S. Navy, senior of Officer
in Hampton Roads, of the appointment of a board for the examination of the
U.S.S. ROANOKE, Hampton Roads, February 10,1862.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your
two letters of the 7 the instant, and, in compliance there with, have ordered a
board of engineers to examine and make trial of the machinery of the steamer
Miami, and herein enclose you a copy of the order of that survey. The
Miami will, in all probability, go to sea this day. I also enclose to
you the copy of a letter from Captain Van Brunt, relative to the taking Chief
Engineer Loring and First Assistant Engineer Bright from the Minnesota,
and would remark that as the Merrimack is pronounced by the rebels
themselves a failure, I do not think there is any danger to be apprehended from
detaching those officers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN MARSTON,
Captain and Senior Officer.
U.S. FRIGATE MINNESOTA, February 10, 1862.
SIR: Mr. Loring, chief engineer, and Mr. Bright, first
assistant, having been ordered from this ship on duty which will occupy several
days and possibly weeks, leaving this ship with only some inexperienced
assistants, I consider it my duty to report to you' as the senior officer
present, that absence of both these gentlemen at the same time will render my
ship inefficient for active service under steam.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, G. J. VAN BRUNT,
FEBRUARY 10, 1862. Detain the Varuna to accompany the
battery³ to Hampton Roads. Take any men you require from the St. Lawrence.
She will relieve the Congress at Hampton Roads. Order has been given to ship
any men for landsmen. G. V. Fox, Assistant Secretary.
Report of Captain Marston, U.S. Navy, senior of Officer
in Hampton Roads, regarding the plan to attack the rudder of the C.S.S.
U. S. S. ROANOKE, Hampton Roads, February 11, 1862.
SIR: I am this day in receipt of your letter of the 8th
instant, together with its enclosure, for which please accept thanks. The plan
of having a tug to attack the rudder of the Merrimack has been adopted
some time since, and a special one appointed for that service.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN MARSTON,
Report of the senior officer in Hampton Roads regarding
the probable time for undocking the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimack).
U. S. S. ROANOKE, Hampton Roads, February 12, 1862.
SIR: I learn from a man (a Russian) sent on board of me this
day by General Wool, and who was at work in the Norfolk navy yard as late as
Monday, the 10th, that it is still the intention of the rebels to bring the
Merrimack down into these waters. That vessel is to be taken out of dock
next Monday, but when she will be ready my informant could not say, but
probably soon, as everythingprovisions, stores, etc.were being put
into her while she was in dock. This man says that the editorial in the Day
Book was put in to deceive us, and that the Merrimack is not a failure.
I have deemed it my duty to give you this information, and,
trusting that we shall be able to give the rebels a warm reception, I remain,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN MARSTON, Captain and Senior
Report of Chief Engineer Stimers, U.S. Navy, regarding
the trial trip of the U.S.S. Monitor.
NEW YORK, February 20, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report to you that the ironclad
steamer Monitor is at the navy yard.
She left Green Point at 2 p.m. yesterday under steam, but
in consequence of the engine builders having set the cut-off valves for
backing, instead of her going ahead, we made but slow progress, 40 revolutions
per minute of the engines and 3½ knots an hour of the vessel being the
maximum performance. The effect of this mistake in the cut-off valves was to
admit steam to the cylinder after the piston had performed one half its stroke,
so that the consumption of steam was equal to running full stroke; whereas the
effect was only one-half what was due to that consumption, without expansion.
There was another difficulty: One of the blower engines had
a valve come off its stem, so that during nearly the whole trip only one was in
We came to anchor off the navy yard at 7:30 p.m., and towed
her in to the wharf with a towboat this morning.
In the operation of weighing the anchor this morning I
found that the windlass will require some alterations to make it efficient.
This, I think, must detain us several days, but I have not been able to see
Captain Ericsson yet this morning.
From what I have seen thus far I think your estimate of her
speed being 6 knots an hour will prove very correct, though Captain Ericsson
feels confident of 8.
Aside from the foregoing easily adjusted difficulties,
everything was perfectly satisfactory.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, ALBAN C.
Order of the Secretary of the Navy to lieutenant Worden,
U.S. Navy, commanding the U.S.S. Monitor, to proceed with that vessel to
NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 20, 1862.
SIR: Proceed with the U.S.S. Monitor, under your command,
to Hampton Roads, Virginia, and on your arrival there report by letter to the
Department. Commodore Paulding has been instructed to charter a vessel to
accompany the Monitor, provided none of our vessels are going south
about, the time she sails. Transmit to the Department a muster roll of the crew
and a separate list of the officers of the Monitor before sailing from
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, GIDEON
Report of the senior officer in Hampton Roads, referring
to the chartered schooner L. B. Myers and the expected attack of the C.S.S.
Virginia ( Merrimack).
U.S.S. ROANOKE, Hampton Roads, February 22, 1862.
SIR: The schooner L.B.Myers is now loading with provisions
of all kinds, except sugar, of which there is none here. If however, there had
been, the schooner could not have taken it, as she is full even to the cabin;
the sugar, however, will be forwarded by the first opportunity. I enclose
invoice and bill of lading, all of which I hope will arrive in good time. I
have directed Captain Somers (a grand-nephew of Tripoli Somers) to go directly
up the sound to any point where you may be. He is well acquainted in those
waters, having been an old trader there, and as his vessel will draw, when
light, only 4 feet, he may be able to render you some service. I also enclose
to you the charter of the L. B. Myers, signed by Captain Somers and myself.
Captain Somers will sail as soon as the weather is favorable. At present it is
not sothick and rainy. The different ships of your squadron hoisted at
sunrise this morning the American flags at the main and mizzen, with French
flag at the fore. At 12 o'clock all the ships having proper armament will fire
a salute of thirty-four guns. I have deviated from the general order relative
to salutes, believing in this period of the history of our country the whole
Union should be represented. I communicated yesterday with Commodore le Marquis
de Montaignac and informed him of the programme, and he, with much courtesy,
replied that he should participate in it, and at sunrise the four French
vessels now here hoisted the American flag at the fore and French flags at the
main and mizzen, and the Pomone will fire thirty-four guns at 12
o'clock. I would remark that much kindness of feeling exists between the
marquis and myself. A few days since I received a note from him written on red,
white, and blue paper, with the American coat of arms at the corners,
surrounded by the motto, "Union and the Constitution.'' This may be a small
affair, and it may be a significant sign, for I can hardly think the marquis
would have done such a thing had he not received a hint from higher authority.
We are still in expectation of a visit from the Merrimack. . Night
before last General Wool sent me off a dispatch he had received from Norfolk,
informing him that "the Merrimack, in conjunction with the
Yorktown and Jamestown, would attack Newport News within the next
five days; the attack will be at night." When I think of this ship's crippled
conditionno engine and 180 of her crew deficientit makes me sick at
heart; but we shall do the best we can. We are all ready to slip, and have the
Young America and Dragon to attend us. The Cohasset and Zouave
are at Newport News, and the Rescue is intended to cripple, if possible,
the rudder of the Merrimack. You will observe that the charter of the
L.B. Myers allows us to keep her one month, or thirty days, and afterwards
$22.50 for every day's detention; but if you should discharge her within the
specified month, she will still be entitled to the sum of, $600. Trusting that
everything will reach in safety and in good time, I remain, very respectfully,
your obedient servant, JOHN MARSTON, Captain.
Report of Chief Engineer Stimers, U.S. Navy, of the
expected sailing of the U.S.S. Monitor.
NEW YORK, February 26, 1862.
SIR: The Monitor would have gone to sea this morning, but
was detained for her ammunition. At dusk this evening, however, the last shell
was snugly stored, and we sail at daylight in the morning, unless the weather
prove unfavorable. The draft of water, taken at the extremes of upper vessel,
is: Forward, 9 feet 2 inches; aft, 10 feet 5 inches; mean draft, 9 feet 9-
inches. She has 80 tons of coal in the bunkers, which will lighten the stern as
it comes out, and I consider it advisable that she shall always trim by the
stern at sea, as when a sea breaks over the bow it has to sustain the
superincumbent weight of the wave while it rolls across, which, of course,
depresses it, and if we trimmed to an even keel in smooth water we would always
be down by the head when underway in rough weather. I have not yet had time to
describe her completely to you, and perhaps had better defer it now until
called upon by you to give you the "list of omissions" contemplated in the
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, ALBAN C.
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S.S.
Monitor, of the departure and return of the U.S.S. Monitor.
U.S.S. MONITOR, New York, February 27, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the U.S.S. Monitor,
under my commend, left the navy yard this morning to proceed to sea. In going
down the East River she steered so very badly that I deemed it advisable not to
proceed farther with her. I therefore returned, and am now at anchor off the
navy yard. Chief Engineer Stimers will immediately call on Mr. Ericsson to
ascertain from him what he proposes to do to remedy the defect in her steering
apparatus. Respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN L. WORDEN, Lieutenant,
Report of Chief Engineer Stimers, U.S.Navy, of the
readiness of the U.S.S. Monitor for another trial.
New York, February 28, 1862.
SIR: The Monitor left the navy yard yesterday
morning for Fortress Monroe, but did not proceed far before it was ascertained
that the man at the wheel had not sufficient command over the rudder to enable
him to steer the vessel, and we returned to the anchorage off the yard, where
she now lies.
Captain Ericsson is now multiplying the power of the wheel
over the rudder, and will have it ready for another trial by tomorrow night.
I consider that if we can efficiently command the rudder,
we can steer the vessel with ease. In this opinion I am not sustained by
Commander Worden, who desires me to state to you that he would like to have a
board of three officers to accompany us on a trial trip of twenty-four hours,
to test the steering qualities of the vessel after the present change is
completed. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, ALBAN C. STIMERS,
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U. S. Navy, commanding
U.S.S. Monitor, of the expected sailing of that vessel from New York.
U.S.S. MONITOR, Navy Yard, New York, March 1,
SIR: I have the honor to report that this vessel, under my
command, is on the point of leaving her anchorage here to proceed to sea. I
send herewith a list of the officers and a muster roll of the crew.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN L. WORDEN, Lieutenant,
NEW YORK, March 1, 1862. Your dispatch is just received.
Captain Ericsson will have completed some changes in the steering gear
tomorrow, and we make a trial trip on Monday morning. JOHN L. WORDEN,
Order of the commandant navy yard, New York, to
Lieutenant Worden, U. S. Navy, commanding U.S.S. Monitor, to proceed with that
vessel to Hampton Roads.
NAVY YARD, NEW YORK, March 4, 1862.
SIR: When the weather admits you will proceed with the
Monitor under your command to Hampton Roads and on your arrival report
to the senior naval officer there. I have hired the steamer James Freeborn to
tow the Monitor, and have also directed the propellers Sachem and
Currituck to attend on you to the mouth of the Chesapeake. If it should
be necessary to retain them longer, you are authorized to do so. When you shall
have no further occasion for the Freeborn, be pleased to give the captain a
certificate with directions to return to New York, and immediately on his
arrival report to me. Wishing you a safe and successful passage,
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, H. PAULDING,
Order of the commandant navy yard, New York, to Acting
Master Shankland, U. S. Navy, commanding U.S.S. Currituck, to convoy the U.S.S.
Monitor to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
NAVY YARD, NEW YORK, March 4, 1862.
SIR: You will, with the steamer Currituck under your
command, proceed to sea tomorrow morning in company with the Monitor,
and attend on her until you see her safely up to the mouth of the Chesapeake
Bay. after doing so, continue on to Port Royal, in obedience to the orders of
the Department. Respectfully, your obedient servant, H. PAULDING, Commodore.
Letter from Major-General Dix, U.S. Army, to
Major-General Wool, U. S. Army, transmitting telegraphic order for the U. S. S.
.Monitor to proceed to Washington.
HEADQUARTERS, Baltimore, March 5, 1862.
GENERAL: I am directed by Major-General Dix to enclose to
you a translated copy of telegram received in cypher, with a request that it be
forwarded to Old Point this afternoon. I am, very respectfully, your obedient
servant, WM. H. LUDLOW, major and Aid-de-Camp.
WASHINGTON, 11 March 5, 1862. (Received at Baltimore 3:20
p.m.) Direct Lieutenant Commanding John L. Worden, of the Monitor, to
proceed immediately to Washington with his vessel. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of
[Annexed to the original copy was the following direction
:] Please translate the above, and send by this afternoon's boat to Old
Point. A. V. COLBURN Assistant Adjutant-General.
Report of Lieutenant Worden, U.S. Navy, commanding U.S.S.
Monitor, of the departure of that vessel from New York Harbor.
U.S.S. Monitor, Off New York Harbor, March 6, 1862.
SIR: By the pilot I have the honor to report that we passed
the bar at 4 p.m., the U.S. steamers Currituck and Sachem and the
steam tug Seth Low in company. The weather is favorable. In order to
reach Hampton Roads as speedily as possible, whilst the fine weather lasts, I
have been taken in tow by the tug.
Respectfully, your obedient servant, John L. Worden,
[Enclosure.Telegram.] To Captain JOHN MARSTON,
NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 7, 1862.
Send the St. Lawrence, Congress, and
Cumberland into the Potomac Rivcr. Let the disposition of the remainder
of the vessels at Hampton Roads be made according to your best judgment after
consultation with General Wool. Use steam to tow them up. I will also try and
send a couple of steamers from Baltimore to assist.
Let there be no delay.
GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy.
¹ - Not Found.
² - Refers to the launching of the Monitor
³ - Referring the Monitor