Report of Maj. Gen. John E. Wool,
U. S. Army, commanding Department of Virginia.
Concerning the Battle of the Ironclads

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., March 9, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,
Commanding the Army, Washington, D.C.
[Similar report to Secretary of War.]

        GENERAL: Two hours after I sent my hurried dispatch to the Secretary of War last evening the Monitor arrived, and saved the Minnesota and the St. Lawrence, which were both aground when she arrived.     
        The Merrimac, supported by the Yorktown and Jamestown, commenced an attack on the Minnesota (still aground) early this morning, and after a contest of five hours was driven off in a sinking condition by the Monitor, aided by the Minnesota, and towed by the Jamestown and Yorktown toward Norfolk, for the purpose, no doubt, of getting her, if possible, in the dry-dock for repairs.
        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 consists 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 E. WOOL,
Major-General.

        This Page last updated 10/20/01

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