Abstract log of the U. S. S. Cambridge.
March 8, 1862.--At 1:30 p.m. saw the rebel steamer Merrimack and two others coming out from behind Sewell's Point. The Minnesota and Roanoke got underway to engage them. We immediately steamed out to the frigate St. Lawrence, at anchor 5 miles below, and took her in tow and started for Hampton Roads. From 4 to 6 p.m.: St. Lawrence in tow. When abreast of Sewell's Point, the enemy's batteries opened fire upon us, which was returned by both ships; found the Cumberland sunk, the Congress ashore on Newport News Point and her crew leaving her, and the Minnesota aground, the Merrimack engaging her. The St. Lawrence taking the ground, cast off from her and prepared to tow her again. Several shot struck the ship without doing much injury. From 6 to 8: Endeavoring to get the St. Lawrence in tow, stove in our quarter-rail by collision. Observed the Congress on fire. The enemy's vessels withdrawing toward Sewell's Point. At 8 p.m. got the St. Lawrence in tow again and stood down for the fort, the enemy's vessels firing upon us. At 8:30 dropped the St. Lawrence and anchored. Reported on board the Roanoke. At 11 the bombproof battery Monitor got underway and stood up for the Minnesota.
March 9.--At 12:40 a.m. the Congress blew up. Two small steamers came down from the Minnesota and communicated with the Roanoke. At 8:50 the Merrimack and Monitor came to close quarters, apparently trying to board. Heavy firing between them. At 9:30 received orders to go to Beaufort, N. C., from the senior officer and immediately got our anchor and stood down the bay.
Please see the entry for the USS Cambridge in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
Please see the entry for the crew of the USS Cambridge at the Naval Historical Center. Note that the crew listed is from January 1865 and does not reflect the crew on board at the time of the battle.
[T16] Sullivan, David M. The United States Marine Corps in the Civil War -- The Second Year. White Mane Publishing Company, Inc. Shippenburg, PA. 1997.