The following account is from Putnam's The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, Vol 4, (1862) on page 270. 


FORTRESS MONROE, March 9, 6.45 P.M.

Gideon Wells, Secretary of the Navy:

The Monitor arrived at ten P.M., yesterday, and went immediately to the protection of the Minnesota, lying aground just opposite Newport News. At seven A.M., to-day, the Merrimac, accompanied by two wooden steamers and several tugs, stood out toward the Minnesota and opened fire. The Monitor met them at once, and opened her fire, when all the enemy's vessels retired, excepting the Merrimac. These two iron-clad vessels fought, part of the time touching each other, from eight A.M. to noon, when the Merrimack retired. Whether she is injured or not it is impossible to say. Lieut. J. L. Worden, who commanded the Monitor, handled her with great skill, assisted by Chief-Engineer Stimers. Lieut. Worden was injured by the cement from the pilot-house being driven into his eyes, but I trust not seriously. The Minnesota kept up a continuous fire, and is herself somewhat injured. She was moved considerably to-day and will probably be off to-night. The Monitor is uninjured, and ready at any moment to repel any attack.

G. V. FOX,                
   Assistant-Secretary of the Navy.

CSS Virginia
Transcription copyright 1997 by Martha H. Tyson and Mabry Tyson