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Monitor Down!
The following is the report of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U.S. Navy, concerning the loss of the U.S.S. Monitor. 

Hampton Roads, Virginia, January 4, 1863.

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: I submit the following report, based on the reports received by me from Captain Drayton, of the Passaic, Commander Armstrong, of the State of Georgia, Commander Bankhead, of the Monitor, and Commander Trenchard, of the Rhode Island.
Captain Drayton reports that he suffered considerably in the two gales to which he was exposed coming down. On Tuesday, the 30th ultime, at 10 p.m., finding that the Passaic could not stand the thumping of the heavy southwest sea, he directed the State of Georgia to run north and get a lee north of Hatteras, and, had the southwest wind continued, would have come back to Hampton Roads, but meeting the next morning a strong northwest wind was obliged to turn away from it also, which brought him back. He found that the forward armor projection, by thumping into the sea, was gradually making large openings there, through which the water poured in a large stream. Captain Drayton was of opinion that a few hours of a very heavy sea, end on, would go far to rip the whole upper structure from the main body. He expresses it as his opinion that the projections over the fore and aft parts of the monitor vessels render them wholly unfit for the sea.
        Commander Armstrong, commanding U. S. S. State of Georgia, which towed the Passaic, reports that when he left Hampton Roads the weather was fine; passed Cape Henry on Monday, 29th ultimo, and steered southward with light westerly wind and pleasant weather. At 9 a.m., Tuesday, 30th, wind changed to S. W., freshened, and made a rough sea. From noon to 4 p.m. the weather was stormy. Saw the Rhode Island towing the Monitor, distant 5 miles S. W. At 5:50 p.m. [Cape] Hatteras light bore W. N. W. From 8 p.m. to midnight there were heavy squalls of wind and rain. At 10:30 p.m. the Passaic made signal to return, at which the State of Georgia changed her course to N. E. to pass Hatteras. At 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 31st ultimo, the Passaic made signal "slowly sinking;" meantime strong breezes, heavy sea, dark rainy weather. At 5 a.m. wind shifted to N. W. At 2 p.m. weather more moderate, Passaic signaled, "Proceed to Beaufort, N. C.;" changed course to southward. Passed Hatteras in first watch, in 11, 13, and 9 fathoms. Thursday, January 1, commenced overcast, with strong northwest wind. Spoke the Columbia at 10 a.m., and learned that the Monitor had foundered on Tuesday night. At 4:30 p.m. the State of Georgia anchored off Beaufort, N. C.
        Commander J. P. Bankhead, commanding the Monitor, reports to me that he left the roads on Monday, 29th ultimo, at 2:30 p.m., with light southwest wind, clear, pleasant weather, and every prospect of its continuing so. At 6 p.m. he passed Cape Henry, water smooth and everything working well. The same good weather continued during night and until 5 a.m. on Tuesday, the 30th, when the Monitor felt a swell from the southward and a slight increase of wind from southwest, the sea breaking over the pilot house and striking the base of the tower; speed about 5 knots. Until 6 p.m. the weather was variable, with occasional squalls of wind and rain, with less swell in the afternoon. Bilge pumps were amply sufficient to keep her free. At 7 p.m. the wind hauled more to the southward, increased and caused sea to rise, the computed position being 15 miles south of Cape Hatteras. At this time the Monitor was yawing and towing badly, the vessel working and making more water. The Worthington pumps were set to work and the centrifugal pump got ready. At 8 p.m. the sea was rising rapidly (the Monitor plunging heavily), completely submerging pilot house and at times entering the turret and blower pipes. When she rose to the swell the flat under surface of the projecting armor would come down with great force, causing considerable shock to the vessel. Stopping the Rhode Island, which was towing her, did not make the Monitor ride easier or cause her to make less water, as she would then fall off and roll heavily in the trough of the sea. The centrifugal pump was at length started, the others failing to keep the water down. With all the pumps working well the water continued rising, and at l0 [11] p.m., after a fair trial of the pumps and the water still gaining rapidly, Commander Bankhead made signal of distress, cut the hawser, steamed close to and under the lee of the Rhode Island, received two boats from her, and ordered the crew of the Monitor to leave her, a dangerous operation as the sea was breaking heavily over the deck. The two vessels touched, and, owing to the sharp bow and sides of the Monitor, the Rhode Island was endangered and she steamed ahead a little. At 11:30 p.m. the water was gaining rapidly, though all the pumps were in full play, the engine working slowly and the sea breaking badly over the vessel, making it dangerous to leave the turret. At this time several men were supposed to have been washed overboard; the engines and pumps soon ceased to work, the water having put the fires out. While waiting for return of boats bailing was resorted to. As the Monitor was now laboring in the trough of the sea Commander Bankhead let go the anchor, which brought her head to sea. The vessel filling rapidly, Commander Bankhead ordered the twenty-five or thirty men then left on board to leave in the boats, then approaching cautiously, as the sea was breaking violently over the Monitor's submerged deck. In this position Commander Bankhead held a boat's painter until as many men could get in as the boat could carry. Some men left in the turret, terrified by the peril, declined to come down and are supposed to have perished. Commander Bankhead did not leave his vessel so long as he could do anything toward saving his crew, in which effort he was ably assisted by Commander Trenthard, the officers and crew of the Rhode Island.
When the crew of the Monitor was mustered on board the Rhode Island four officers and twelve men were found missing, some of whom, It is hoped, were picked up or survived the gale in the Rhode Island's boat. A list of the Monitor's missing is enclosed in Commander Bankhead's report of the 3d instant, accompanying this report. Acting Assistant Surgeon Weeks suffered amputation of three fingers, his hand having been badly jammed.
        Commander Bankhead speaks warmly of the good conduct of the officers and crew, with but few exceptions. He commended particularly Lieutenant S. D. Greene, his executive officer, and Acting Master L. N. Stodder as worthy of all praise. He warmly praises the deportment of Acting Master's Mate Peter Williams and Quartermaster Richard Anjier. The latter would not desert the ship until his commander left.
        The officers and crew lost everything. They will, the latter at least, doubtless receive appropriate relief from the Government.
        Commander Trenchard, commanding the Rhode Island, reports that he left Hampton Roads with the Monitor in tow on Monday, December 29, at 2:30 p.m., with wind light from S. W., sea smooth, and weather favorable that night and next day (the 30th), the Monitor towing easily. At 1 p.m. on the 30th, [Cape] Hatteras light bore W. S. W., distant 14 miles; at sunset it bore N. W., distant 17 miles, and the State of Georgia, with the Passaic in tow, to the northward and eastward. The wind was then light from S. W., with indications of good weather. Between 8 and 9 p.m. the wind hauled more to the southward and freshened, with rainy and squally weather. At 11 p.m., when 20 miles S. S. W. of Hatteras, the Monitor made signal of distress, at which Commander Trenchard sent his two largest boats to her assistance. One of them, the launch, was stove under the quarter of the Rhode Island by the Monitor. While the Monitor was in that position ropes were thrown to her from the Rhode Island, but so reluctant was the crew of the Monitor to leave the vessel that they did not take advantage of the opportunity to save themselves. Acting Master's Mate D. R. Browne, of the Rhode Island, twice brought that vessel's first cutter full of men from the Monitor. He attempted a third trip, probably through a misunderstanding of orders, and did not return, though waited for that night and searched for next day (the 31st). There is room to hope that this boat, with its crew and probably with some of the missing Monitor's men, survived the gale. Commander Trenchard commends the skill and good conduct of Acting Master's Mates D. R. Browne and Stevens, of D. T. Compton, cockswain, and the missing crew of the cutter, a list of which is enclosed in Commander Trenchard's report of January 3, accompanying this.
        I hope that the dependent families of the dead will receive the relief needed by their losses, and the faithful survivors the consideration deserved for their good conduct.
        I have already sent to the Department, enclosed in my No. 10 of yesterday, a copy of Captain Drayton's report of the 1st instant from Beaufort, regarding the passage of the Passaic; Commander Armstrong's report of January 3, on the behavior of the State of Georgia in towing the Passaic, and his report of the same date concerning the loss of the Monitor.

        Herewith I forward:

        A. Report of Commander J. P. Bankhead (late of the Monitor) to Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, dated January 3, and enclosing (1) his detailed report of January 1; (2) the report of his senior engineer; (3) list of missing.

        B. Report of Commander Trenchard, commanding the Rhode Island, to Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, dated January 3, and enclosing (1) list of missing.

        C. Report of Commander J. F. Armstrong, commanding the State of Georgia, to Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, dated January 3.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


[Enclosure 1.]

Hampton Roads, January 3, 1863.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

        SIR: I regret to have to report to you that the U. S. ironclad steamer Monitor foundered at sea at about 1 a.m. of the 31st day of December, 1862, with a loss of four officers and twelve men missing, some of whom may possibly have been saved. I enclose herewith a detailed account of the loss of the vessel with the probable cause, the report of the senior engineer, and a list of the men and officers missing.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Late) Commanding U. S. S. Monitor.


U. S. S. RHODE ISLAND, January 1, 1863.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

        SIR: I have the honor to report to you that the Monitor left Hampton Roads in tow of the U. S. S. Rhode Island on the 29th December, 1862, at 2:30 p.m., wind light at S. W., weather clear and pleasant, and every prospect of its continuation. Passed Cape Henry at 6 p.m., water smooth and everything working well.
        During the night the weather continued the same until 5 a.m., when we began to experience a swell from the southward with a slight increase of the wind from the S. W., the sea breaking over the pilot house forward and striking the base of the tower [turret], but not with sufficient force to break over it. Found that the packing of oakum under and around the base of the tower bad loosened somewhat from the working of the tower as the vessel pitched and rolled. Speed at this time about 5 knots; ascertained from the engineer of the watch that the bilge pumps kept her perfectly free, occasionally sucking. Felt no apprehension at the time. The weather during the day and until 6 p.m. was variable, with occasional squalls of wind and rain, and toward evening the swell somewhat decreased, the bilge pumps being found amply sufficient to keep her clear of the water that penetrated through the sight holes of the pilot house, hawse hole, and base of tower (all of which had been well calked previous to leaving). At 7:30 the wind hauled more to the south, increasing in strength and causing the sea to rise; computed position at this time about 15 miles south of Cape Hatteras Shoals. Found the vessel towed badly, yawing very much, and with the increased motion making somewhat more water around the base of the tower. Ordered engineer to put on the Worthington pump and bilge injection and get the centrifugal pump ready and report to me immediately if he perceived any increase of the water. 8 p.m.; the sea about this time commenced to rise very rapidly, causing the vessel to plunge heavily, completely submerging the pilot house and washing over and into the turret and at times into the blower pipes. Observed that when she rose to the swell, the flat under surface of the projecting armor would come down with great force, causing a considerable shock to the vessel and turret, thereby loosening still more the packing around its base. Signalized several times to the Rhode Island to step, in order that I might ascertain if by so doing she would ride easier or decrease the influx of water, but could perceive no difference, the vessel falling off immediately into the trough of the sea and rolling heavily. The engineer at this time reported that it would be necessary to start the centrifugal pump, as the others failed to keep the water under. Ordered him to do so immediately and report to me the effect.
        Sea continued to rise, the vessel striking heavily forward. The engineer reported that the pumps were all working well, but produced no effect upon the water, which, by this time, had risen several inches above the level of the engine-room floor. About 10:30 p.m., having given the pumps a fair trial and finding the water gaining rapidly upon us, I determined to make the preconcerted signal of distress, which was immediately answered by the Rhode Island. I ranged up close to her and reported that the water was gaining rapidly upon us, and requested her commander to send beats to take off the crew. Finding that the heavy stream cable used to tow the Monitor rendered the vessel unmanageable while hanging slack to her bow, and being under the absolute necessity of working the engines to keep the pumps going, I ordered it to be cut, and ran down close under the lee of the Rhode Island, at times almost touching her. Water continued to gain upon the pumps and was now above the ash pits.
        Two boats reached us from the Rhode Island, when I ordered Lieutenant Greene to put as many men into them as they would safely carry. While getting the men into the boats (a very dangerous operation caused by the heavy sea breaking entirely over the deck), the vessels touched slightly, nearly crushing the boat and endangering the Rhode Island herself, as our sharp bow and sides would undoubtedly have stove her near the water's edge had she struck upon us heavily. The Rhode Island steamed slightly ahead and the vessels separated a short distance. At 11:30, my engines working slowly, and all the pumps in full play, but water gaining rapidly, sea very heavy and breaking entirely over the vessel, rendering it extremely hazardous to leave the turret; in fact, several men were supposed to have been washed overboard at this time. While waiting for the boats to return, the engineer reported that the engines had ceased to work, and shortly after all the pumps stopped; also, the water putting out the fires and leaving no pressure of steam. A bailing party had been previously organized, not so much with any hope of diminishing the water, but more as an occupation for the men. The engine being stopped, and no longer able to keep the vessel head to sea, she having fallen off into the trough and rolling so heavily as to render it impossible for boats to approach us, I ordered the anchor to be let go and all the chain given her, in hopes that it might bring her up. Fortunately it did so, and she once more swung round head to wind. By this time, finding the vessel filling rapidly and the deck on a level with the water, I ordered all the men left on board to leave the turret and endeavor to get into the two boats which were then approaching us. I think, at that time, there were about twenty-five or thirty men on board. The boats approached very cautiously, as the sea was breaking upon our now submerged deck with great violence, washing several men overboard, one of whom was afterwards picked up by the boats. I secured the painter of one of the boats (which by the use of its oars was prevented from striking the side) and made as many get into her as she would safely hold in the heavy sea that was running. There were several men still left upon and in the turret who, either stupefied by fear or fearful of being washed overboard in the attempt to reach the boats, would not come down and are supposed to have gone down in the vessel. Feeling that I had done everything in my power to save the vessel and crew, I jumped into the already deeply laden boat and left the Monitor, whose heavy, sluggish motion gave evidence that she could float but a short time longer. Shortly after we reached the Rhode Island she disappeared. I must testify to the untiring efforts and zeal displayed by Captain Trenchard and his officers in their attempts to rescue the crew of the Monitor. It was an extremely hazardous undertaking, rendered particularly so by the heavy sea and the difficulty in approaching the Monitor.
While regretting those that were lost, it is still a matter of congratulation that so many were saved under the circumstances. There is some reason to hope that a boat which is still missing may have succeeded in saving those left on board, or may have reached the vicinity of the vessel in time to have picked up some of them after she went down. Upon mustering the officers and crew on board the Rhode Island, four officers and twelve men were found to be missing, a list of whom I herewith enclose, as well as the report of Second Assistant Engineer Watters, acting chief engineer. I am firmly of the opinion that the Monitor must have sprung a leak somewhere in the forward part where the hull joins on to the armor, and that it was caused by the heavy shocks received as she came down upon the sea.
        The bilge pumps alone up to 7 p.m. had easily kept her free, and when we find that all her pumps a short time after, with a minimum capacity of 2,000 gallons per minute, not only failed to diminish the water, but on the contrary made no perceptible change in its gradual increase, we must come to the conclusion that there are at least good grounds for my opinion.
        Before closing my report I must testify to the coolness, prompt obedience, and absence of any approach to panic on the part of the officers, and with but few exceptions on that of the crew, many of whom were at sea for the first time and (it must be admitted) under circumstances that were well calculated to appall the boldest heart. I would beg leave to call the attention of the admiral and of the Department to the particularly good conduct of Lieutenant [S. D.] Greene and Acting Master L[ouis] N. Stodder, who remained with me until the last, and by their example and bearing did much toward inspiring confidence and obedience on the part of others. I must also mention favorably Acting Master's Mate Peter Williams, and Richard Anjier, quartermaster, who both showed on that occasion the highest qualities of men and seamen. The latter remained at his post at the wheel when the vessel was sinking, and when told by me to get into the boat replied, "No, sir; not till you go."
        The officers and crew have lost everything but the clothes they wore at the time they were rescued. There were no serious injuries received with the exception of Acting Assistant Surgeon G. M. Weeks, who jammed his hand so badly as to require a partial amputation of several of his fingers. Every attention and kindness has been shown to us by Captain Trenchard and his officers, to whom we all feel deeply grateful.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


At Sea, January 1, 1863.

Commander BANKHEAD,
U. S. S. Monitor.

        SIR: The following is a report of the condition of the engines and pumps connected with the engineers department of the U. S. ironclad steamer Monitor on the night of the 30th December, 1862: Between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. of that evening, I received orders from Captain Bankhead to examine and have ready for use all pumps connected with the engineer's department, an order which I promptly obeyed.
        I immediately went to the engine room and found the bilge pump connected with the main engine in good condition and working well, as it had been during the day. I had the discharge pipe of the centrifugal pump connected to its proper place and all ready for use, and before leaving the engine room I gave orders to Mr. Hands, the engineer then on duty, in case the water should increase to let me know, and at the same time to start the Worthington pump and use the bilge injection. I then left the engine room and reported to Captain Bank-head that all pumps were ready for use. In a few minutes I returned to the engine room again and found the water about 1 inch deep on the engine-room floor; the Worthington pump and bilge injection at that time were both in use. I remained in the engine room, and finding that the water did not decrease I had the centrifugal pump started; it worked well and constantly, but still the water increased. I reported to Captain Bankhead that I would have to reduce the speed of the main engines, in order to save steam for the use of the Worthington and centrifugal pumps. The ash pits at that time were more than half full of water, allowing but very little air to reach the fires; at the same time the blowers used for producing a current of air to the fires were throwing a great amount of water. The speed of the main engines was reduced, but still the pressure of steam decreased and the amount of water in the ship increased, until it reached the fires and gradually extinguished them. The pressure of steam in the boilers at that time was 5 pounds per square inch, and the main engines stopped, the Worthington and centrifugal pumps still working slowly, but finally stopped. I reported the circumstances to Captain Bankhead. A few minutes later I received an order to leave the engine room and proceed to get in the boats. It was then between the hours of 12 p.m. and 1 a.m., and the fires nearly extinguished.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours, etc.,
Second Assistant Engineer, U. S. S. Monitor.

[Enclosure 2.]

Hampton Roads, January 3, 1863.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Hampton Roads.

        SIR: I have the honor to report, in conformity with your orders of the 24th ultimo, the Rhode Island proceeded to sea with the ironclad steamer Monitor in tow at 2:30 p.m. of the 29th ultimo, the wind being light from the southward and westward, with a smooth sea.
        The weather continued favorable during the night, and the Monitor towed easily, speed ranging between 5 and 6 miles per hour.
        At 1 p.m. of the 30th made Cape Hatteras light-house, bearing W. S. W., 14 miles distant.
        The weather during the day continued the same. At sunset, when 17 miles S. E. of Cape Hatteras, made the steamer State of Georgia, with the Passaic in tow, to the northward and eastward of us, the wind being light at the time from southward and westward, with indications of good weather. Between 8 and 9 p.m. the wind freshened, hauling more to the southward, and attended with rainy and squally weather.
        At 9 p.m. the Monitor made signals to stop. We stopped the engines, starting them again soon after. During the interval the Monitor appeared to be lying in the trough of the sea, laboring heavily, the sea making a complete breach over her. The steamer was then brought head to wind and sea, under easy steam, and the Monitor rode much easier and made better weather.
        About two hours afterwards (11 p.m.), when about 20 miles S. S. W. of Cape Hatteras, Commander Bankhead made signals for assistance, and upon hailing we learned the Monitor was in a sinking condition. We lowered our launch and first cutter without delay, and commenced getting her crew on board. While so engaged the Monitor ranged upon our port quarter, staving in the launch, and to prevent a serious collision, by which the Rhode Island would have been badly injured, it was necessary to forge the steamer ahead a little. While under our quarter ropes were thrown on board the Monitor, but so reluctant did the crew appear to leave their vessel that they did not take advantage of this opportunity to save themselves.
        The vessels now being separated, a third boat was then lowered to assist the others in getting the crew on board.
        Acting Master's Mate Browne, the officer in charge of the first cutter, deserves special credit for the skillful manner in which he managed his boat, having made two trips to the Monitor and rescued a number of her men. Encouraged by the success attending them, Mr. Browne started on another trip, and soon after was hailed and directed to lie on his oars, or drop astern and be towed up, as the Rhode Island would steam for the Monitor, as soon as the men could be got on board from the boats alongside and the boats hoisted up. Mr. Browne, perhaps, not understanding the order, proceeded on in the direction of the Monitor, whose red light from her turret was still visible, but by the time the steamer was ready to turn her wheels, the light had unfortunately disappeared (1:30 a.m., 31st ultimo).
        The steamer proceeded slowly in the direction in which the Monitor bore when last seen, and endeavored to keep her position as near it as possible throughout the night, burning Coston's night signals at intervals.
        After daylight, not seeing anything of the missing boat, I decided to cruise between the position [where] she had separated from us and Cape Hatteras and the extremity of its shoals, with the hope of falling in with her. This plan was carried out, and the day (31st ultimo) was passed in this way, but I regret to say without success. It is possible, however, that the boat may have been picked up by one of the numerous vessels that were seen off the coast on that day. The boat was buoyant, had a good crew, and no doubt well managed, and I entertain hope that her daring crew have been saved by some passing vessel. Acting Ensign [Albert] Taylor, the officer who had charge of the launch, which had rendered good service, speaks in high praise of the gallant conduct of Acting Master's Mate Stevens, who, when the launch was manning, went quietly into the boat, took one of the oars, and, while alongside the Monitor, in striving to save others, was himself washed from the boat, but was rescued by the first cutter. Mr. Taylor also speaks in high terms of David T. Compton, cockswain of the launch, who, when the boat was stove and rendered unfit for service, rowlocks broken, declared he would not leave the boat, but would go to the Monitor, even if he had to scull the boat. I enclose herewith a list of the men in the missing boat belonging to the Rhode Island.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The following is a list of the men missing in the first cutter from the U. S. S. Rhode Island, Acting Master's Mate D. Rodney Browne, in charge.

[Enclosure 3.]

Hampton Roads, Virginia, January 3, 1863.

Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

        SIR: In answer to your enquiries as to the weather on our late passage to Beaufort, I have the honor to state that this ship left this port with the Passaic in tow at 2 p.m. on December 29. At 5 p.m. passed Cape Henry light and steered to the southward, wind light from the westward, and weather pleasant. On Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. the wind changed to the southward and westward, increasing in force and causing a rough sea. At 5:50 p.m. Cape Hatteras light was seen W. N. W. From meridian to 4 p.m. weather stormy; several vessels seen. The Cahawba, with ship conveying troops, and the Rhode Island, towing the Monitor, about 5 miles distant to the S. W. of us. From 8 to midnight heavy squalls of wind and rain. At 10:30 p.m. Passaic made signal to return, changed our course to the N. E. to pass Hatteras. December 31 commenced with strong breezes and heavy sea and dark, rainy weather. At 3:30 a.m. Passaic made signals "slowly sinking;" prepared boats to render her all assistance. At 5 wind changed to N. W., and the barometer, which had fallen to 29:30, began to rise. At 2 p.m. weather more moderate; Passaic signaled to proceed to Beaufort, N. C.; changed our course to the southward. Passed Cape Hatteras in the first watch, sounding frequently in 11, 13, and 9 fathoms of water. January 1 commenced with strong wind from the N. W., and overcast. At 10 a.m. spoke, off Cape Lookout Shoal, the U. S. S. Columbia, and learned from her that the Monitor had foundered on Tuesday night, with the loss of men, and that the Rhode Island had lost men in trying to rescue the Monitor's. At 4:30 p.m. anchored off Beaufort; the Passaic received a pilot and proceeded into port. I went in a boat, received a communication from Captain Drayton for you, and heard the news of the loss of the Monitor confirmed by Captain Drayton. I understood sixteen men of the Monitor and twelve from the Rhode Island were lost, as well as two officers, but did not learn whether belonging to the Monitor or Rhode Island. Pulled out to my ship, got underway at midnight of January 2, and returned to this port, arriving this morning.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commander, Commanding.


Abstract log of the U. S. S. Rhode Island.

        December 29, 1862.--At anchor off Fortress Monroe. From 4 to 8 a.m. received on board two boats from the U. S. S. Monitor. From 8 to meridian took a hawser to the Monitor. At 2:30 p.m. got underway and steamed down the harbor, Monitor in tow, in charge of John H. Bean, pilot. At 5:40 p.m. Cape Henry bore W., distance 4 miles.
        December 30.
--At 6:40 a.m. the Monitor made signal to stop. Stopped the engine for them to pass [sic] anew our hawser. Sounded in 20 fathoms. At 7:30 a.m. proceeded on our course. At 4:30 p.m. Cape Hatteras bore N. W. by W., distant 16 miles. Made a steamer with a ship in tow and the U. S. S. State of Georgia with the Passaic in tow on our port beam. At 8:45 p.m. Cape Hatteras light bore N. W., distant 20 miles. At 9 p.m. the Monitor made signal to stop. At 9:15 p.m. proceeded slow. At 11 p.m. she made signal of distress. Stopped and hailed her, and was informed that she was in a sinking condition. Called all hands and cleared away the boats. Lowered launch and first cutter. Launch was badly stove by being caught between the Monitor and Rhode Island, but succeeded in bringing off one load of men. Started with her the second time, but she became unmanageable, being half full of water, and was forced to return. The first cutter made two trips, bringing off about twenty more. The port hawser parted and the starboard was cut on board of the Monitor.
        December 31.
--Midnight to 4 a.m.: Lowered Scorpion, succeeded in getting the crew off except sixteen men and officers. Sent first cutter in charge of Mr. Browne for them. At 1:30 a.m. lost sight of the Monitor's light, we being unable to turn our wheels on account of the boats discharging the crew of the Monitor. Hoisted up Scorpion and launch and proceeded to windward in search of the first cutter and Monitor, but not finding them steamed to windward to hold our position until daylight. Burned Coston's signals every half hour. At 5 a.m. sounded with 30 fathoms of line, but got no bottom. At 6 a.m. sounded with 40, but got no bottom. At 7 a.m. in 35 fathoms water. From 8 to meridian: Steaming along the coast, looking out for our boat. At 8:30 a.m. sounded in 25 fathoms. At 9:45 a.m. mustered the crew saved from the Monitor, in all forty-seven men and officers. At 12 meridian made Ocracoke light-house bearing N. E. by N., distant 10 miles. Latitude, D. R., 34 56'; longitude, D. R., 76 05'. At 1 p.m. spoke the steamer Kennebec, with troops, from Hampton Roads; did not learn anything of our boat, At 1:15 p.m. Ocracoke lighthouse bore N. W. by W., distant 12 miles. At 2 p.m. signalized the U. S. S. Columbia and was boarded by the commander of her, who reported having experienced a heavy gale from S. W. At 3 p.m. proceeded on our course. Names of the first cutter's crew missing: Acting Master's Mate D. Rodney Browne; John Jones, Charles H. Smith; cockswain, Maurice Wagg, cockswain; Hugh Logan, captain afterguard; Lewis A. Horton, Luke M. Griswold, George Moore.
        January 2, 1863.
--At 10 a.m. came to anchor off Beaufort.

Date  Hour  Wind
 Force *


Dec 29   6 p.m.  S. by W.  1  b c  58  --  30.11
29  8 p.m.  S. by W.  2  b c  50  --  30.12
29  12 midnight  S.W. by S.  2  b c  53  --  30.11
30  4 a. m.  S.S.W  1  --  56  50  30.12
30  8 a.m.  S.S.W.  1  b c  57  52  --
30  12 m  S.W. by W.  1  b c  65  --  --
30  4 p.m.  S.W. by W.  2  --  68  69
30  8 p.m.  S.W. by S.  4  o  70  74  29.95
30  12 m  S.W. by S.  6  r q  --  --  29.90
31  4 a.m.  S.W.  7  --  --  29 40
31  8 a.m.  S.W.  7  o  64  68  29.92
31  12 m  N.N.W.  6  --  50  68  29.99
31  4 p.m.  N.N.W.  6  --  52 --  --      
31  8 p.m.  N.N.W.  5  b c  55  70  30.18
31  12 m  N.N.W.  --  --  --  --  30.20

*Beaufort numbers

Petition of the survivors of the original crew of the U. S. S. Monitor.

At Sea, January 3, 1863.

Secretary U. S. Navy.

        SIR: The petition of the undersigned respectfully represents that they are all who now remain of the original crew of the U. S. S. Monitor, and that they volunteered for service in her especially. We have performed our duties to the best of our abilities, and our devotion to our country and our noble ship will not be doubted. We feel that our officers will willingly accord to us no small degree of approval of our efforts to save her in the sad hour that compelled us to abandon her. In consideration whereof we humbly beg that we may be discharged from further service in the Navy of the United States, and be privileged to serve our country in whatever capacity may seem best. And your humble petitioners will ever pray, etc.
        Joseph Crown, gunner's mate; John Rooney, master-at-arms; Thomas Carroll, captain hold; Ellis Roberts, paymaster's steward; David Cuddeback, ship's cook; William Marion, quartermaster; Peter Truscott, quartermaster; Anthony Connelly, seaman; C. F. Sylvester, seaman; Mathew Leonard, first class fireman; John Gar[r]ety, first-class fireman; Geo. S. Geer, first-class fireman; Patrick Hannah, firstclass fireman; Christy Price, second-class fireman; Michael Mooney, second-class fireman; William Richardson, second class fireman; Abraham Tester, first-class fireman; Robert Quin, second-class fireman; Thomas Carroll, coal beaver; John Mason, coal hearer.

[First endorsement.]

Respectfully approved and forwarded.

[Second endorsement.]

Forwarded January 4, 1863.
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear Admiral, Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

[Third endorsement ]

Give them two weeks' leave, with 20 per cent of all they may have due them. At the expiration they may return to the receiving ships nearest their residence.



Report of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, regarding the U. S. S. Passaic.

Hampton Roads, Virginia, January 4, 1863.

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

        SIR: Under date of January 2, Captain Drayton, of the Passaic, writing from Beaufort, N. C., reports to me as follows:
        I find that there has been a good deal of injury done to the vessel and engine, and should think that ten days would be necessary to get things to rights again; but I will hurry as much as possible to do so. I will require the ballast to be replaced that I was obliged to throw overboard, before the vessel can be considered in fighting trim, and yet do not consider that she would be safe at sea with it in.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.



Hampton Roads, [January] 4--11:30 a.m.
(Received 12:15 p.m.)

Secretary of Navy.

        I request that the paymaster of the Brandywine may be authorized to pay the officers of the Monitor a month's pay, and that I be authorized to grant them permission to leave in the boat this evening. They are without clothes.

S. P. LEE,
Rear-Admiral, Commanding.



        Paymaster of the Brandywine is authorized to give one month's pay to officers of the Monitor, and you can give them leave at discretion.



Report of Acting Rear-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, of the rescue of a boat's crew from the U. S. S. Rhode Island.

Off Newport News, Va., January 21, 186[3].

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have received to-day by mail a communication from Captain Drayton, dated the 3d, from Beaufort, reporting that the Miami that morning had towed into Beaufort a leaky schooner which had picked up the lost boat of the Rhode Island. He informs me that no more of the Monitor's crew were picked up by her.

        Acting Lieutenant Townsend, under same date, from Beaufort, has reported to me that the schooner was the A. Colby, and that she had picked up the Rhode Island's boat about 50 miles to the eastward of Cape Hatteras, containing Acting Master's Mate D. R. Browne and seven men.
        Although bound to Fernandina with army stores, she at once stood in for Hatteras Inlet in order to land those she had rescued. In the performance of this humane duty the Colby unfortunately struck on the outer Diamond Shoal and when she reached the bar was leaking at the rate of 2,000 strokes per hour. The Miami at the time was lying in the inlet and sent out a steam tug with an officer to answer her signal of distress. As a return for his humanity, Acting Lieutenant Townsend towed her to Beaufort, where she could be repaired.
        Acting Lieutenant Townsend promised to send Mr. Browne's report as soon as he could obtain it.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Comdg. North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

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