Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/227

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197
First Congress.

Fort Donelson, until official reports could be received. I regret that the information now furnished is so defective. In the meantime, hopeful that satisfactory explanation may be made, I have directed, upon the exhibition of the case as presented by the two senior Generals,[1] that they should be relieved from command to await further orders whenever a reliable judgment can be rendered on the merits of the case.

Jefferson Davis.


To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.

I herewith transmit a letter[2] of the Secretary of the Navy, of this date, covering the official report of the naval engagement between the James River squadron and the enemy's fleet, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th instant.

The officers and men of our Navy, engaged in this brilliant affair, deserve well of their country, and are commended to the consideration of the Congress.

The disparity of the forces engaged did not justify the anticipation of so great a victory; and it is doubly gratifying that it has been won upon an element where we were supposed to be least able to compete with our enemy.

Special attention is called to the perfidious conduct of the enemy in hoisting on the frigate Congress a white flag, and renewing fire, from that vessel, under the impunity thus obtained.

Jefferson Davis.

March 11, 1862.


Richmond, March 11, 1862.

To the President.

Sir: I have the honor to lay before you the official report of the naval engagement between the James River squadron, under the command of Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan, and the enemy's fleet, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th instant.

Flag Officer Buchanan, in the immediate command of the steam sloop Virginia, was disabled near the close of the engagement by a painful though not dangerous wound, and the report is made by the Executive Officer, upon whom the command devolved, Lieutenant Jones.

The steam sloop Virginia, of ten guns, the Patrick Henry, Commander Tucker, of six guns, the Jamestown, Lieutenant Commanding Barney, of two guns, the Raleigh, Lieutenant Commanding Alexander, the Beaufort,


  1. Floyd and Pillow.
  2. See also page 210.