on to the accomplishment of his object, forgetful of self, while his very lifeblood was fast ebbing away. His last breath cheered his comrades to victory. The last sound he heard was their shout of triumph. His last thought was his country's, and long and deeply will his country mourn his loss.
April 8, 1862.
Executive Department, April 10, 1862.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Confederate States.
I herewith transmit to Congress a communication from the Secretary of the Navy, covering a "detailed report of Flag Officer Buchanan, of the brilliant triumph of his squadron over the vastly superior forces of the enemy, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th and 9th of March last."
Confederate States of America, Navy Department,
Richmond, April 7, 1862.
To the President.
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith copy of the detailed report of Flag Officer Buchanan, of the brilliant triumph of his squadron over the vastly superior forces of the enemy, in Hampton Roads, on the 8th and 9th of March last, a brief report, by Lieut. Jones, of the battle of the 8th, having been previously made.
The conduct of the officers and men of the squadron, in this contest, reflects unfading honor upon themselves and upon the navy. The report will be read with deep interest, and its details will not fail to rouse the ardor and nerve the arms of our gallant seamen.
It will be remembered that the Virginia was a novelty, in naval architecture, wholly unlike any ship that ever floated; that her heaviest guns were equal novelties in ordnance; that her motive power and obedience to her helm were untried, and her officers and crew strangers, comparatively, to the ship and to each other; and yet, under all these disadvantages, the dashing courage and consummate professional ability of Flag Officer Buchanan and his associates achieved the most remarkable victory which naval annals record.
When the Flag Officer was disabled, the command of the Virginia devolved upon her Executive and Ordnance Officer, Lieut. Catesby Ap R. Jones, and the cool and masterly manner in which he fought the ship in her encounter with the ironclad Monitor justified the high estimate which the country places upon his professional merit.
- See also message of March 11, 1862, page 197.