FEBRUARY 17TH, 1862: The ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) commissioned. Captain Franklin Buchanan commanding.
** Flag Officer Foote informed Secretary of Navy Welles: "I leave immediately with the view of proceeding to Clarksville with eight mortar boats and two ironclad boats, with the Conestoga, wooden boat, as the river is rapidly falling.
"The other ironclad boats are badly cut up and require extensive repairs. I have sent one of the boats already since my return and ordered a second to follow me, which, with eight mortars, hope to carry Clarksville."