The day was the Virginia's but it was not without loss.
Part of her ram was wrenched off and left imbedded in the side of the stricken Cumberland, and Buchanan received a wound in the thigh which necessitated his turning over command to Lt. Catesby ap R, Jones.
Secretary of the Navy Mallory wrote President Davis of the action: "The conduct of the Officers and men of the squadron ... reflects unfading honor upon themselves and 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."
This great victory, coming on the heals of the disasters of the last six weeks both on the Atlantic and especially in the west, couldn't have come at a better time.
Quite An Impressive First Day. --Old B-R'er