Whatever rumors President Lincoln had received about the Confederates abandoning Norfolk were now confirmed; a tug deserted from Norfolk and brought news that the evacuation was well underway and that the CSS Virginia and her accompanying small gunboats planned to proceed up the James River or York River.
It was planned that when the Virginia came out, as she had on the 7th, the Union fleet would retire with the USS Monitor in the rear hoping to draw the powerful but under-engined warship into deep water where she might be rammed by high speed steamers.
The bombardment showed that the defenses at Sewell's Point were reduced, but still powerful.
The Virginia came out, but not far enough to be rammed.
--More to Come. --Old B-Runner