Battle of Monitor & Merrimac

March, 1862

8 A very pleasant day. Did some washing. At about three o'clock the reg't started for Newport News, arriving there about dark. The iron clad steamer Merrimac had come down from Norfolk, sunk the sloop of war Cumberland, fired a number of shots at the Congress. She surrendered and at night was set on fire. Both vessels were lying at Newport News. We stacked our arms and slept in the open air. About midnight the magazine on the Congress blew up with a terrific noise. Company D of the New York 99th was assigned duty on the Congress. Casualties for Company D included 6 killed, 5 wounded, and 10 missing or captured.

9 A lovely day today. (Sunday) This forenoon witnessed the naval battle between the rebel steamer Merrimac and the U. S. iron clad steamer Monitor and Minnesota. After 4 hours fighting the rebels retreated. In the afternoon we the 20th N. Y. and other marched out to meet a land force, but they did not come. Slept outdoors tonight. Eugene Goodwin was a witness to one of the most famous sea battles in history. On March 8, the wooden warships were helpless against the ironclad Merrimac. On March 9, the Monitor arrived. The battle between the ironclads was a stalemate and the Merrimac finally withdrew to Norfolk. The Merrimac was re-christened as the Virginia by the Confederates; however it is most commonly referred to as the Merrimac or Merrimack. Goodwin was interviewed for a newspaper article in 1906 and gives a much more detailed account of the battle.

10 A pleasant day but did nothing. The men fixed up little shanties.

11 A pleasant day. The Colonel put me in charge of a house and two men as a guard.

12 Another pleasant day. In the same place. Nothing new. About 200 men lost on our ships. The capt. and some 15 men were killed on board the Merrimac.

13 Quite a pleasant day. Things the same.

14 A little stormy today.

15 Another stormy day.

16 Pleasant today. Came back to Camp Hamilton. Was glad enough to get back.

17 Another lovely day. Had nothing to do. Everything is quiet.

18 Another fine day. Drilled from 6 to 7 and 10 to 12 A. M. Had a battallion drill from 3 to 5 P.M. We need it bad enough.