ENGAGEMENT BETWEEN THE "CUMBERLAND" AND "MERRIMACK"
By Rear Admiral Charles O'Neil, U. S. Navy, Retired
The eighth of March, 1862, was a calm and beautiful day of early spring at Newport News, Virginia. It was Saturday and the frigate Congress and the Cumberland were lazily riding at anchor to the end of the flood tide at the mouth of the James River. There was a light breeze from the N.N.W., and nothing occurred to disturb the serenity of the forenoon. Commander Radford of the Cumberland was absent from the ship, being a member of a court of inquiry in session at Hampton Roads.