At ten minutes before ten, on the morning of the 30th of January, 1862, an iron floating battery, designed for the Government of the United States by John Ericsson, and named, at his suggestion, the Monitor, was launched at Green Point, Long Island, and at three p.m., on the 25th of February, formally taken possession of by the Navy Department, and put in commission at the Navy Yard, New York.
On Thursday, the 6th of March, this novel float, concerning whose fate many gloomy predictions had been hazarded, left the Lower Bay in tow of the steamer Seth Low, and, with a fair wind and smooth sea, steered for Hampton Roads. . . .
Through the providence of God, her officers and men were saved from shipwreck; and well might the lovers of freedom, everywhere on the habitable globe, rejoice at their salvation. The Genius of the Republic had a great work for them to perform on the morrow, for which the severe trial to brain and nerve to which they had been subjected on their adventurous passage was doubtless designed as a grim preparation.