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Richmond Ironclads at Trent's Reach
Detail from Library of Congress photo: LC-DIG-cwpb-01911

The USS Onondaga

Before daylight, Gen. Grant located the Onondaga about four miles from the battle. Furious, he assumed command of all U.S. warships in the area and ordered them to the front, upriver from City Pointthen sent an apology to the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
   Meanwhile, after four hours of poundingat roughly 10:45 a.m.the Confederate ironclads were working free on a rising tide when the Onondaga appeared. Although the Confederates were escaping, the Onondagas seized the chance to redeem their honor. They fired 21 times before the ironclads disappeared, shattering the rear of the Virginia II and punching a 5-square-foot hole through her armor, killing one man, J.A. Keenan.
   Keenan and the four men with the Scorpion were the only Confederate fatalities despite countless bullets, shot and shells fired ("810 balls and slugs" were collected from the deck of the CSS Hampton). The Confederates had 14 wounded: two Scorpions; the Hampton's pilot; and eleven on the Virginia II. The U.S. had three killed and about 45 wounded, primarily gunners at Fort Brady, in the Devil's Elbow.
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