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

The Onondaga Waits It Out

Ignoring the U.S. fire, the Confederates steamed toward the obstructions and City Point. Meanwhile, the Onondaga sat off Aiken’s Landing, about three miles below the obstructions. She carried the biggest guns on the James, two 8-inch rifles and two 15-inch smoothbore cannon, but she was alone. There were no other U.S. Navy heavyweights within 85 miles.
   The Onondaga's watch logged the gunfire in the Devil's Elbow. At 10:30 p.m., a signal reported the Confederates at the obstructions. Yet the lone ironcladthe final defense of two U.S. armiesstayed back of the front, while her crew manned their stations and listened to the thumps in the night.
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