This morning, as the President had determined to return to Washn.
at 7 I rose at 6, and just before 7 went into the parlor where I found Flag-officer Goldsborough who astonished and gratified us all by telling
us that the rebels had set fire to the "Merrimac" and had blown her up.
It was then determined that, before leaving, we would go up in the Baltimore, which was to convey us to Washington, to the point where the
suicide had been performed, and above the obstructions in the channel
if possible, so as to be sure of the access to Norfolk by water,--which
had been intercepted 21
by the exploded ship. This was done, but the
voyage was longer than we anticipated, taking us up to the wharves of Norfolk, where in the Elizabeth River were already lying the "Monitor",
the "Stevens", the "Susquehanna" and one or two other vessels.
Gen. Wool and Flag-officer Goldsborough had come up with us on the
"Baltimore", and as soon as they were transferred to the "Susquehanna"
our prow was turned down stream, and touching for a moment at the
Fortress, we kept on our way towards Washington, where we hope to be
at breakfast tomorrow.So has ended a brilliant week's campaign of the President; for I think
it quite certain that, if he 22
had not come down, Norfolk would still have
been in possession of the enemy, and the "Merrimac" as grim and defiant and as much a terror as ever. The whole coast is now virtually ours.
There is no port which the "Monitor" and "Stevens" cannot take.It was sad and pleasant to see the Union flag once more waving over Norfolk and the shipping in the harbor, and to think of the destruction
accomplished there a little more than a year ago.I went to Norfolk last night by land with the Army; this morning by
water with the Navy. My campaign, too, is over. Good bye, darling.Your very loving father 23
S P CHASESend these letters to sister.This letter was written, more illegibly even than common on the Baltimore yesterday. We arrived this morning, and, as it would not delay
your receipt of it I got Mr. Plants24
to copy it. The Chart is missing--but
a map will answer. Our landing was at the head of Willoughby bay 25
To Miss Nettie Chase.
|The body of this letter is in the handwriting of Homer Plantz, who in his capacity
as a Treasury clerk acted as Chase's secretary. Transcribed here is the letter actually received by Chase's daughter. Two other versions exist: Chase's original draft ( Chase
Papers, Hist. Soc. of Pa.) and a copy made by Plantz in Chase's journal ( Chase Papers, 1:340-44). Since the version in Chase's journal is available in an earlier volume of this
edition, the editors have not footnoted differences between it and the letter received by Janet Chase. Nor do we mention differences between the letter received by Janet and her
father's draft if the draft and the journal version agree at that spot. We have ignored
minor variations between the manuscripts in punctuation, capitalization, word order,|