NEW YORK HERALD: May 12, 1862: Norfolk is Ours. May 13, 1862: The Capture of Norfolk.
General Wool, having completed the landing of his forces at Willoughby Point about nine oclock this morning, commenced his march on Norfolk with 5,000 men.
About five miles from the landing place a rebel battery was found on the opposite side of the bridge over Tanners creek, and, after a few discharges upon two companies of infantry that were in the advance, the rebels burned the bridge.
At five oclock in the afternoon our forces were within a short distance of Norfolk, and were met by a delegation of citizens.
The city and Navy Yard were not burned. The fires which have been seen for some hours proved woods on fire.
Commander Rogers expedition was heard from this afternoon, ascending the James river.
Our troops crossed to the Virginia shore during Friday night, while the Rip Raps shelled the rebel works at Sewalls Point.
A landing was effected at Willoughby Point at a spot selected the previous day by President Lincoln himself, who was among the first who stepped ashore.
At last advices General Max Weber was within three miles of Norfolk.
The Merrimac was blown up by the rebels at two minutes before five oclock this morning. She was set fire to about three oclock.
The explosion took place at the time stated. It is stated to have been a grand sight by those who saw it.
The Monitor, E. A. Stevens (Naugatuck) and the gunboats have gone up towards Norfolk.
The Merrimac, after she came out as far into Hampton Roads as the prudence of her traitor officers would permit, looked at the Monitor as a lion watches its prey, and then steamed back to the north end of Craney Island, where she is now keeping watch and ward over Norfolk and its vicinity.
At twenty-seven minutes past eleven oclock the Monitor fired a second shot at the rebel battery. The report of the gun was like a clap of thunder, and the explosion of the missile in the enemys ranks must have occasioned some mischief. At half-past eleven oclock the Merrimac was observed under way again down the river, but after moving a short distance brought up again suddenly on a sandbar, where she remained until four P. M.
Her side swung around, by the action of the tide, so as to present a broadside to the face of the channel. Her armor was covered with a thick coat of grease and black lead, which, as the sun reflected on it, gave it a brilliant glassy appearance. The Monitor continued to steam about the Roads, between this point and Newports News, exhibiting her sailing qualities with much satisfaction. At five P. M. she returned to her anchorage.
Old Point this evening presents a most stirring spectacle. About a dozen steam transports are loading troops. They will land on the shore opposite the Rip Raps, and march direct on Norfolk.
At the time I commence writing (nine P. M.), the moon shines so brightly that I am sitting in the open air, in an elevated position, writing by moonlight. The transports are gathering in the stream. They have on board artillery, cavalry, infantry, and will soon be prepared to start.
The Rip Raps are pouring shot and shell into Sewalls Point, and a bright light in the direction of Norfolk leads to the supposition that the work of destruction has commenced.
President Lincoln, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, is superintending the expedition himself. About six oclock he went across to the place selected for the landing, which is about a mile below the Rip Raps. It is said he was the first to step on shore, and, after examining for himself the facilities for landing, returned to the Point, where he was received with enthusiastic cheering by the troops who were embarking.
It is evident that the finale of the rebellion, as far as Norfolk is concerned, is rapidly approaching. The general expectation is that the troops now embarking will have possession of the city before to-morrow night.
The expedition has not yet started, the delay being caused by the time required for staking the horses and cannon on the Adelaide. The batteries at the Rip Raps have stopped throwing shells, and all is quiet. The scene in the roads, of the transports steaming about, is most beautiful, presenting a panoramic view seldom witnessed.
The vessels have not yet sailed. The Merrimac exhibits a bright light. It is said the Seminole will go up the James river in the course of the night.
The troops left during the night, and at daylight could be seen landing at Willoughby Point, a short distance from the Rip Raps.
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