The Civil War Connections Blog

Monitor Log: 4 May 1862

Boatloads of visitors swarmed the Monitor on this day 150 years ago. Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Gustavus Vasa Fox was aboard with several ladies, as well as the French Minister Mercier and Gideon Welles’ brother. Boat after boat of visiting Army officers came alongside throughout the day – leaving the officers and crew of the Monitor little time to attend to their duties.

When the Merrimac appeared in the afternoon, however, the command was given to beat to quarters.  The Monitor Boys went to their stations, while the visitors fled like “frightened chickens.” One female visitor nearly fainted upon hearing that the Confederate vessel had been sighted.

Remarks Sunday May 4th /62


From Midnight to 4 A.M.

Moderate breeze from N.E. & clear pleasant weather           

William Flye



From 4 to 8 AM

Wind & weather same, heard heavy firing towards Yorktown between 4 & 5         

E.V. Gager



From 8 to Meridian

Light breeze from N.E. & cloudy                                                      

Louis Stodder



From Meridian to 4 P.M.

pleasant weather wind light from N.E. the Merrimac came

down & lay off Craney Island                                                                                                           

Geo. Frederickson



From 4 to 6 P.M

Light wind from S. E. & cloudy weather                               

William Flye



From 6 to 8 P.M

Wind & weather same something unusual in sight  4 Picket boats out                                                         

E.V. Gager



From 8 to Midnight

Light airs from southward & heavy, signal lights at Craney Island                                                   

Louis Stodder