"I Fired The First Gun And Thus Commenced The Great Battle”


Our pilot house is nearly completed. We have now solid oak extending from 3 inches below the eye holes in the pilot house to 5 feet out on the deck. This makes an angle of 24 degrees from the horizontal. This is to be covered with 3 inches of iron. It looks exactly like a Pyramid. We will now be invulnerable at every point.

The deepest indentation on our sides [from the impact of Merrirnac’s shot] is 4 inches. Tower 2 inches and deck ½ inch. We were not at all damaged except the pilot house. No one was affected in the tower by the concussion either by our own guns or the shots of the enemy.

This is a pretty long letter for me for you will recollect my writing abilities. With much love to you all
I remain
Your affect son & brother
(sgd) Dana