#7 Death at Sea Norfolk, Virginia March 8, 1862

Norfolk, Va. Mar. 8, 1862


The South scored a smashing sea-victory this morning, as a Confederate ship rammed into the side of the Federal's frigate, The Cumberland. For 45 minutes the sailors fought back at the attacking ship, although water was pouring onto the deck. The Southern destroyer showed no mercy in its determination to sink the Union boat. Before the boat disappeared beneath the sea, surviving sailors leaped into the icy water to stay alive. With the aid of small boats, many of the Federal seamen managed to reach the shore. Others couldn't reach the boats and struggled vainly to swim to safety. The defeat of The Cumberland dramatically revealed the true naval strength of the Confederate forces to the world.