There was a scramble for the spar-deck and a rush overboard. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-the-Monitor-and-Merrimack, United States History - Battle Between the Monitor and the Merrimac, Social Studies for Kids - The Monitor and the Merrimack, The Civil War - Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac. This first meeting of two ironclad warships in battle forever changed naval architecture, battle tactics, and the very psychology of the men who served within them. The vessel was shaken in every fiber," was engineer Ramsay's description of that moment. To counter this blockade, the Confederate Navy at Norfolk began converting the old USS Merrimack into an ironclad, the CSS Virginia. The Battle of Hampton Roads was fought March 8-9, 1862, and was part of the American Civil War (1861-1865). She was under the command of Lieutenant John L. Worden. The importance of the area, where the James, Nansemond and Elizabeth Rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, was instantly realized by both warring parties. They must look after their own wounded, since they won't let us." Since the CSS Virginia already totally disabled the USS Cumberla… With the tide gone out and the Minnesota once more out of reach, Lieutenant Jones decided to take the Virginia back home for repairs and to resupply. Saturday, March 8, 1862 was laundry day for the crews of the Union’s North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in Hampton Roads, Virginia. . Despite Hampton’s move to the Big South Conference, the Pirates and Spartans met in the “Battle of the Bay” rivalry game for the 24th straight … At the point where the circle impinged upon the Merrimac our guns should be fired, and loaded while we were moving around the circuit. The USS Monitor contained more than 40 new inventions when it was launched. The United States Navy and navies in Europe abandoned the building of wooden ships and began building ironclads, ushering in a new era of iron warships. "Here, in the dread tribunal of last resort, valor contended against valor. The wreck of the Monitor was located in 1973, and in 2002 marine salvagers raised the ship’s gun turret and other artifacts from the wreckage. The ten original essays, written by leading historians, explore every aspect of the battle—from the building of the warships and life aboard these “iron coffins” to tactics, strategy, and the debates about who really won the battle of Hampton Roads. ", About Me - Contact Me - Privacy Policy - Disclaimer, Copyright ©2012-2016 AmericanCivilWarStory.com. Evidently the Merrimac would return the compliment every time.". Minnesota to run aground. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The engines labored. Commander Wordon (on the Monitor) described his tactics thus: "I had decided how I would fight her in advance. In the first battle of ironclad warships, the Confederate Virginia (the rechristened frigate Merrimack, said to resemble “a floating barn roof”) clashed with the smaller Union Monitor. The cemetery’s first burials took place in 1862 and the cemetery is among numerous national cemeteries with origins that date to … Duel of Iron details the battle of Hampton Roads fought on March 8 th and 9 th, 1862. It was a battle fought on water by ironclad ships of war. The status of the United States Navy in January 1861 was woeful. For two hours the cannonade continued without perceptible damage to either of the combatants.". They were racing to beat the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia to the Roads. The Battle of Hampton Roads March 8-9, 1862. After exchanging cannon fire for a time, the Congress surrendered. Here's the long and short of it: The South had recently taken over a valuable Union shipyard. On March 8, 1862 the CSS Virginia was commandeered by Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan to take on the USS Cumberland off the coast of Newport News, Virginia. The blockade prevented all commerce with Norfolk and Richmond, … The Northern-built Merrimack, a conventional steam frigate, had been salvaged by the Confederates from the Norfolk navy yard and rechristened the Virginia. An extensive collection of Abraham Lincoln pictures. Check out my new book of American Civil War Stories! When the Union Navy learned of this project (by way of some spies) they began work on their own ironclad as quickly as possible. The USS Monitor only rose 18 inches above the water. It was a terrible year in American history, and the following battles are just a few of the major events of the American Civil War in 1862. -Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephan Mallory, to President Jefferson Davis. Library of Congress. However, the battle was fought between two famous ironclad ships called the Monitor and the Merrimack. Lt. John Worden commandeered the USS Monitor to deflect any offensive the Merrimack, now renamed CSS Virginia, directed toward them. Virginia fought to a draw off Hampton Roads, Virginia. The victory claims that were made by each side in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Hampton Roads, based as both were on misinterpretations of the opponent's behavior, have been dismissed by present-day historians. At this point, Buchanan was wounded in the groin, and the Virginia retired for the day. The Battle of Hampton Roads March 8-9, 1862. The Confederates began to ferry prisoners and wounded off of the Congress, but Union shore batteries began firing on the Virginia. Virginia fought to a draw off Hampton Roads, Virginia. Shiloh Winner. Here's what to drink. Effects Battle of Hampton Roads The first battle to rule wooden boats obsolete, new era for naval warfare. Battle of Hampton Roads. One of the most famous naval battles of the conflict, the engagement is noteworthy as it marked the first time two armored, ironclad warships met in combat. Monitor. This effectively left the Confederate capital at Richmond and the main Confederate Navy yard at Norfolk without ocean access. However, the Admiral intended to inflict some real damage, and set about doing so immediately. Most historians call it the Battle of Hampton Roads because it took place in a body of water called Hampton Roads in Virginia. Though the battle between Monitor and the Merrimac had little effect on the outcome of the war, the power and hardiness they displayed at Hampton Roads changed the way ships were built. The Union ironclad Monitor, under the command of Lieutenant John Worden, arrived the same night. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Ironclads battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia . The winner of the middle school division was Hampton Roads Academy and Warwick River Christian School came in second. Shortly after Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the Union Navy placed a blockade on Hampton Roads (the area where the James River flows into the Atlantic Ocean). Fact #2: The Confederacy had great difficulty in sourcing the iron plating needed for the Virginia. The ship sheered into shallow water, and the Virginia, concluding that the enemy was disabled, turned again to attack the Minnesota. On May 9, 1862, following the Confederate evacuation of Norfolk, the Virginia was destroyed by its crew. The Battle of Hampton Roads weekend will include family-friendly activities, lectures, tours, hands-on activities, canon firings and re-enactors 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The USS Monitor was one of the first ironclads built for the Union Navy. Here brave men struggled and died for the right as God gave them to see the right. On March 9, 1862, one of the most famous naval battles in American history occurred as two ironclads, the U.S.S.Monitor and the C.S.S. The after pivot-gun broke loose and rushed down the decline like a furious animal, rolling over a man as it bounded overboard, leaving a mass of mangled flesh on deck.". Shortly after Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the Union Navy placed a blockade on Hampton Roads (the area where the James River flows into the Atlantic Ocean). The Union side wanted the encounter to take place in the open sea. Check out my book for even more amazing Civil War Stories! Hampton Roads Winner. When Greene finally got things under control and had his ship headed back for more, the Confederate ship was already heading home. Water battle with first two iron ships (ironclads) fighting each other. . After asking for the surrender of the USS Cumberland, and being denied, he headed the Virginia straight at her, and rammed her... "There was an ominous pause, then a crash, shaking us all off our feet. With her upper hull cut away and armoured with iron, this 263-foot (80.2-metre) masterpiece of improvisation resembled, according to one contemporary source, “a floating barn roof.” Commanded by Commodore Franklin Buchanan and supported by several other Confederate vessels, the Virginia virtually decimated a Union fleet of wooden warships off Newport News, Virginia, on March 8, destroying the sloop Cumberland and the 50-gun frigate Congress while the frigate Minnesota ran aground. To counter this blockade, the Confederate Navy at Norfolk began converting the old USS Merrimack into an ironclad, the CSS Virginia. His brother was un-wounded and swam safely to shore, but this story serves as just one stark reminder, among many, of how truly terrible this war was. The American Battlefield Trust's Battle of Hampton Roads page includes battle maps, history articles, historical facts, recommended books, web links, and more on this 1862 battle of Civil War ironclads in Virginia. The battle was inconclusive, but Union forces later took control of Hampton Roads, Norfolk, and the lower James River, though they were thwarted from venturing further upstream by a strong Confederate battery at Drewry's Bluff. Despite Hampton’s move to the Big South Conference, the Pirates and Spartans met in the “Battle of the Bay” rivalry game for the 24th straight … The Virginia, on the other hand, tried unsuccessfully to lure the Monitor into another battle in Hampton Roads harbour. This 172-foot “Yankee Cheese Box on a raft,” with its water-level decks and armoured revolving gun turret, represented an entirely new concept of naval design. The Monitor made directly for the Virginia in an effort to put some distance between the coming battle and the vulnerable Minnesota. The scene that greeted her crew that evening was horrifying. Our new line of American civil war themed t-shirts. However, the battle was fought between two famous ironclad ships called the Monitor and the Merrimack. At about 12:30 pm the Virginia headed for its navy yard; the battle was over. The Virginia’s spectacular success on March 8 had not only marked an end to the day of wooden navies but had also thrilled the South and raised the false hope that the Union blockade might be broken. Hampton Roads General (North) U.S.S. When this happened, the Monitor immediately sheared away from the battle as the crew moved the injured Commander away from the pilot house. First major battle of war. Battle of Hampton Roads. Updates? The battle was a draw - but it showed that battleships would have to be metal from now on. Engineer Ramsay (on the Virginia) described the battle as follows: "And now the great fight was on, a fight the like of which the world had never seen... We hovered about each other in spirals, gradually contracting the circuits until we were within point-blank range, but our shell glanced from the Monitor's turret just as hers did from our sloping sides. As the combat between ironclads was the primary significance of the battle, the general verdict is that the overall result was a draw.All would acknowledge that the Southern fleet inflicted far more dama… "Resolved . Hampton National Cemetery. Check out our new line of Civil War Themed T-Shirts! Monitor positioned herself to protect the immobile Minnesota, and a general battle began. As it were… Soon after 8:00 am the Virginia opened fire on the Minnesota, and the Monitor appeared. Her crew never had a chance to take her for a test run to get used to the new ship, because they had to set off immediately to defend the blockade at Hampton Roads. Years of bureaucratic ineptitude and red tape left the Navy in poor condition. The account of the Battle of Hampton Roads described in the reports favoring prize money left no room for doubt as to the differences between Federal and Confederate forces and who was right and who was wrong. The Monitor—with 16 crewmen—was lost during a gale off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, on December 31, 1862. The Battle of Hampton Roads was a naval battle of the American Civil War.It was fought on March 8 and 9, 1862 near Hampton Roads, Virginia.It was an important battle because it was the first combat between ironclad warships.. Hampton Roads Significance. They passed back and forth on opposite courses. In retaliation, Admiral Buchanan gave this order, "Plug hot shot into her and don't leave her until she's afire. This book takes a new look at this historic battle. As a result, the battle is sometimes called the Battle of the Ironclads or the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack. The Virginia was completed on March 7, 1862, at Norfolk naval yard and set sail immediately for Hampton Roads. The fleet consisted of 90 warships; of these, 48 ships were out of commission, and the rest, or in reality the ones able to make steam or sail, were showing the flag in foreign seas. Library of Congress. It took place from April 6 to April 7, 1862 in southwestern Tennessee. Seven Days’ Battles (June 25–July 1, 1862), series of American Civil War battles in which a Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee drove back General George B. McClellan’s Union forces and thwarted the Northern attempt to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. The Battle of Hampton Roads Hampton Roads was a peaceful waterway cross-roads prior to the start of the Civil War. While she rested at anchor that evening, the USS Monitor slipped into harbor unnoticed and anchored beside the grounded USS Minnesota. Manning them were about 9,000 officers and men, which were trained in the art of defending a harbor or ship-to-ship fights at sea, but not for the war that was just weeks away. Duel of Iron details the battle of Hampton Roads fought on March 8 th and 9 th, 1862. This quote illustrates the old Civil War "brother against brother" cliche, since Buchanan knew his brother was serving as paymaster aboard the Congress at the time. Union General George B. McClellan’s steady advance up the James Peninsula threatened the Confederate capital of Richmond, and … That the thanks of Congress and the American people are due and are hereby tendered to Lieutenant J. L. Worden, of the United States Navy, and to the officers and men of the ironclad gunboat Monitor, under his command, for the skill and gallantry exhibited by them in the remarkable battle between the Monitor and the rebel ironclad steamer Merrimack.". The USS Monitor was commissioned in New York Harbor on February 25, 1862. Cumberland and the U.S.S. The Battle of Hampton Roads, also referred to as the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads, was a naval battle during the American Civil War. Inside Business and Cherry Bekaert LLP are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Roaring 20 awards program, honoring 20 of Hampton Roads' most dynamic businesses! The Battle of Hampton Roads was short and contrary to its name, not on any road at all. Thus, the stage was set for the dramatic naval battle of March 9, with crowds of Union and Confederate supporters watching from the decks of nearby vessels and the shores on either side. 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