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Encyclopedia > CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia
Career Confederate Naval Jack 1861 – 1863 Confederate Navy Jack
Ordered: 1861
Laid down: 1862 (overlay USS Merrimack)
Launched: March 8, 1862
Commissioned: 1862
Status: scuttled by crew, May 11, 1862
General Characteristics
Displacement: approx. 3200 tons (the data differ, 800 tons is unlikely)
Length: 275 ft (84 m)
Beam: 38.6 ft (11.8 m)
Draft: 22 ft (6.7 m)
Speed: 9 knots (17 km/h)
Complement: 320 officers and men
Armament: two 7 in (178 mm) rifles
two 6 in (152 mm) rifles
six 9 in (229 mm) Dahlgren smoothbores
two 12-pounder (5 kg) howitzers
Armor: Iron

CSS Virginia was an ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War (built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack). Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Jack_of_the_CSA_Navy_1861_1863. ... Image File history File links Conf_Navy_Jack_(light_blue). ... 1861 (MDCCCLXI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link with display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar) // January 1 - Benito Juárez captures Mexico City January 2 - Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia dies and is succeeded by... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... USS Merrimack was a screw frigate of the United States Navy, best known as the hulk upon which CSS Virginia was built during the American Civil War and then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack). Merrimack was launched... March 8 is the 67th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (68th in leap years). ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point, or a point alongside the ship at the mid-point of its length. ... The draft of a ships hull is the vertical distance from the bottom of the hull to the waterline. ... Several people and places are named Dahlgren. ... Ironclad warships, frequently shortened to just ironclads, were wooden ships or ships of composite construction (wooden planking on iron frames) armored with thick iron plates. ... Navy Department Seal The Confederate States Navy (CSN) was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861 responsible for Confederate naval operations during the American Civil War. ... This article is becoming very long. ... German battlecruiser Derfflinger scuttled at Scapa Flow. ... USS Merrimack was a screw frigate of the United States Navy, best known as the hulk upon which CSS Virginia was built during the American Civil War and then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack). Merrimack was launched...


She was one of the participants in the Battle of Hampton Roads in March, 1862 opposite the USS Monitor. The battle is chiefly significant in naval history as the first battle between two ironclads. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John L. Worden Franklin Buchanan Catesby R. Jones Strength 1 ironclad, 3 wooden warships 1 ironclad, 2 wooden warships, 1 gunboat, 2 tenders Casualties 2 wooden warships sunk, 1 wooden warship damaged 261 killed 108 wounded 1 ironclad damaged 7... USS Monitor was an ironclad warship (the first ever) of the United States Navy. ...


Ironclads were only a recent innovation, started with the 1859 French La Gloire. Afterwards, the design of ships and the nature of naval warfare changed dramatically. The French Navys La Gloire (Glory) was the first ocean-going ironclad battleship in history. ...

Contents

USS Merrimack becomes CSS Virginia

When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, one of the important federal military bases threatened was Gosport Shipyard (now Norfolk Naval Shipyard) in Portsmouth, Virginia. Accordingly, the order was sent to destroy the base rather than allow it to fall into Confederate hands. Unfortunately for the Union, these orders were bungled. The steam frigate USS Merrimack sank before she completely burned. When the Confederates entered the yard, they raised Merrimack and decided to use the engines and hull to build an ironclad ram. Official language(s) English Capital Richmond Largest city Virginia Beach Area  Ranked 35th  - Total 42,793 sq mi (110,862 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 430 miles (690 km)  - % water 7. ... Aerial View of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navys ships. ... Map Political Statistics Founded 1752 County Independent city Mayor Dr. James W. Holley III Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 120. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem God Save the South (unofficial) Dixie (traditional) The Bonnie Blue Flag (popular) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Government Republic President... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... For the bird, see Frigatebird. ... USS Merrimack was a screw frigate of the United States Navy, best known as the hulk upon which CSS Virginia was built during the American Civil War and then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack). Merrimack was launched... Ironclad warships, frequently shortened to just ironclads, were wooden ships or ships of composite construction (wooden planking on iron frames) armored with thick iron plates. ...

Cut away view showing the 4 inches of iron armor and 24 inches of .
Cut away view showing the 4 inches of iron armor and 24 inches of .

Rebuilt under the supervision of Captain French Forrest, the new ship was named Virginia. She had four inch (102 mm)-thick iron deck with sloped sides, and casement and ten guns, one in the bow, one astern, four on each beam. Further, Virginia’s designers had heard of plans by the North to build an ironclad. Figuring her guns would be unable to harm such a ship, they equipped her with a ram—the first ship so-equipped in over a thousand years[1]. Merrimack's engines, now part of Virginia, had not been in good working order, and the salty Elizabeth River water and addition of tons of iron did not improve the situation. Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File linksMetadata No higher resolution available. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... The beam is a nautical term which refers to the point that is at the widest part of the ship. ... The Elizabeth River is a short tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. ...

Battle of Hampton Roads

Drawing depicting the Battle of Hampton Roads
Drawing depicting the Battle of Hampton Roads

The Battle of Hampton Roads began on March 8, 1862 when Virginia sortied. Despite an all-out effort to complete her, the ship still had workmen on board when she sailed. Supported by Raleigh and Beaufort, and accompanied by Patrick Henry, Jamestown, and Teaser, Virginia took on the blockading fleet. Resize of CSS Virginia picture from http://www. ... Resize of CSS Virginia picture from http://www. ... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John L. Worden Franklin Buchanan Catesby R. Jones Strength 1 ironclad, 3 wooden warships 1 ironclad, 2 wooden warships, 1 gunboat, 2 tenders Casualties 2 wooden warships sunk, 1 wooden warship damaged 261 killed 108 wounded 1 ironclad damaged 7... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders John L. Worden Franklin Buchanan Catesby R. Jones Strength 1 ironclad, 3 wooden warships 1 ironclad, 2 wooden warships, 1 gunboat, 2 tenders Casualties 2 wooden warships sunk, 1 wooden warship damaged 261 killed 108 wounded 1 ironclad damaged 7... March 8 is the 67th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (68th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... For other ships named Raleigh, see CSS Raleigh CSS Raleigh was originally a small, iron-hulled, propeller-driven towing steamer operating on the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. ... CSS Beaufort, an armed tugboat, was built at Wilmington, Delaware in 1854 as Caledonia. ... CSS Patrick Henry was built in New York City in 1853 by the renowned William H. Webb for the Old Dominion Steam Ship Line as the civilian steamer Yorktown, a brigantine-rigged side-wheel steamer. ... CSS Jamestown, originally a passenger steamer, was built at New York City in 1853, and seized at Richmond, Virginia in 1861 for the Commonwealth of Virginia Navy. ... For other ships named Teaser, see USS Teaser CSS Teaser had been the aging Georgetown, D.C. tugboat York River until the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, when she was taken into the Confederate States Navy. ...


The first ship engaged, USS Cumberland, was sunk after being rammed. However, in sinking, Cumberland broke off Virginia's ram. Seeing what happened to Cumberland, the captain of USS Congress ordered his ship grounded in shallow water. Congress and Virginia traded fire for an hour, after which the badly-damaged Congress surrendered. While the surviving crewmen of Congress were being ferried off the ship, a Union battery on the north shore opened fire on Virginia. In retaliation, the captain of Virginia ordered Congress fired upon with red-hot shot, to set her ablaze. The first USS Cumberland was a 50-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy. ... The fourth USS Congress of the United States Navy was a sailing frigate like her predecessor, surviving into the American Civil War, where she was destroyed by the ironclad CSS Virginia. ...


Virginia did not emerge from the battle unscathed. Shot from Cumberland, Congress, and Union troops had riddled her smokestack, reducing her already low speed. Two of her guns were out of order, and a number of armor plates had been loosened. Even so, her captain attacked USS Minnesota, which had run aground on a sandbank trying to escape Virginia. However, because of her deep draft, Virginia was unable to do significant damage. It being late in the day, Virginia left with the expectation of returning the next day and completing the destruction of the Union blockaders. USS Minnesota, a sailing/steam frigate, was launched in 1855 at the Washington Navy Yard and commissioned eighteen months later. ...


Later that night, USS Monitor arrived at Union-held Fort Monroe, rushed to Hampton Roads in hopes of protecting the Union force and preventing Virginia from threatening Union cities. USS Monitor was an ironclad warship (the first ever) of the United States Navy. ... Satellite Photo of Fort Monroe Fort Monroe, Virginia (also known as Fortress Monroe) is a military installation located at Old Point Comfort on the tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads on the Chesapeake Bay in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... This view from space in July 1996 shows portions of each of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads which generally surround the harbor area of Hampton Roads, which framed by the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel visible to the east (right), the Virginia Peninsula subregion to the north (top), and the...


The next day, on March 9, 1862, the world's first battle between ironclads took place. The smaller, nimbler Monitor was able to outmaneuver Virginia, but neither ship proved able to do significant damage, despite numerous hits. Monitor was much closer to the water, and so much harder to hit by the Virginia's guns, but vulnerable to ramming and boarding. Finally, Monitor retreated leaving Virginia in possession of the "battlefield."[citation needed] This was due to the fact that the captain of the Monitor was hit by gunpowder in his eyes while looking through the pilothouse's peepholes, which caused Monitor to haul off, but soon returned and the captain of Virginia, Catesby ap Roger Jones, thought it best to do the same and tend to any damages, it has been marked in history that the Virginia retreated, but the battle was a draw. The Union blockade remained. March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (69th in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Catesby ap Roger Jones (April 15, 1821 - June 20, 1877) was an officer in the U.S. Navy who became a commander in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War. ...


During the next two months, Virginia made several sorties to Hampton Roads hoping to draw Monitor into battle. Monitor, however, was under orders not to engage. Neither ironclad was ever to fight again.


Finally on May 10, 1862, advancing Union troops occupied Norfolk. Virginia was unable to retreat further up the James River due to her deep draft, nor was she seaworthy enough to enter the ocean. Without a home port, Virginia was ordered blown up to keep her from being captured. This task fell to ap Roger Jones, the last man to leave CSS Virginia after all of her guns had been safely removed and carried to Drewy's Bluff to fight again. Early on the morning of May 11, 1862, off Craney Island, fire reached her magazine and she was destroyed by a great explosion. May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (131st in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Motto: Crescas (Latin for, Thou shalt grow. ... May 11 is the 131st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (132nd in leap years). ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Craney Island is a point of land in the independent city of Portsmouth in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia in the United States. ...

Destruction of "Merrimack", by Currier and Ives
Destruction of "Merrimack", by Currier and Ives

Image File history File links Destruction_of_Merrimac,_May_11,_1862. ... Image File history File links Destruction_of_Merrimac,_May_11,_1862. ... Charles R. Parsons: Central-Park, Winter: The Skating Pond Published by Currier & Ives, 1862 Museum of the City of New York, Harry T. Peters Collection Currier and Ives was a firm headed by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895). ...

Historical names: Merrimack, Virginia, Merrimac

The name of the warship which served the Confederacy in the famous Battle of Hampton Roads has become a source of confusion, which continues to the present day.


When she was first commissioned into the United States Navy in 1856, her name was Merrimack, with the K. The name derived from the Merrimack River near where she was built. She was the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the Merrimack River, which is formed by the junction of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee Rivers at Franklin, New Hampshire. The Merrimack flows south across New Hampshire, and then eastward across northeastern Massachusetts before emptying in the Atlantic at Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Merrimack River, formed by the confluence of the Pemigewasset River (left) and Winnipesaukee River (right) is shown on a map of the northeastern United States The Merrimack River (or Merrimac River, an earlier spelling that is sometimes still used) is a 110-mile-long (177-kilometer-long) river in... The Pemigewasset River is a river in the State of New Hampshire, USA. It is approximately 70 miles or 113 kilometers in length. ... Winnipesaukee River in 1907, Franklin, New Hampshire The Winnipesaukee River is a 10. ... Franklin is a city located in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, at the merging of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee Rivers to form the Merrimack River. ... Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,359 sq mi (24,239 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 3. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... “Atlantic” redirects here. ... Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, 38 miles (61 km) northeast of Boston. ...


The Confederacy bestowed the name Virginia on her when she was raised, restored, and outfitted as an ironclad warship, but the Union preferred to call the Confederate ironclad warship by its earlier name, "Merrimack".


Perhaps because the Union won the Civil War, the history of the United States generally records the Union version. In the aftermath of the battle, the names Virginia and Merrimack were used equally by both sides, as attested by the newspapers and correspondence of the day. Some Navy reports and pre-1900 historians misspelled the name as "Merrimac," which is actually an unrelated ship.[2] Hence "the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack". Both spellings are still in use in the Hampton Roads area. “American history” redirects here. ...


Memorial, heritage

The name of the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, built in Hampton Roads in the general vicinity of the famous engagement, with both Virginia and federal funds, also reflects the more recent version. The Jamestown Exposition was one of the many worlds fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States early part of the 20th century. ... Hampton Roads, Virginia 1858 Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. ... Montgomery County is a county located in the U.S. state — officially, Commonwealth — of Virginia. ... Merrimac is a census-designated place located in Montgomery County, Virginia. ... Aerial View of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navys ships. ... Map Political Statistics Founded 1752 County Independent city Mayor Dr. James W. Holley III Geographic Statistics Area  - Total  - Land  - Water 120. ... The Mariners Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia. ... Location in the State of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent city Incorporated 1896 Government  - Mayor Joe Frank Area  - City  119. ... White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, built in 1818, photo circa 1939. ... Nickname: Motto: Sic Itur Ad Astra (Thus do we reach the stars) Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia Coordinates: Country United States State Virginia County Independent City Government  - Mayor L. Douglas Wilder (I) Area  - City 62. ... A stocked ships anchor. ... Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (MMMBT) is the 4. ...


Should periodic modern efforts to recover more of the Confederate vessel from the depths of Hampton Roads prove successful, it is unclear what name will be applied to the remains. This view from space in July 1996 shows portions of each of the Seven Cities of Hampton Roads which generally surround the harbor area of Hampton Roads, which framed by the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel visible to the east (right), the Virginia Peninsula subregion to the north (top), and the...


See also

Aerial View of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navys ships. ... USS Merrimack was a screw frigate of the United States Navy, best known as the hulk upon which CSS Virginia was built during the American Civil War and then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack). Merrimack was launched...

Notes

  1. ^ deKay, James, "Monitor", p. 131, Ballantine Books, 1997
  2. ^ http://www.americancivilwar.com/monitor.html

References

Military Heritage did a feature on the Merrimack (CSS Virginia), USS Monitor, and the Battle at Hampton Roads (Keith Milton, Military Heritage, December 2001, Volume 3, No. 3, pp.38 to 45 and p. 97). Military Heritage is a glossy, bi-monthly history magazine published by Sovereign Media. ...


External links


Ironclads of the Confederate States Navy
Albemarle | Arkansas | Baltic | Chicora | Charleston | Columbia | Fredericksburg | Georgia | Louisiana | Manassas | Mississippi | Muscogee | Nashville | Neuse | North Carolina | Palmetto State | Raleigh | Richmond | Savannah | Stonewall | Tennessee I | Tennessee II | Texas | Virginia | Virginia II

List of ships of the Confederate States Navy

  Results from FactBites:
 
CSS Virginia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1179 words)
CSS Virginia was an ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War (built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack).
Virginia was unable to retreat further up the James River due to her deep draft, nor was she seaworthy enough to enter the ocean.
Some of the iron mined at Merrimac, Virginia and used in the plating on the confederate ironclad is displayed at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Confederate States Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (400 words)
She was among the few submarines of the war, and of the few submarines to have existed since the Turtle of the American Revolutionary War.
The CSS Shenandoah fired the last shot of the American Civil War in late June 1865, and finally surrendered in early November 1865.
There was however a CSS United States, the name of the USS United States in 1861–1862, when she was used by the CSN.
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