Battle of Hampton Roads

  • Also Known As: Monitor vs Virginia (Merrimack)

Battle of the Ironclads

On March 8, 1862, from her berth at Norfolk, the Confederate ironclad Virginia steamed into Hampton Roads where she sank Cumberland and ran Congress aground. On March 9, the Union ironclad Monitor having fortuitously arrived to do battle, initiated the first engagement of ironclads in history. The two ships fought each other to a standstill, but Virginia retired. - NPS

Principal Commanders: Lt John Worden [US]; Capt Franklin Buchanan and Lt. Catesby R Jones [CS]

Forces Engaged: 4 warships [US]; 1 warship [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 433 total (US 409; CS 24)



Locations
Participants
Associated Works

Timeline

Y/M/D Description Place
1861/04/17 1861 Virginia Convention passes the Ordinance of Secession by a vote of 88 to 55, 32 NO votes are by trans-Allegheny (future West Virginia) delegates Virginia State Capitol, Richmond
1861/04/20 Cmdre MCCAULEY, solitary and alone, without officers (except Lt Semmes), gives the orders to scuttle 9 ships, spike 3000 guns and to destroy Gosport Navy Yard. USS Merrimack is burned to the waterline and scuttled. Drydock No 1, Portsmouth
1861/04/20 USS Pawnee arrives at Gosport Navy Yard on the night of April 20th, unsuccessful in destroying the Naval stores and the dry dock, she tows the frigate USS CUMBERLAND to safety while Union forces retreat to Ft Monroe. Drydock No 1, Portsmouth
1861/04/20 Quarters A, B and C survive the burning of Gosport Navy Yard during the Union's evacuation to Fort Monroe. Quarters A, B and C, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth
1861/04/30 With Forts Monroe and Wool controlling of the entrance to Hampton Roads, Union naval forces blockade Confederate ports to Norfolk and Richmond. Fort Monroe, Hampton
1861/04/30 With Forts Monroe and Wool controlling of the entrance to Hampton Roads, Union naval forces blockade Confederate ports to Norfolk and Richmond. Fort Wool, Hampton
1861/05/30 Confederates raise the Merrimack and tow it to Gosport's graving dock, (today's Drydock No 1). Designed by Naval Constructor and Portsmouth native, John L Porter, she is converted into the ironclad CSS Virginia. Drydock No 1, Portsmouth
1862/02/21 Captain George Minor, the chief of the Bureau of Ordinance and Hydrography, commissions 3000 tons of pig iron from Catawba to be used by the navy. The high grade iron was used to convert the warship Merrimack into the ironclad Virginian. Catawba Furnace, Troutville
1862/03/00 Rev John Wingfield blesses the crew of the CSS Virginia. Fr Wingfield also blessed the ship before it went to the first battle of ironclads. Trinity Episcopal Church, Portsmouth
1862/03/06 Union gunboats Currituck and Sachem escort the USS MONITOR as it is towed by the ocean-going tug Seth Low from the East River, bound for Fort Monroe, Virginia under the command of Lt John L Worden. Greenpoint Historic District, New York City
1862/03/08 Confederate ironclad, CSS VIRGINIA attacks the Union blockade squadron at Hampton Roads. In 4 hours, she forces the steam frigate Minnesota aground, rams and sinks the sailing sloop USS CUMBERLAND and sets the sailing frigate USS CONGRESS a blaze. Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park, Hampton
1862/03/08 USS MONITOR sails past Cape Charles and enters Chesapeake Bay. Cape Charles, Virginia
1862/03/08 At 9 pm, the MONITOR enters Hampton Roads under a night sky illuminated by fire where she lays up near the stricken USS MINNESOTA. Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park, Hampton
1862/03/09 As the CSS VIRGINIA returns with four other Confederate vessels to sink the USS MINNESOTA, the USS MONITOR appears and engages battle for the next 5 hours. USS MONITOR,
1862/03/09 As the CSS VIRGINIA returns with four other Confederate vessels to sink the USS MINNESOTA, the USS MONITOR appears and engages battle for the next 5 hours. Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park, Hampton
1862/05/08 CSS VIRGINIA challenges the CSS VIRGINIA for the 3rd and final time.
1862/05/10 Retreating Confederates burn Gosport Navy Yard while the US Navy retakes control. Drydock No 1, Portsmouth
1862/05/10 Retreating Confederates burn Gosport Navy Yard while the US Navy retakes control. Quarters A, B and C, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth

Data »

Data
Boat Feature: Ironclad


Shop Amazon
Google Ad

Google Ad