Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Mar. 9, 1862: In day-two of the now-famous Battle of Hampton Roads (Virginia), the Confederate Navy’s ironclad warship, CSS Virginia (built from the remains of the previously scuttled frigate USS Merrimack) and her Union rival, the also-ironclad USS Monitor, begin exchanging shots in one of history’s first clashes of ironclads.

The battle ends in a draw with both vessels inflicting marginal damage on one another before breaking off the fight: Technically it is a tactical victory for Virginia because she has inflicted greater damage on the blockading ships than they on her (Virginia had attacked and destroyed the Union Navy’s wooden warships USS Congress and USS Cumberland the previous day before the arrival of the Monitor). But it may also be seen as a strategic victory for the Union because Virginia fails to break the blockade. The battle however will not be remembered for which side might have carried the day – though that is still being debated – but rather the lessons learned in this particular clash which greatly contributed to the ongoing revolution in Naval tactics and ship-design and construction."

And, contrary to popular belief, our old seadog-seebee pal Cookie wasn't onboard either vessel.

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