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Up until that point, all naval battles had been waged between wooden ships. This was the first battle in maritime history that two ironclad ships waged war. To prevent the Confederate Navy from using the ship against them, the Union Navy scuttled her. The Confederates, however, raised the ship from the shallow floor of the harbor and began making some major modifications.
Confederate engineers cut the hull down to the water line and built a slanted top. From there, they bolted four layers of iron sheets, each two inches thick, to the entire structure.
Also added was a huge battering ram to the bow of the ship to be used in ramming maneuvers. The ship was then fitted with ten twelve-pound cannons. There were four guns each placed on the starboard and port sides, and one each on the bow and stern sides.
Due to its massive size and weight the ship's draft was enormous.
It stretched twenty-two feet to the bottom. The ship was so slow and long, that it required a turning radius of about one mile.
Likened to a "floating barn roof" Williamsit was not expected to stay afloat. The only individual willing to take command of the ship was Captain Franklin Buchanan. The ship was considered small for a warship, only feet long and 42 feet wide Williams.
The ship baffled Confederate sailors. One was quoted describing her as "a craft such as the eyes of a seaman never looked upon before, an immense shingle floating on the water with a giant cheese box rising from its center" Johnson.
The "cheese box" was a nine by twenty foot revolving turret with two massive guns inside. These Dahlgran guns were massive rifled cannons that were capable of firing a variety of shot.
The armor of this ship was a two-inch thick layer of steel that shielded the ship. The deck was so low to the water line about 18 inches that waves frequently washed over the deck causing the ship to lose its balance in the water.
Due to the low profile, the entire crew was located below the water line. As a result, one armor-piercing hit could kill the entire crew. There were a total of five ships engaged in the battle.
Captain Buchanan then set his sights on the already handicapped USS Minnesota, which had already been run aground.After multiple attempts at damaging the USS Minnesota and Monitor, the CSS Virginia retires to the Elizabeth River as the tide will not allow the huge ironclad to strike again.
March 10 The CSS Virginia is placed in a dry dock for repairs. USS Merrimack, also improperly Merrimac, was a frigate, best known as the hull upon which the ironclad warship CSS Virginia was constructed during the American Civil lausannecongress2018.com CSS Virginia then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (also known as "the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack") in the first engagement between ironclad lausannecongress2018.com: ft (84 m).
The March 9, , battle between the Monitor and the Merrimack (CSS Virginia) during the American Civil War () was history’s first duel between ironclad warships. CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship built by the Confederate States Navy during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and engines of the scuttled steam frigate USS Merrimack.
Battle of Mobile Bay: A summary of the Battle of Mobile Bay from August 5 to 23, The role of Battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac (Virginia) in the history of the United States of America.