On March 9, 1862, during the American Civil War, came the first battle of iron clad ships, the CSS Virginia (USS Marrimac) vs. USS Monitor. Here’s a great summary from American Civil War:
At dawn the CSS Virginia prepared for renewed combat. The previous day, she had utterly defeated two big Federal warships, USS Congress and USS Cumberland , destroying both and killing more than 240 of their crewmen. Today, March 9, she expected to inflict a similar fate on the grounded steam frigate Minnesota and other enemy ships, probably freeing the lower Chesapeake Bay region of Union seapower and the land forces it supported. Virginia would thus contribute importantly to the Confederacy’s military, and perhaps diplomatic, fortunes.However, as they surveyed the opposite side of Hampton Roads, where the Minnesota and other potential victims awaited their fate, the Confederates realized that things were not going to be so simple. There, looking small and low near the lofty frigate, was a vessel that could only be USS Monitor , the Union Navy’s own ironclad, which had arrived the previous evening after a perilous voyage from New York. Though her crew was exhausted and their ship untested, the Monitor was also preparing for action.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, author/editor of over 100 books/ebooks on integrating technology in the classroom, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, an ISTE article reviewer, a monthly contributor to Today’s Author and mother of a Naval Officer and an Army grunt.