Tag Archives: Battle of Hampton Roads

Blockade, Privateering, and the 1856 Declaration of Paris

In April 1861, the commanders in chief of both the United States and Confederacy issued far ranging proclamations. Abraham Lincoln declared a blockade of Confederate ports while Jefferson Davis issued a call for privateers to make war on US seaborne … Continue reading

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The Wet March: USS Monitor Almost Sinks

If by “on the march,” we mean the exercise of rapidly shifting a combat unit from behind the lines to where the action is while overcoming formidable obstacles of terrain and weather, then the U.S. Navy had its own wet … Continue reading

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The Most Frightened Man and the Ironclads

One hundred and sixty years ago yesterday, March 8, 1862, a frustrated commander in chief convened another council of war to prod Major General George B. McClellan into action. McClellan proposed to transport the Army of the Potomac down the … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

160 Years: “Unlike Anything That Ever Floated” In Hampton Roads

It was morning, Sunday, March 9, 1862. As executive officer and second in command of the revolutionary ironclad, USS Monitor, Greene supervised the weapons in the turret while his captain, Lieutenant John L. Worden, commanded the vessel from the little … Continue reading

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The First Draft of Naval History: USS Minnesota’s Deck Log and the Battle of Hampton Roads

In naval circles, the deck log is sacred. It is a ship’s official record, documenting location, weather, personnel and supply transfers, and changes in course and speed. Anything significant, important, or novel is recorded in a ship’s log and signed … Continue reading

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Under Fire — Feeling Something Warm: A Gunner on USS Congress in the Battle of Hampton Roads

The fearsome Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack, aka Merrimac) materialized in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that calm and clear Saturday morning, March 8, 1862. “The ‘Merrimac’ was steaming slowly towards us,” recalled Seaman Frederick H. Curtis of the wooden … Continue reading

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Recruiting the Crew: Iron Men for Iron Ships

Both Civil War navies faced severe recruiting shortages in that first war year and indeed throughout the conflict. The U. S. Navy expanded tenfold, competing for enlistees not only against the army but also alongside the burgeoning, more lucrative, and … Continue reading

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ECW Podcast: “Unlike Anything That Ever Floated”

Check out the newest episode in the ECW Podcast! Dwight Hughes shares about the Battle of Hampton Roads, the development and technology of the ironclads, and his new book in the ECW Series. Listen for free through this Patreon Link: … Continue reading

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First Battle of Ironclads: Myths, Facts, What Ifs

Today is the 159th anniversary of the battle and my new Emerging Civil War Series book, Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862 is just hitting the shelves. Time for … Continue reading

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Loss of the USS Monitor

It was on this date, December 31, 1862, at 1:30 a.m.—in the earliest hours of New Year’s Eve—that the USS Monitor went down in rough seas off Cape Hatteras. Sixteen men aboard lost their lives. Forty-seven men, including Captain John … Continue reading

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