Tag Archives: CSS Virginia

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

Posted in Common Soldier, Navies, Regiments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Paradox of the Lost Cause: Part I

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome guest contributor Adam Burke… Tucked into the nook of a large brick building in historic Harpers Ferry is a conspicuous granite monolith. It stands along Potomac Street, a lesser traveled street one block … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Economics, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

The ECW Series Gets Naval: Prepare for the clash of the ironclads!

The clash of the Monitor vs. the Merrimack—the alliterative “M’s” made for a catchy hook for many of us as kids!—is one of the best-known stories of the Civil War: two iron sea beasts trading explosive blows, battling to a … 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

Posted in Battles, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

What’s In a (Confederate) Name?

Visitors to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis are engulfed in history. The magnificent grounds on the Severn River (known officially as “the yard”) abound in monuments, plaques, halls, and displays memorializing the nation’s naval heritage. Names of heroes … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments, Navies, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

The Emergency Ironclads

In late summer 1861, the United States Navy initiated a crash program to build their first ironclad warships, leading directly to the titanic clash between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) in Hampton Roads on March … Continue reading

Posted in Navies | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Ancient and Fearsome Weapon: The Ram

The ram—the main armament of sleek and swift Greek triremes powered by 180 rowers—turned back a Persian invasion at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC and launched Western Civilization. Rowing galleys ruled the Mediterranean for two more millennia, the … Continue reading

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Sink Before Surrender: The CSS Virginia Gets Underway

In the dawn of that fateful Saturday, March 8, 1862, the CSS Virginia lay alongside the Gosport Shipyard quay on the west bank of the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk, Virginia, and just upriver from Hampton Roads. The storm passed … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

ECW Weekender: View from the Ramparts – Fortress Monroe, Virginia

In the gathering dusk of Saturday, March 8, 1862, a young Union telegrapher, John Emmet O’Brien, stood on the ramparts of Fortress Monroe on Old Point Comfort dominating the entrance to Hampton Roads, Virginia. He looked to the right and … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, National Park Service, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Around We Go: In the Monitor Turret

Lieutenant Samuel D. Greene, USN, had a problem. He was encased within a dim, claustrophobic, metal drum—20 feet in diameter—behind eight layers of bolted and riveted 1-inch-thick iron plates in charge of two immense 11-inch Dahlgren shell guns, each 13 … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Artillery, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments