Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The Battle Of The Ironclads
Planning to break up the Union blockade, on March 8th 1862 the Confederate ironclad ram the CSS Virginia [also known as the CSS Merrimack] with several other vessels in support, attacked a number of wooden-hulled ships belonging to the Union Navy. The Virginia destroyed two ships and was about to attack the USS Minnesota which had run aground. The attack was called off by darkness and the falling tide. The crew of the Virginia took the time to repair some minimal damage and care for wounded, including her captain Franklin Buchanan.
Planning to resume it's attack on the USS Minnesota, acting captain Roger Jones didn’t know that the ironclad the USS Monitor had arrived in the early morning hours of March 9th 1862. The captain of the Monitor, Lieutenant John Worden, took up a defensive position and intercepted the CSS Monitor as she approached the USS Minnesota. The two ironclads battled for three hours, without either ship causing much damage to the other. When the fighting ended the CSS Virginia returned to her home berth at the Gosport Navy Yard, and the USS Monitor returned to defending the Minnesota.