During an engagement with the disguised Confederate commerce raider, CSS Alabama, she was taken by surprise and was sunk off the coast of Galveston, Texas. He counted the lifeboats scattered around him, and the crewmen. The mermen seemed not to notice the rising tide. When she was first commissioned into the United States Navy in 1856, her name was Merrimack, with the K; the name was derived from the Merrimack River near where she was built. “Damned if they weren’t abaft the port beam, Daniel, just like you said.”. During the American Civil War, the Union and Confederate navies each lost many ships at Hampton Roads. After the crew was evacuated, the ship was set afire, detonating the 16,000 pounds of black powder in the ship's magazine. In early 1860, the ship was decommissioned for extensive repairs at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Several other guns, relics of the Civil War and earlier conflicts, are beyond. . Footsteps outside the door, striking the deck together, like men marching. For centuries men believed Africans were the beasts of burden, but now nature showed them their error. The Captain frowned. Weight: 1.0 lbs: Dimensions: 12 x 24 x 3 in: Reviews. 1 p. Date approximated. 2:00 AM The Virginia steams across the mouth of the Elizabeth River from Sewell’s Point to Craney Island and is grounded. Crewmen were lined up along the port side, pointing. Raise it up? Would they shrivel up if kept out of the water too long—would it be necessary, perhaps, to wet them from time to time? But something had happened. The merman fell backwards, thrown as if by a catapult, and hit the water with a splash like a cannonball. Williamson scrambled up to the sunlit weather deck. At the very least, he owed it to his sundered nation to find out. He threw one to the deck and smashed it. The 9-inch Dahlgrens were mounted three to a side; each weighed approximately 9,200 pounds (4,200 kg) and could fire a 72.5-pound (32.9 kg) shell up to a range of 3,357 yards (3,070 m) (or 1.9 miles) at an elevation of 15°. Unfortunately for the Union, the execution of these orders was bungled on April 20. He saw America, and Confederate America, as they were now; he saw the guns and the burning ships; and he saw ironclads, new Monitors with double turrets, and the Southern rams. The Monitor’s steam engine and turret are being carefully cleaned and restored. Even so it did not lose its grace, but twisted around in time to plunge in feet-first. For the third time since hauling bottles and books and violin onto his two masted-schooner and setting out, he took a deep breath and reminded himself: this is an opportunity. They did this in days and all underwater? The casemate was 6-inch iron plate and her armament in 1865 consisted of six guns (Fig. CSS Virginia's wreck was largely removed between 1866 and 1876. On the afternoon of 17 April, the day Virginia seceded, Engineer in Chief B. F. Isherwood managed to get the frigate's engines lit. How far was Williamson seeing? If he only had time to boil up the specific fumes and breathe them in . A merman, then another, swept in with the torrent. Their skin, oyster-white, reminded him of sperm whales—did layers of blubber warm them as well?—and hair black as the depths, streaming over their shoulders or down their backs. On 20 April, before evacuating the Navy Yard, the U. S. Navy burned Merrimack to the waterline and sank her to preclude capture. Williamson almost, not quite, coughed. His eyes stung, watered, but he couldn’t do much about that. The Merrimack served in the Caribbean and was the flagship of the Pacific fleet in the late 1850s. Placed in commission as CSS Virginia in mid-February 1862, the ship's iron armor made her virtually invulnerable to contemporary gunfire. Two of the rifles, the bow and stern pivot guns, were 7-inch (178 mm) caliber and weighed 14,500 pounds (6,600 kg) each. Williamson spoke another phrase and they went rigid. “I know why, sir. On August 13, the Virginia II participated in the attack on the Union forces at Dutch Gap. Since Virginia was now a steam-powered heavy battery and no longer an ocean-going cruiser, her pilots judged her not seaworthy enough to enter the Atlantic, even if she were able to pass the Union blockade. To this he added another few shreds from a wool undershirt worn by (so his widow had said) Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan, the Virginia’s commander. Digital reproduction of blueprint drawing. On May 11, 1862, the Virginia ran aground near Craney Island. . Then he opened the stove door and blew on the coals. There were four gun ports on each broadside; their protective iron shutters remained uninstalled during both days of the Battle of Hampton Roads. While the surviving crewmen of Congress were being ferried off the ship, a Union battery on the north shore opened fire on Virginia. Daniel reached down the ladder and gave the Captain a hand up. Whalers from New Bedford and Nantucket had tried to capture them, but they were not so huge or ignorant as those great beasts; they darted away, nimble as dolphins, before anyone could even lower a boat. Why do it at all? The liquid bubbled, boiled, vaporized into fumes that drifted in the cabin, sharp with alcohol and certain additional elements. 32°46′47″N 79°45′35″W  /  32.77972°N 79.75972°W  / 32.77972; -79.75972  ( Mar Sixteen of her 62-member crew were either lost overboard or went down with the ironclad, while many others were saved by lifeboats sent from Rhode Island. [4] Merrimack's steam engines, now part of Virginia, were in poor working order; they had been slated for replacement when the decision was made to abandon the Norfolk naval yard. The CSS Virginia was an ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy. “No. Discovering. When the Commonwealth of Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, one of the important federal military bases threatened was Gosport Navy Yard (now Norfolk Naval Shipyard) in Portsmouth, Virginia. It was decided to equip their ironclad with a ram, an anachronism on a 19th century warship. Virginia did not emerge from the battle unscathed, however. The Captain, violin in his lap, was calculating how long the journey would take if he manipulated the western Atlantic winds to gust full force into his sails, how much liquor he would have to boil and pipe up topside in order to do this, and if what remained Buchanan’s undershirt would suffice to lead him to the wreck’s exact location. She carried ten guns, a seven-inch pivot-mounted rifle at each end and a battery of two six-inch rifles and six nine-inch smooth bores. Accordingly, orders were sent to destroy the base rather than allow it to fall into Confederate hands. The slave sat with his usual stillness, undisturbed by the pitching of the vessel, hands in his lap. They re-armed her with ten guns, a seven-inch pivot-mounted rifle at each end, a battery of two six-inch rifles and six nine-inch smoothbores, and an iron ram fixed to her bow. Both spellings are still in use in the Hampton Roads area. But Daniel saw things. The hull's burned timbers were cut down past the vessel's original waterline, leaving just enough clearance to accommodate her large, twin-bladed screw propeller. The captain of the Monitor, Lieutenant John L. Worden, had taken a direct gunpowder explosion to his face and eyes, blinding him, while looking through the pilothouse's narrow, horizontal viewing slits. In the following month, the crew of Virginia were unsuccessful in their attempts to break the Union blockade. Both gunboats saw a puff of smoke, followed by the boom of one of Virginia’s cannons. Two more intruders sprang over the sides. This page features all our relatively accurate views of the Confederate Navy ironclad ram Virginia , ex-USS Merrimack , and provides links to other views of the ship and her actions. CSS Virginia's wreck was largely removed between 1866 and 1876. A new fantail and armored casemate were built atop a new main deck, and a v-shaped breakwater (bulwark) was added to her bow, which attached to the armored casemate. How hardy? The CSS Virginia: once the fifty-eight-gun frigate Merrimack, burned and scuttled in a panic by the Federals at Norfolk Navy Yard when Virginia seceded. Artillery…. . The smaller, nimbler, and faster Monitor was able to outmaneuver the larger, slower Virginia, but neither ship proved able to do any severe damage to the other, despite numerous shell hits by both combatants, many fired at virtually point-blank range. Daniel, as he nearly always did, paused before answering, as if to let the question sink into his mind where the answer would formulate itself and rise to his consciousness. As the Virginia fired its cannons at the USS Congress, the Union ship fired a … Could this be America’s salvation? No one followed. 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. The next day, on March 9, 1862, the world's first battle between ironclads took place. On May 10, 1862, advancing Union troops occupied Norfolk. However, because of the ironclad's 22-foot (6.7 m) draft (fully loaded), she was unable to get close enough to do any significant damage. No, not like Daniel’s…how far ahead could they see? Damn it all to hell. The Navy raised her, restored her, built a casemate angled at forty-five degrees to deflect enemy fire. Despite an all-out effort to complete her, the new ironclad still had workmen on board when she sailed into Hampton Roads with her flotilla of five CSN support ships: Raleigh (serving as Virginia's tender) and Beaufort, Patrick Henry, Jamestown, and Teaser. air-breathing. The Merrimack flows south across New Hampshire, then eastward across northeastern Massachusetts before finally emptying in the Atlantic at Newburyport, Massachusetts. Many of the artifacts are on display at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, only a few miles from where the Monitor fought an epic duel in March 1862 with its archenemy, a Confederate ironclad named the CSS Virginia. . Williamson measured an amount of whiskey into one of the beakers. To prevent running aground, Lieutenant Jones reluctantly moved the ironclad back toward port. Another newcomer, then another, rode the white torrent in. never seen that many before in one place . T.J. Stiles, "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt" (2009). . Congress, now set ablaze by the retaliatory shelling, burned for many hours into the night, a symbol of Confederate naval power and a costly wake-up call for the all-wood Union blockading squadron. They had long studied the land-bound warriors from afar, and laid their plans: the rivers that snaked through the South, the cities built on their banks. Documents show that salvage companies later removed two boilers and parts of the wooden hull. Blue-green water burst through the starboard bulkhead, salty drops spattering Williamson’s face. The salty Elizabeth River water and the addition of tons of iron armor and pig iron ballast, added to the hull's unused spaces for needed stability after her initial refloat, and to submerge her unarmored lower eves, only added to her engines' propulsion issues. Another explosion of water aft. Something like wisps of steam curled up from the stained deck and shattered glass. Josiah . The detailed design work would be completed by Porter, who was a trained naval constructor. And new vessels after those, larger, sleeker, diving under the ocean like the whales. The remains of the USS Monitor lie in two different locations. The Virginia's first target was the USS Cumberland. The other bottle he uncorked. The Copernicus did not list or tilt. On March 8, 1862, the Virginia sailed into the harbor and engaged the Union fleet inflicting major damage before retiring for the day. The CSS Virginia was the first ironclad built by the Confederate Navy. The steam-powered, ironclad Virginia drove its 1,500 pound iron ram into the wooden side of the Cumberland, delivering a mortal blow. It might have made a difference if he had left Wilmington sooner. There are no reviews yet. This forward and aft main deck and fantail were designed to stay submerged and were covered in 4-inch-thick (10 cm) iron plate, built up in two layers. Most had gotten away safely, at least. . Smash the wooden blockade! Digital reproduction of blueprint drawing. Merpeople, he thought, and gripped the bulwark. 1 p. Date approximated. Be the first to review “Flagship Models CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack)” Cancel reply. In the aftermath of the Battle of Hampton Roads, the names Virginia and Merrimack were used interchangeably by both sides, as attested to by various newspapers and correspondence of the day. [1], The wreck was surveyed and her lower hull and machinery were discovered to be undamaged. 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