Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Monitor – Merrimack
The Battle of the Ironclads
— 1862 Peninsula Campaign —
As the burning Congress set an eerie glow across the harbor the evening of March 8, the USS Monitor arrived in Hampton Roads. It had almost sank enroute from New York. Whereas the Virginia (Merrimack) was “an ingenious adaptation of materials at hand and a tribute to her builder’s skill at improvision,” the Monitor was a completely new concept of naval design created by Swedish inventor John Ericsson. Its revolving turret housed two 11-inch Dahlgrens.
On the morning of March 9, 1862, Lt. Jones was surprised to see this “cheesebox on a raft” approach the Virginia (Merrimack) from alongside of the USS Minnesota. During the next two hours the Monitor
The two ironclads never fought each other again. The battle, however, had more immediate implications than being a major turning point in naval warfare, as the undefeated Virginia (Merrimack) blocked the James River and closed this approach to Richmond to Federal use. McClellan was concerned that the Virginia (Merrimack) might “paralyze the movement of his army” yet decided to continue the Peninsula Campaign by way of the York River.
Arrival of the CSS (sic) Monitor at Hampton Roads by J.O. Davidson.
Battle between the Ironclads. – Courtesy of The Mariner’s Museum
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable Events • Notable Places • War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 8, 1862.
Location. 36° 58.941′ N, 76° 23.764′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on 16th Street (Virginia Route 167), on the left when traveling west. Marker is located at the Monitor-Merrimac Overlook Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23607, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hampton Roads (here, next to this marker); Birth of Naval Aviation (within shouting distance of this marker); Monitor – Merrimack Battle (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Stuart (approx. half a mile away); Greenlawn Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); The Newsome House (approx. ¾ mile away); The Winfield-Jones House (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Newport News.
Also see . . . The Battle of the Ironclads, 1862. EyeWitness to History.com. (Submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,942 times since then and 39 times this year. Last updated on August 28, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 5, 6. submitted on August 5, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.