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Hampton, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Stalemate in Hampton Roads

In a “big glass case”

 

—1862 Peninsula Campaign —

 
Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker
Inscription. After the March 8-9, 1862, Battle of Hampton Roads, CSS Virginia went into drydock for refitting. USS Monitor guarded Union Gen. George B. McClellan’s transport vessels in the York River near Fort Monroe, and the Federals reinforced the bows of fast steamers to ram Virginia if she ventured into the Chesapeake Bay. The Confederates concocted a plan (but did not execute it) to disable Monitor’s crew after reading a report in Scientific American: immobilize the turret, pour chloroform into it, cover the pilothouse with a tarpaulin, and wait for the vessel to surrender. More practically, Virginia received a new 14-foot-long ram as well as armor-piercing shot for her Brooke rifles to use against Monitor.

On April 11, Virginia, under Flag Officer Josiah Tattnall, entered Hampton Roads at 7:10 A.M. The Federal transports there scattered to the protection of Fort Monroe. Monitor, commanded by Lt. William N. Jeffers and reinforced by the iron-hulled Naugatuck, remained in the channel between Fort Monroe and the Rip-Raps under orders not to engage Virginia unless she entered the open waters of Chesapeake Bay. Virginia steamed around Hampton Roads until 4:00 P.M. while the Federal fleet watched, hoping that Monitor would attack. Lt. Joseph N. Barney in CSS
Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker
Jamestown, meanwhile, captured two Union brigs and an Accomac schooner along Hampton Flats in front of you. Virginia, flying the captured flags upside-down in disdain, fired at Naugatuck and finally returned to Gosport Navy Yard.

The Northern press lambasted the Federals’ lack of response, and Acting Assistant Paymaster William Keeler of Monitor expressed the crew’s frustration: “I believe the Department is going to build a big glass case to put us in for fear of harm coming to us.” Almost a month passed before the two ironclads again challenged each other for control of Hampton Roads.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 0.149′ N, 76° 21.665′ W. Marker is in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Chesapeake Avenue (Virginia Route 167) and East Avenue, on the left when traveling west on Chesapeake Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hampton VA 23661, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Battle of Ironclads ( here, next to this marker); Fertile Hunting Grounds For The Indians
Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Stalemate in Hampton Roads Marker
Two markers are found at this location on the Hampton Roads waterfront.
( about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Development Of Olde Wythe ( approx. 0.2 miles away); First Church at Kecoughtan ( approx. 0.2 miles away); Olde Wythe During Colonial Times ( approx. 0.3 miles away); Admiral Sir George Cockburn on the Chesapeake / The War of 1812 ( approx. 0.4 miles away); Hampton Roads – World’s Greatest Harbor ( approx. 0.4 miles away); Wythe’s Birthplace ( approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hampton.
 
More about this marker. The top of the marker contains a picture with the caption “CSS Virginia (center), steams around Hampton Roads while the U.S. fleet watches (left) and CSS Jamestown (right) captures two Federal brigs and a schooner. - Courtesy Newport News Division of Historic Services and Museums.” The lower left of the marker features photographs of CSS Virginia Commander “Capt. Josiah Tattnall, courtesy Newport News Division of Historic Services and Museums” and USS Monitor Commander “Lt. William N. Jeffers, Courtesy Library of Congress.”
 
Also see . . .  Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. MilitaryNotable EventsWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,275 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 16, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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