The Civil War, Day by Day

Monitor and Merrimack (detail)

Battle of USS Monitor and CSS Virginia

The Confederate gunboat Virginia was unstoppable. In a single day’s action, the captured, refitted and renamed U. S. ship Merrimack had sunk or disabled three Union warships with little damage to herself. On March 9, as the Southern ironclad returned to finish off a ship aground, she was confronted by the Union’s own ironclad Monitor. For four and a half hours, the ironclads dueled in a slow, lumbering ballet, bouncing iron shot off each other’s iron plate. The Virginia finally withdrew, leaving the Monitor and her blockading fleet to hold Hampton Roads. It was the dawning of a new age in maritime warfare. Neither craft would survive the war, their contribution to the future limited to that one day.

April's Archived Features:

Wednesday April 1, 2020
Thursday April 2, 2020
Friday April 3, 2020
Saturday April 4, 2020
Sunday April 5, 2020



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.