The Monitor and Merrimac



The Ironclads face off! The CSS Virginia (rebuilt from the remnants of the USS Merrimack) faces off against the USS Monitor in the Battle of Hampton Roads in Virginia, arguably one of the most important naval battles of the American Civil War. The CSA forces are desperate to bust through a Union blockade that's breaking off Norfolk and Richmond from international sea trade. In the first day of the conflict, the CSA flotilla, with the aid of the CSS Virginia, manages to sink two wooden Union ships and severely endanger a third. The curtain of darkness impedes the Confederate ironclad's ability to finish the job, however, and she retreats for the evening.The following morning, the hungry ironclad again sets forth to claim her prize in battle, but is stopped by the surprise reinforcements for the Union - the USS Monitor, another ironclad, joins the battle and bolsters the Union fleet! The two naval ships, important technological advancements for their era, and an equal match for one another, fight for three hours straight. At the end, however, neither ship can achieve the upper hand, and the battle is disengaged. Even though they inflicted far heavier losses than they received, the CSA navy is in the end unable to break the Union blockade.This image depicting the fight is a chromolithograph first produced by Louis & Prang Co., Boston, in 1886.

Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

Includes a border on all sides to allow for matting and framing.