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Action Against Virginia

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Lead and only ship of the Monitor Class: Displacement 6,060 Tons, Dimensions, 296 x 60 x 18 feet/90.3 x 18.33 x 5.49 meters. Armament 2 dual 12/35, 6 single 4/40, 6 six-pound. Armor, 6-14" Belt, 14" barbettes, 8" Turrets, 10 " Conning Tower. Machinery, HC engines, 8 boilers, 2 shafts, 3,700 hp, Speed, 12 Knots, Crew 200 (270 wartime).

Operational and Building Data: Displacement: 987 tons. Dimensions: 172 x 41.5 x 10.5 feet/52.42 x 12.64 x 3.2 meters. Propulsion: Ericsson VL engines, 2 boilers, 320 hp, 1 shaft, 6 knots. Crew: 49. Armor: Iron: 2-4.5 inch sides, 1 inch deck, 8-9 inch turret. Armament: 1 dual turret with 2x11 inch Dahlgren smoothbore.
Fate: Sank under tow off Cape Hatteras during a Force 7 gale, 31 December 1862.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."

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MONITOR 62k Monitor in action with CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 45973. Aquarelle facsimile print of a painting by J.O. Davidson. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
MONITOR 69k Battle between Monitor & CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 9 March 1862 Lithograph by Closson Blake, after a painting by W.F. Halsall, depicting the two ironclads engaging at close range. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 1053. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
MONITOR 446k Engagement between Monitor and & CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862. Contemporary print by C. Parsons, New York, after a drawing by J. Davies. USN photo # HD-SN-99-01841, from the Defense Visual Information Center, courtesy of
MONITOR 39k Monitor vs CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 65686-KN. Courtesy of the Marine Midland National Bank. Painting by Rear Admiral John W. Schmidt, USN(Retired), 1967-68, located at the Marine Midland National Bank, Troy, New York.
MONITOR 76k Combat Naval Livre sur la Rade de Hampton entre l'Escadre Federale et une Division de la Marine Confederee". Colored lithograph by LeBreton, after a French officer's sketch, published in Paris, circa 1862. It depicts the 9 March 1862 battle between CSS Virginia,(called "Merrimac" on the print) and Monitor. Also shown are CSS Jamestown (left distance), Yorktown (center distance); Congress (right center distance); Cumberland (sunken in right center distance) and Minnesota (right). Congress had actually been set afire and destroyed by the Virginia on the previous day. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 79549-KN. Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.
MONITOR 110k "The Great Fight Between the 'Merrimac' & 'Monitor', March 9th 1862." "The First Battle Between Iron Clad Ships of War." Lithograph by Currier & Ives, New York, 1862, "From a sketch furnished by F. Newman of Norfolk, Va.", depicting the action between Monitor and CSS Virginia. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # 42211. Collection of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
MONITOR 48k A watercolor by the artist Richard C. Moore entitled "The Monitor and Merrimac" depicting action between Monitor and Merrimac. Photo courtesy of Courtesy of the artist Richard C. Moore.
MONITOR 215k "The Battle between the 'Monitor' and the 'Merrimac', in Hampton Roads, March 9, 1862".
Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", January-June 1862, page 237, based on a drawing by Sergeant Charles Worret, Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers. The view looks approximately south, from over Fortress Monroe, and provides a panoramic view of the action, with many elements keyed to text below the picture. Numbered features, as cited below the view, include: (Note: numbers 1-13 run across the upper part of the view, from left center to right):
1. Sewell's Point Battery, 30 Guns;
2. Craney Island Battery, 42 Guns;
3.CSS Yorktown
4.CSS Jamestown;
6. Merrimac;
7. Large Rebel Camp;
8.Minnesota aground;
9. Pig Point Battery;
10. Barrel Point Battery;
11. Burning of the Congress;
12. The Cumberland sunk;
13. Newport News Point and Camp;
14. St. Lorenze ... (small vessel near Minnesota);
15. Hampton;
16. Rip Raps (at far left);
17. French Man-of-War (left center);
18. Whitehall.
Ships in the left foreground include Roanoke with Union transports and storeships.
Photo courtesy of "Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War ", pg 256. Published by Fairfax Press and written by Henry M. Alden & Alfred H. Guernsey. Text courtesy of USNHC NH 59223.
MONITOR 127k "The Monitor's Heros at work in the Turret". Artwork published in "Deeds of Valor", Volume II, page 17, by the Perrien-Keydel Company, Detroit, 1907. It depicts turret crewmen of Monitor working their eleven-inch guns, during the battle with CSS Virginia, 9 March 1862. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # NH 79906.
MONITOR 97k "U.S. Gun Boats on James River covering the Retreat."
Engraving after a drawing by C. Parsons, published by Virtue, Yorston & Company, New York, circa the later 19th Century. It depicts the ironclads Monitor, and Galena bombarding Confederate forces as General McClellan's army withdraws following the Battle of Malvern Hill, 2 July 1862. The other two ships visible are probably Aroostook [beyond Monitor's bow] and Jacob Bell [behind Monitor, at left].
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # 1853.
MONITOR 769k View on deck looking forward on the starboard side, while the ship was in the James River, Virginia, 9 July 1862. The turret, with the muzzle of one of Monitor's two XI-inch Dahlgren smoothbore guns showing, is at left. Note dents in turret armor from hits by Confederate heavy guns and crewmembers atop the turret.
Officers at right are (left to right): Third Assistant Engineer Robinson W. Hands, Acting Master Louis N. Stodder, Second Assistant Engineer Albert B. Campbell (seated) and Acting Volunteer Lieutenant William Flye (with binoculars).
Text courtesy of U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph USNHC # 61923. Photo # HD-SN-99-01842 from the Defense Visual Information Center, courtesy of
MONITOR 112k Crewmen relaxing on deck, while the ship was in the James River, Virginia, on 9 July 1862. View looks forward on the starboard side, with the gun turret beyond. Note men playing checkers at right. Another man is reading a newspaper by the starboard smokestack U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # 574.
MONITOR 90k Crewmembers cooking on deck, in the James River, Virginia, 9 July 1862. This view looks forward from the port quarter, with the port side blower hatch in the foreground, the two smokestacks in the middle distance and the turret beyond. The sailor standing atop the turret is holding a telescope. Note cookstove supported on bricks at left and awning above the turret. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph. USNHC # 73688. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Photographed by James F. Gibson.
MONITOR 179k Capt. W.N. Jeffers on the deck of the Monitor in the James River, Virginia on 9 July 1862. (Notice what appears to be a dent from a cannon ball on the right). Photo by James F. Gibson from the Library of Congress digital archives via Tom Kermen. Photo added 01/28/09.
MONITOR 131k Monitor's officers. Photo by James F. Gibson from the Library of Congress digital archives via Tom Kermen. Photo added 01/28/09.

View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information
Not Applicable To This Ship
Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Monitor National Marine Santuary, NOAA. USS Monitor, The Sinking.
Tour the Wreck of the Monitor.
Full scale replica of the Monitor.
Northrop Grumman Employees Reconstruct History with USS Monitor Replica.
Pre-Dreadnought Preservation, The U.S.S. Monitor by Mark Howells

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