Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
THIS PAGE HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

Click image for larger view.

May 11, 1862

Broadside 1862 .D13 F, Special Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Broadside 1862 .D13 F, Special Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Broadside 1862 .D13 F, Special Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

The Merrimack (CSS Virginia) Was Destroyed

When the United States Navy evacuated Norfolk in 1861, officers burned the USS Merrimack to prevent Virginia's secessionists from seizing it. The Confederate States Navy salvaged the hull and rebuilt it as an ironclad ship, rechristening it the CSS Virginia although in practice it was often still referred to as the Merrimack. The CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor engaged in the famous first battle between ironclad ships in Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862. U.S. troops retook Norfolk on May 10, 1862, and a day later, retreating Confederate sailors blew up the CSS Virginia at Craney Island.