The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
Monitor vs. Merrimac - A Moment in Time
On March 9th, 1862, in the midst of the American Civil War, the first duel between two ironclad ships occurred in the battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac (CSS Virginia). Known as the Battle of Hampton Roads, the confrontation was part of a Confederate maneuver to break the Union blockade of Southern ports, including Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia. Although there was no clear winner in the battle, it signaled a new era of iron’s prominence in naval warfare.

  • Type: Steamship 
  • Tonnage: 776 tons (bm)
  • Length: 179 ft 
  • Displacement: 1,003 tons
  • Beam: 41 ft 
  • Launched: January, 30, 1862