Hampton Roads | Mar 9, 1862
American Battlefield Trust's map of the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862
Around 7:00 a.m. on March 9, 1862, the ironclad CSS Virginia, in company with two smaller vessels, entered Hampton Roads. Expecting to finish off the wooden U. S. Navy warships remaining thereafter the battle the day before, Virginia moved toward the steam frigate USS Minnesota, aground off Newport News. There, Virginia encountered the new Union ironclad USS Monitor that had arrived from New York the night before. Monitor approached Virginia and both ships began firing at each other. They maneuvered in circles at close range, each hoping to exploit a weakness in the other’s armor plating. After several hours of fighting, Monitor’s commanding officer, Lt. John Worden, was wounded when a Confederate shell detonated near Monitor’s pilothouse. The Union ironclad briefly withdrew under the command of Lt. Samuel Dana Greene. As Monitor pulled away, Virginia turned back to the Elizabeth River. Buchanan was concerned the deep-draft Virginia would run aground as the tide fell. The battle ended and both sides declared a victory.
Learn More: The Battle of Hampton Roads