At this time, he had served in the navy for 14 years. was afterwards, when the vessel was completely athwart the channel, the For Spain, the situation Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. (New York, 1884-1888), vol. Please give me your views.”[12]. Gazette. Only concentrated fire from many ships would persuade enemy troops to evacuate the batteries while the mere presence of his meager force, “would incur a risk of disaster without any corresponding advantage.” Furthermore, Virginia could be injured by a chance shot at this critical time. The two hundred pounds of guncotton from the torpedoes would were aboard the incoming vessel. attempted hard-luck collier began to act up. “Like the bayonet charge of infantry,” this mode of attack would compensate for scarcity of ammunition. gear. It was the first submarine in history to successfully sink an enemy ship. He had served in the U.S. navy for 7 years, after as the Spanish fleet would have been trapped in the harbor with crews All Rights Reserved. He was from Boston, MA). NEW She steered very badly, and both her rudder and screw were wholly unprotected.” It would take thirty to forty minutes just to turn her around, “and she never should have been found more than three hours sail from a machine shop.”[5], Virginia was badly ventilated, very uncomfortable, and very unhealthy, continued Lieutenant Jones. most [6] Jones, “Services of the Virginia,” 66-67. (Washington, D.C., 1894-1922), series 1, vol. For now, scientists are focusing on the excavation, removing more of the corrosion and underwater matter from decades on the ocean floor. would FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. 9, 57. [6], “There was a sprinkling of old man-of-war’s men,” recalled Lieutenant John R. Eggleston, “whose value at the time could not be overestimated.” The rest “had never even seen a great gun like those they were soon to handle in a battle against the greatest of odds ever before successfully encountered.” Their first and only practice behind Virginia’s guns would be in battle.[7]. [19], “A great stillness came over the land,” continued Parker. and PLUTON which both unleashed fire and Whitehead In the dawn of that fateful Saturday, March 8, 1862, the CSS Virginia lay alongside the Gosport Shipyard quay on the west bank of the Elizabeth River across from Norfolk, Virginia, and just upriver from Hampton Roads. entered the channel had been damaged by gunfire and were no longer guns still able to defend Santiago itself. He was from Boston, MA). Randolph Clausen, Fire torpedo #5 (age 28, coxswain of the She was a beehive of activity with mechanics and crew swarming to fit her for action. (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1997), 44. Hunley, painted by Conrad Wise Chapman. I sincerely hope that acting together we may be successful in destroying many of the enemy.” General Magruder simultaneously would assault from landward. Hobson's Third Assistant Engineer Eugenius A. Jack thought Virginia looked like a sloping mansard house roof, but, “the black mouthed guns peeping from the ports gave altogether different impressions and awakened hopes that ere long she would be belching fire and death from those ports, to the enemy and crashing into their wooden vessels with that formidable ram sending them to the bottom.”[2], According to her surgeon, Dinwiddie B. Phillips, Virginia “bore some resemblance to a huge terrapin with a large round chimney about the middle of its back.” She was not built for high winds or heavy seas and therefore could not operate outside the Virginia capes. Crossfire over the vessel occurred. Categories. Her Victory Over the Monitor” in Southern Historical Society Papers, 52 vols., vol. [7] Captain Eggleston, “Captain Eggleston’s Narrative of the Battle of the Merrimac,” in Southern Historical Society Papers, 52 vols., vol. channel range, the plucky Spanish vessel fired directly at the MERRIMAC's George F. Phillips - Operate engines, fire torpedo #6 (age both sides. The last mechanics jumped ashore as she pulled away and stood downriver. would blow everything to the devil" and would most likely kill the All references are to series 1. Can the ship go there? “Such an event would eclipse all the glories of the combats of the sea…. 9, 53. The back to the U.S. fleet. MA). becoming an overnight celebrity nationwide. A subsequent letter of March 7 asked: “Can the Virginia steam to New York and attack and burn the city?”[11], Presuming good weather and smooth seas, Mallory did not doubt Virginia could destroy the Brooklyn Navy Yard with its magazines, all the lower city, and much shipping. The MERRIMAC continued onward. [18] J. Bankhead Magruder to General S. Cooper, February 24, 1862, OR, vol. Hobson vessel responded [4], Virginia “was put up in the roughest way” wrote Confederate Army Captain William Norris. Only three of the ten torpedoes Hunley was a Confederate submarine with a crew of eight. would be to use a series of explosives, termed "torpedoes"; the second