The Battle of Hampton Roads

On 9 March 1862, during the American Civil War, the first clash of ironclad warships took place. After the CSS Virginia, a Confederate ironclad built from the remains of the USS Merrimac, easily sunk two Union ships blockading Richmond, the USS Monitor, a Union ironclad with a rotating turret, sortied to protect a third: the USS Minnesota which had run aground fleeing the Virginia. The Monitor and Virginia fought inconclusively off Hampton Roads, VA, for about three hours before darkness halted the fight. Navies around the world, including the two largest: France and Great Britain, immediately halted all construction on wooden ships. The Age of Sail was over.

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