Today in History, March 8: 1862 – The CSS (Confederate States Ship) Virginia runs the table at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Virginia had been built into one of the first “Ironclads” by the Confederacy using the hull of the Union ship Merrimack, which had been in the process of overhaul in Virginia when the Civil War began. The Virginia is an important American ship in history, having sunk or run aground three Union ships at Hampton Roads, the entrance to the James River. This signaled the end of the wooden “ship of the line” and the beginning of the iron naval vessels. Hampton Roads appears prominently in American Naval history repeatedly.  More to come as the Union ironclad Monitor takes on the Virginia.

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