The Merrimac sinking the Cumberland.

Merrimac

The Merrimac sinking the Cumberland.

"Destruction of the Confederate ironclad steamer <em>Merrimac</em>, blown up by its commander, on the morning of May 11th, 1862. The abandonment of Norfolk compelled the evacuation of the Confederate positions at Sewell's Point and at Crany Island, and on May 11th, 1862, the <em>Merrimac</em> was blown up to prevent her falling into the hands of the Federals. The Federal officers who witnessed the burning and blowing up of the <em>Merrimac</em> described the scene as one of the grandest imaginable. For nearly an hour before the explosion the roof was red hot, and at short intervals the guns would discharge themselves, solemnly breking in upon the stillness of the night. Just at the first dawn of daylight the whole black mass heaved upward, then came the report, so terrific as to shake houses at a distance of eight miles. With a flash, an unearthly hissing sound, and the great monster, the <em>Merrimac</em>, ceased to exist." &mdash;Leslie, 1896

Destruction of Merrimac

"Destruction of the Confederate ironclad steamer Merrimac, blown up by its commander, on the…

Navy soldiers on the deck of the Monitor, a warship famous for the battle with the Merrimac.

Monitor

Navy soldiers on the deck of the Monitor, a warship famous for the battle with the Merrimac.

Famous Stalemate between the Monitor and Merrimac.

Moniter and Merrimac

Famous Stalemate between the Monitor and Merrimac.

Battle between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac.

Monitor and Merrimac

Battle between the ironclads Monitor and Merrimac.

"Second naval battle in Hampton Roads- fight between the Federal ironclad <em>Monitor</em>, of two guns, and the Confederate iron-plated steamers <em>Merrimac, Yorktown</em>, and <em>Jamestown</em>, carrying twenty-four guns, March 9th, 1862. But the gloom that had begun to settle on the fort was greatly dispelled when, toward midnight, an iron marine monster, unlike anything that had ever before been seen on the ocean, made its appearance off the forts. It proved to be the Ericsson iron floating battery of two guns, just from new York. The state of affairs was hastily explained to her commander, and she steamed off to the rescue of the deserted <em>Minnesota</em>. When day dawned the Confederate flotilla, flushed with the success of the previous day, bored down on what was supposed to be an easy prey. the <em>Yorktown</em> and <em>Jamestown</em> drawing least water (The <em>Merrimac</em> evidently afraid of grounding) were ahead, when their course was suddenly stopped by the strange craft, which seemed to have dropped from the clouds. They thought to overcome her easily, and opened fire confidently; but a few of the heavy shot of the <em>Monitor</em>, which battered through and through their iron sides, drove them back in panic behind the gigantic <em>Merrimac</em>, against which the <em>Monitor</em> advanced in turn. And then commenced the most extraordinary naval contest known to history- the first battle between ironclad steamers every fought, and one in which all the appliances of modern skill were brought in conflict. The fight lasted for nearly five hours, when the <em>Yorktown</em> and <em>Jamestown</em> fled up the James River, and the <em>Merrimac</em>, disabled, and in a sinking condition, retreated into Norfolk. The <em>Minnesota</em>, having grounded, was then got off, and the <em>Mintor</em>, a proud proof of the designer's genius and skill, rode undisputed monarch of Hampton waters." &mdash; Frank Leslie, 1896

Second naval battle

"Second naval battle in Hampton Roads- fight between the Federal ironclad Monitor, of two guns,…