This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > September 2015 > Battlefield: Hampton Roads

Battlefield: Hampton Roads

On 9 March 1862, two strange armoured ships battled it out in an American harbour. It was an encounter that would forever change the face of naval warfare. Julian Humphrys explains…

Clash of the Ironclads

DEAD HEAT The first-ever ironclad-ship battle – which took place in Virginia in 1862 – was an epic struggle, with a seemingly endless volley of gunfire

Shortly after noon on 9 March 1862, the crews of the Union blockading squadron in Hampton Roads, Virginia, saw a strange vessel making its way towards them. Unlike other ships of the day, it had no masts, no sails - just a large funnel - while its sloping iron walls led one Union sailor to say it looked “like the roof of a very big barn.”

The American Civil War had been going for almost a year, and the CSS (Confederate States Ship) Virginia had come out to fight.

The Virginia’s crew hadn’t been expecting to do battle that day. The ship hadn’t been tested and workmen hadn’t finished fitting shutters on its gun ports, but Franklin Buchanan, its veteran captain, was eager for action, even though his brother Thomas was on one of the two ships he was about to attack. After passing Sewell’s Point on the south side of Hampton Roads, the iron leviathan turned and headed westwards towards its first target, the USS (United States Ship) Cumberland.

BATTLE CONTEXT

Who

US Union 4 warships, Confederates 1 warship

When

8-9 March 1862

Where

Hampton Roads, Virginia

Why

Confederate attempt to break Union naval blockade

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of History Revealed - September 2015
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - September 2015
£4.99
Or 499 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.76 per issue
SAVE
70%
£2.99
Or 299 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.69 per issue
SAVE
46%
£34.99
Or 3499 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.77 per issue
SAVE
40%
£17.99
Or 1799 points

View Issues

About History Revealed

The September 2015 issue of History Revealed