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Battle of Hampton Roads facts for kids

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Battle of Hampton Roads
Part of the American Civil War
The Monitor and Merrimac.jpg
The Monitor and Merrimac: The First Fight Between Ironclad, Louis Prang
Date March 8, 1862 (1862-03-08) – March 9, 1862 (1862-03-09)
Location 36°59′0″N 76°19′11″W / 36.98333°N 76.31972°W / 36.98333; -76.31972Coordinates: 36°59′0″N 76°19′11″W / 36.98333°N 76.31972°W / 36.98333; -76.31972
Result Indecisive
Belligerents
 United States Confederate States
Commanders and leaders
John Marston
John Worden
Flag of the Confederate States of America (March 1861 – May 1861).svg Franklin Buchanan
Flag of the Confederate States of America (March 1861 – May 1861).svg Catesby Jones
Strength
1 ironclad
5 frigates
6 auxiliary boats
2 forts
1 shore battery
1 ironclad
2 wooden warships
1 gunboat
2 tenders
1 shore battery
Casualties and losses
261 killed
108 wounded
2 frigates sunk
2 frigates damaged
1 ironclad damaged
3 auxiliary boats damaged
7 killed
17 wounded
1 ironclad damaged
1 gunboat damaged

The Battle of Hampton Roads was a naval battle of the American Civil War. It was fought on March 8 and 9, 1862 near Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was an important battle because it was the first combat between ironclad warships.

The Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia tried to break the Union navy blockade of Hampton Roads. The blockade prevented all commerce with Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia. On March 8, the Virginia sank and damaged several union battleships. On March 8, the Union ironclad USS Monitor arrived and fought the Virginia. The battle lasted for several hours. But neither ship could defeat the other. Both ships left the fight thinking they had won. But the Confederates failed to break the blockade.

The Battle of Hampton Roads did not make a big difference in the outcome of the Civil War. But it changed the way people fought wars with ships.

Interesting facts about the Battle of Hampton Roads

  • The Battle of Hampton Roads was also referred to as the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads.
  • The battle proved that ironclad warships were much stronger than wooden ships. After this battle, the U.S. and other countries stopped building wooden ships. They started building iron warships instead.
  • The battle was fought over two days.
  • Both sides claimed victory.
  • Both ironclads were lost soon after the battle. When Norfolk fell in May 1862, the CSS Virginia was destroyed by its crew so it wouldn't be captured. The USS Monitor was lost in a storm near Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862. Her wreck was found in 1974.

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