CSS ''Virginia''

  • Warships Of History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Built by Confederate Authorities in 1861 for use in The American Civil War to exploit the Union Blockade, The CSS ''Virginia'' was built on the captured hull of the USS Merrimack. Using ironclad technology, a Casemate design was implemented. Although this design created a less than low-profile, it's sloping armor plated design was innovative indeed. ''Virginia'' (as she was re-commissioned), weighed 4,000 tons (displaced). She was 275 feet long and sat 50 feet in height (beam). Crewed by around 320 Officers and men, ''Virginia'' featured two horizontal steam engines and 4 boilers – which gave her a reputed speed of 11-miles per hour (although it was more likely 6 due to her size and displacement in the water). Featuring 12 guns of various types and calibers (the largest being her 9-inch gun), the CSS ''Virginia'' would eventually engage her Union counterpart The ''Monitor'' at The Battle of Hampton Roads, Virginia (1862). She participated in several battles on the sea. A malfunction caused her to be close to capture by Union forces in 1862. To avoid this, her Captain ordered her destruction. ''Virginia'''s powder magazines were put to fire and she was blown up. Portions of her wreckage had been discovered as far back as 1883, with smaller pieces being brought up and displayed throughout the early 20th Century. ''Virginia''s anchor was recovered and is currently on display at The Museum of The Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.