Command[ edit ] The Confederate chain of command was anomalous.
Command[ edit ] The Confederate chain of command was anomalous. Lieutenant Catesby ap Roger Jones had directed much of the conversion of Merrimack to Virginia, and he was disappointed when he was not named her captain. Ordinarily, the ship would have been led by a captain of the Confederate States Navy, to be determined by the rigid seniority system that was in place.
Secretary Mallory wanted the aggressive Franklin Buchananbut at least two other captains had greater seniority and had applied for the post.
Mallory evaded the issue by appointing Buchanan, head of the Office of Orders and Detail, flag officer in charge of the defenses of Norfolk and the James River. As such, he could control the movements of Virginia.
Technically, therefore, the ship went into the battle without a captain. He had devised a plan for his frigates to engage Virginia, hoping to trap her in their crossfire. On the day of battle, Goldsborough was absent with the ships cooperating with the Burnside Expedition in North Carolina.
As Roanoke was one of the ships that ran aground, Marston was unable to materially influence the battle, and his participation is often disregarded. Most accounts emphasize the contribution of the captain of Monitor, John L. Wordento the neglect of others.
Virginia wreaks havoc on wooden Union warships[ edit ] The battle began when the large and unwieldy CSS Virginia steamed into Hampton Roads on the morning of March 8, Captain Buchanan intended to attack as soon as possible.
When they were passing the Union batteries at Newport News, Patrick Henry was temporarily disabled by a shot in her boiler that killed four of her crew. After repairs, she returned and rejoined the others.
The sloop-of-war Cumberland and frigate Congress were anchored in the channel near Newport News. The sail frigate St. Lawrence and the steam frigates Roanoke and Minnesota  were near Fort Monroe, along with the storeship Brandywine.
Lawrence and Roanoke took no further important part in the battle.
The battle opened when Union tug Zouave fired on the advancing enemy, and Beaufort replied. This preliminary skirmishing had no effect. Return fire from Cumberland and Congress bounced off the iron plates without penetrating, although later some of Cumberland's gunfire lightly damaged Virginia.
Virginia rammed Cumberland below the waterline and she sank rapidly, "gallantly fighting her guns as long as they were above water," according to Buchanan. Virginia's bow ram got stuck in the enemy ship's hull, and as Cumberland listed and began to go down, she almost pulled Virginia under with her.
At the time the vessels were locked, one of Cumberland's anchors was hanging directly above the foredeck of Virginia. Had it come loose, the two ships might have gone down together.
Virginia broke free, however, her ram breaking off as she backed away.
Seeing what had happened to Cumberland, Lieutenant Joseph B. Smithcaptain of Congress, ordered his ship grounded in shallow water. After an hour of unequal combat, the badly damaged Congress surrendered.Battle of Hampton Roads Essay Words | 4 Pages.
Battle of Hampton Roads A decade ago naval warfare changed forever in the two-day Battle of Hampton Roads between the Elizabeth and James River. The Battle of Hampton Roads Essay Sample. The history of the battle of Hampton roads between the two ironsides ships is a remarkable era of naval warship that took place in March between USS Monitor and Merrimack .
The Battle of Hampton Roads Essay Sample. The history of the battle of Hampton roads between the two ironsides ships is a remarkable era of naval warship that took place in March between USS Monitor and Merrimack CSS Virginia (Civil War Trust, ).
It was a two day war that left a record in the history of naval war era. USS Monitor enters Hampton Roads. Lieutenant Worden meets with Captain John Marston, of the USS Roanoke and acting commander of Union naval forces in Hampton Roads.
Marston revokes orders to send the Monitor to Washington, D.C., and orders the ironclad to defend the USS Minnesota. The Naval Battle of Hampton Roads Essay by Master Researcher The Naval Battle of Hampton Roads This paper discusses the civil war battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S.
Merrimack (Virginia) at Hampton Roads, Virginia. USS Monitor enters Hampton Roads. Lieutenant Worden meets with Captain John Marston, of the USS Roanoke and acting commander of Union naval forces in Hampton Roads.
Marston revokes orders to send the Monitor to Washington, D.C., and orders the ironclad to defend the USS Minnesota.