Battle between Monitor and Merrimac (Hampton Roads)
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack, was a naval battle of the American Civil War, famous for being the first fight between two powered iron-covered warships, or "ironclads", the USS Monitor, an entirely new design, and the CSS Virginia (which had been rebuilt from the burned-out hull of the USS Merrimack, hence the multiple names). The principal confrontations took place on March 8 and March 9, 1862 off Sewell's Point, a narrow place near the mouth of Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The naval battle lasted two days. The first day saw the debut of the Virginia and was fought without the Monitor. Havoc was wreaked upon the wooden Union ships and the day ended with the Confederate side at a decided advantage. However, on the second day the Monitor arrived and initiated the famous action known as the duel of the ironclads. Although the battle was inconclusive, it is significant in naval history. Prior to then, nearly all warships were made primarily of wood. After the battle, design of ships and naval warfare changed dramatically, as nations around the world raced to convert their fleets to iron, as ironclads had shown themselves to be clearly superior.

The wreck of Monitor was located off Cape Hatteras, by a team of scientists in 1973. In 1987, the site was declared a National Historic Landmark, the first shipwreck to receive this distinction.

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