THE BATTLE The Virginia had destroyed two Union warships and run a third aground the day before the Monitor arrived. The two ironclads pounded each other at close range for hours before drawing away, never to fight again.
Built in just 147 days, the Monitor was a total innovation from bow to stern-including a flush toilet below the waterline.
Except for the turret and pilot house, the Monitor lay almost completely under water, presenting a very small target to enemy guns. Just 18 in. of the raft showed above the waterline.
Lieut. John L. Worden, commanding the Monitor, was...