The Nation: Lost and Found Dept.

The Civil War confrontation that changed the course of naval warfare forever and brought an end to the era wooden battleships was the fierce, four-hour battle between the U.S.S. Monitor and the Confederate Merrimack Hampton Roads, Va., on March 9,1862. The contest between the two legendary ironclad men-of-war—the first of its kind in naval history—wound up in a banging, clanging draw, and in May 1862 the Merrimack was scuttled to keep it from falling into the hands of the advancing Union forces. The Monitor met a different fate. Nine months after the fight, she...

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