26 Feb '13, 12am

A Naval shipbuilding first that almost never was...the #Monitor. Read more about this historic ship at

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- It was a juggernaut; a Confederate 275-foot blackened structure of iron that would forever change the face of warfare. The ship was a black-iron beast reborn from the frigate Merrimack, a burnt husk raised and armor-clad, transformed into a ship with no purpose but war. Its formidable complement boasted more than 300 men and its iron-bound hull bristled with cannons. The renamed ironclad ram, CSS Virginia, seemed unstoppable given existing maritime technology. This was the monstrosity that was being built to wreak havoc in U.S. waters, with hopes of decimating the Union Navy. The time for action was slipping through Union hands, like fingers trying to grasp water. Through intelligence reports, Union Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles learned of the refitting of the Merrimack, which began in July 11, 1861. Welles published an announcement in August of 1...

Full article: http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=72338

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