Lincoln And The Navy

The president takes charge and directs a successful amphibious landing at Hampton Roads

In May 1862, two months after the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack ) fought to a draw in Hampton Roads, Virginia, President Abraham Lincoln traveled south from Washington on a revenue cutter to visit the Army of the Potomac, intending to prod his recalcitrant general, George B. McClellan, into action. The president took with him Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, and Gen.Read more »

The Monitor’s Mates

America’s naval tradition is as old as America itself, and an amazing number of the ships that forged it are still afloat.

Something about ships accentuates the human experience, most obviously because of the breadth of activity that has taken place within such small spaces. Crewmen, especially aboard warships, did not have an inch to waste, and the social microcosms of shipboard life come alive in each vessel featured here. You don’t have to be a sailor to appreciate their beauty and efficiency.Read more »

The Monitor Makes Port

After a century and a half, the warship that changed the world is back

On March 9, 1862, a naval engagement near Chesapeake Bay in Virginia ended with no decisive victor and without claiming a single life. Yet no one has ever doubted that the bloodless fight changed naval warfare forever. Now, only a few miles from the broad channel where the battle took place, it is changing something else: the way present-day visitors experience Civil War history.Read more »