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CSS VIRGINIA II | US Civil War Ironclad

Updated on February 13, 2013

CSS Virginia II | James River Squadron Flagship

CSS Virginia II, an ironclad ram, was laid down at the William Graves' shipyard at Rocketts, the Richmond, Virginia naval yards in 1862. Acting Constructor William A. Graves, CSN superintended her building, but in order to conserve scarce metal, shortened the casemate called for in the original John L. Porter plans. The armor-plating was 6 inch thick on the forward face and 5 inches on the sides and after face. She carried two 6 inch rifles and two 8 inch rifles. The cannons were mounted on pivots allowing them be fired in broadsides.

CSS Virginia II

CSS Virginia II
CSS Virginia II

Iron Afloat: The Story of the Confederate Armorclads

by William N. Still

Everyone knows the story of the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack. But how many people know the story behind the Confederacy's attempt to build a fleet of armorclad vessels of war? Built from converted steam ships, built on riverbeds and cornfields. Learn how the Confederacy built a fleet of ironclads that were more than a match for anything from the Northern invaders.

Ironclad Down: USS Merrimack-CSS Virginia from Design to Destruction

Ironclad Down by Carl Park is the result of over fifteen years of research, This book is filled with detailed information about one of history's most famous vessels, the CSS Virginia. Carl Park spends time describing the incredibly interesting characters of the time, like John Mercer Brooke and John Porter, the designers of the CSS Virginia and Stephen Russell Mallory, Confederate Secretary of the Navy. Park describes the ship, how it was built and every detail you can think of.

Carl Park, a modeler with articles in Fine Scale Modeler originally intented to build an accurate model of the ship. He found out quickly that trying to reconciling the conflicting and incomplete information about the CSS Virginia stopped his plans. He never built the model. In its place he wrote Ironclad Down, a valuable addition to naval history.

CSS Virginia Videos

The CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender

The CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender Published by The History Press

by John V. Quarstein

The morning the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) slowly steamed down the Elizabeth River toward Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, naval warfare changed forever. Wooden sailing ships became obsolete, armored, steam-powered vessels where the new dreadnaughts. Little did the ironclad's crew realize that their makeshift warship would achieve the greatest Confederate naval victory. The trip was thought by most of the crew to be a trial cruise. Instead, the Virginia's aggressive commander, Franklin Buchanan, transformed the voyage into a test by fire that forever proved the supreme power of iron over wood.

The Virginia's ability to beat the odds to become the first ironclad to enter Hampton Roads stands as a testament to her designers, builders, officers and crew. Virtually everything about the Virginia s design was an improvisation or an adaptation, characteristic of the Confederacy's efforts to wage a modern war with limited industrial resources. Noted historian John V. Quarstein recounts the compelling story of this ironclad underdog, providing detailed appendices, including crew member biographies and a complete chronology of the ship and crew.

What Happened to the Civil War Ironclads?

CSS Virginia II

The CSS Virginia II was destroyed to prevent capture in the James River near Drewry's Bluff on April 3, 1865. The wreck still partially exists.

CSS Virginia Limited Edition

CSS Virginia, Limited Edition

This is a full assembled ready for display museum quality replica of the CSS Virginia, formerly the USS Merrimack. This model is 34" long by 7" wide and 9" high, 1/96 scale. Built of high quality wood and brass detail parts.

CONFEDERATE IRONCLADS of the US Civil War
The battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, (formerly the USS Merrimack) two of the Civil War Ironclads, started one of the biggest changes in N...

CSS ARKANSAS | US Civil War Ironclad
The CSS Arkansas was a Confederate Ironclad warship during the American Civil War. Serving in the Western Theater, the vessel helped repulse a U.S. Navy flee...

CSS GEORGIA | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Georgia, also known as State of Georgia and Ladies Ram, was an ironclad floating battery built at Savannah, Georgia in 1862-1863. Placed under command of...

CSS VIRGINIA | US Civil War Ironclad
CSS Virginia was an ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War (built using the remains of the scuttled USS Merrimack). Sh...

USS CAIRO | US Civil War Ironclad
USS Cairo was an ironclad river gunboat in the Union Navy built in 1861 by James Eads and Company. She was part of the Union Army's Western Gunboat Flotilla....

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What do You Think of the CSS Virginia II? - James River Squadron

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    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      Lot of info to absorb... I am glad I can learn more.