Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Battle of Hampton Roads

The meshing of Hampton Roads had caused an unprecedented disaster to the United States Navy until the Japanese violate on Pearl Harbor. With the events follo succeedg the struggle, traditional oceanic war had been ever more than changed. Ironclad battle enters had, for the first clock, been used in a marine battle and the people involved had found its place in American history.As the merger found it necessary for a lug of the main ports to weaken the partner in crime economy and win the war with as little bloodshed as possible, the coadjutor had to find a substance to prevent league supremacy of the coastlines. some(prenominal)(prenominal) the conjugation and assistant forces had found themselves in the middle of a naval arms race at the earlier stage of the American complaisant War. Although the sodality naval supremacy would not be comp every(prenominal)owe until foursome geezerhood later, this naval arms race would be decided at that mowork forcetous battle on March 9, 1862, through the face-off amidst the Confederates Virginia and the joints Monitor. Beginnings of Civil War The tension between North and second states on the question whether to allow new states for the expansion of the Union to be live on ones back or free states caused the beginning of the Civil War.After winning the independence, America want to expand their nation. The issue was a manifestation of the conflict over the succeeding(a) direction of national develop workforcet Would America move toward a free-labor capitalistic economy and a democratic insurance in all regions, or would a slave-labor plantation economy and a heirarchical society persists in half(a) of the country? When Abraham Lincoln won the election in 1860, he sworn to keep thraldom bring out of the new territories towards the ultimate extinction of slavery everywhere in the United States.This naturally worried the South states and caused them to separate and formed a new nation they c alled the Confederate States of America. The Lincoln tribunal and the North states, on the other hand, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the secession as it would discredit the idea of a majority-rule democracy. Both the North and South were unbidden to fight despite the risks of casualties of war. Both considered the very survival of their respective nations and societies to be at s accommodate. In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln explained the beginning of the accomplished war All dreaded itall sought-after(a) to avert it. Both parties deprecated war but one of them would annoy war rather than permit the nation survive and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came. The Naval Conflict Before Hampton Roads Lincolns first devote for the Navy was to set a blockade of the southern coasts. This was an adoptation of Winfield Scotts Anaconda Plan, to win the war with as little bloodshed as possible.The blockade lotd to modify Souths economy. Controlling the Mississippi River would also effectively split the Southern states in both. The difficulty, however, rests on the amount of the Unions warships they had altogether fewer than 90 at that time and on that point were about 3,500 miles of southern coastlines. The North had to purchase shipping peecrafts, strengthen their decks, loaded them with guns, and sent them to serve on the blockade. Note that the North did not need a cutting-edge technology or sophisticated warships to serve in the blockade.They did not have to worry about keeping the Confederate fleet confined in their ports for the Confederacy had none to begin with. The blockade ended international shipwork forcets to and from the Confederacy which caused shortages in food and other goods for the South and ruined their economy. Futhermore, the North had been increasing the size of their fleet through the purchases they do which the Confederacy had no trust of matching. They had relied on commerc e raiding through the acquisition of raiding vessels that destroyed more than 150 Union merchandiser ship.But the Union Navy would get its way by targeting coastal fortifications. This prompted the alliance to find a way of supplementing coastal forts with a few ships that could foot up to a whole fleet of Union battleships and prevent them from magisterial the coastlines. For the remainder of the war, the navy would be used to gain advantage to the contend side. The war itself has had made its mark in history, and th battles that were fought within it. unity such battles would be in Hampton Roads, a battle that was depict in Craig Symonds book, Decision at ocean Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History.The Confederate Plan The CSS Virginia Confederate navy secretary Stephen R. Mallory hoped to supplement the coastal forts by acquiring a few ships whose defensive characteristics were such that they could protest up to a whole squadron of formal Union warships. He wro te to his wife Knowing that the Union could build one hundred ships to one of our own, my policy has been to make such ships so strong and invulner subject as would breed for the inequality of numbers. Angus Konstam explained that Mallory realized that it was al about impossible for his Navy to break the Union blockade by conventional means, so he adoptive a more radical approach, placing his faith in weight-liftclads and rifled ordnance. Mallory has urged the Confederate intercourse to authorize the renderion of an agitateclad warship as early(a) as May 1861. He wrote I regard the possession of an iron- mailed warship, as a matter of first neccessity. Such a vessel at this time could traverse the entire coast of the United States, prevent all blockades, and encounter, with fair prospect of success, their entire navy. The Confederacys lach of technology to create such a vessel caused a difficulty for Mallorys plan to succeed. He, however, sought a way to fulfill this and fou nd the Merrimac. It was a steam frigate with a partially burnt hull left and was bring forwardd from the bottom of the Elizabeth River. Mallorys plan was to build an iron casemate atop the wooden f motore of the Merrimac. It was Lieutenant John Mercer Brooke who urged Mallory the earnion of an iron-plated warship and submitted to him an initial convention.Mallory wanted technical advise for the feasibility of the concept and sought the opinion of Naval Constructor John L. door guard, who happened to have a design of his own similar to Brookes. Mid-July found the reconstruction of Merrimac into the first operational ironclad. Porter supervised the refit as carpenters cut away the charred timbers and began to erect a frame for the casemate. Williamson focused on repairing the cranky engines. Brooke designed the rifled guns that would make up the ships armament, and he took fritter of procuring the iron plate that would constitute its armor shield. The confederacy renamed it th e CSS Virginia. Symonds explained that officially the Virginia was rated as a ram. A fifteen-hundred-pound cast iron prow had been bolted onto the ships bow just below the waterline, and though it potruded only a few feet from from the ships stem, it made the ship itself, as well as its guns, a potentially lethal weapon. To command Virginia, Mallory chose Captain Franklin Buchanan. Buchanan had been a naval officer most of his life, have served in the US Navy for fifty years prior to Hampton Roads.Mallory had chosen him because he believed that Buchanan had the perfect combination of realism and boldness. He had hoped for great functions to the experimental vessel and expected Buchanan to sieze the initiative, of which he was not failed. The Union Plan The USS Monitor The Confederates plan to build an ironclad battleship was no secret to the Union. News of the rebel activity r for each oneed Unions Navy Secretary everyday Gideon Welles. Southern newspaper also kept Welles up to learn on the progress of Merrimacs reconstruction. He decided that the Union needed to construct a counter-weapon.The Congress approved an appropriation of $1. 5 million to construct three experimental ironclad warships and created the Ironclad Board. Welles and Mallory began a naval arms race for the control of a strategically critical eubstance of water. Cornelius Bushnell presented a design of a more or less conventional frigate with iron plating. The Ironclad Board, however, were skeptical such that Bushnell sought the opinion of the nations most gifted maritime point. Instead, John Ericsson showed Bushnell a floating battery that he himself designed.Bushnell reported to Welles that the country was synthetic rubber because I had found a battery which would make us master of the situation as out-of-the-way(prenominal) as the ocean was concerned. A few months later, the Union ironclad battleship construction was underway. They dubbed it the USS Monitor. The key feature o f this ironclad battleship was that it had a sassy revolving turret with two high-calibered guns. It was the entire ships armament, but since the turrets could revolve, the guns could be pointed in either direction independent of the ships orientation. The Battle of Hampton Roads March 8, 1862Union Navy at Newport News Point found themselves being approached by what naval soldiers called the thing on the dawn of March 8, 1962. The Confederate ironclad Virginia had crept menacingly out of the Elizabeth River to test its potential against the Union battleships. Its approach was not defined with stealth. Indeed, it put across only with a speed of five knots in plain opine and Union blockade could have easily avoided battle had they wanted to. The Virginia inform its coming with a black smoke emerging from its single stack. unalike conventional battleships, it had no masts and no sails of any kind.A Union officer set forth its approach with the water hisses and boils with indigna tion as like some extensive slimy reptile she slowly emerges from her loathsome lair. Symonds noted that to most of the hundreds of observers ceremony from the propline, this smoke-belching, iron-plated thing was neither vessel nor creature but a machine a giant, self-propelled, armored engine of war. The Union Navy prepared for an impending battle. Symonds explains that whatever the soldiers felt internally, outwardly they displayed confidence and grim determination. Even men on the Virginia felt the same, for most of the crew would only have combat in a ship for the first time. Eugenius Jack, a third assistant engineer on base Virginia wrote in his memoirs which spoke a general feeling of men in combat there are few men who do not feel some symptoms of fear when going into battle vanity has kept many a mans face to the foe, when his heart would turn it away. The Union had two major battleships The USS Cumberland and the USS Congress. These battleships mounted a tot of se venty guns, as compared to the Virginias ten.Buchanan had the Virginia approach directly at Cumberland, intending to ram his vessel into the enemy battleship. Cumberland had two ten-inch pivot guns which Buchanan feared would be able to penetrate his vessels iron shield. During the Virginias lengthy transit, the Cumberland was able to fire several shots at it, while the Virginia was only able to restitution fire from one bow seven-inch rifle. The Battle of Hampton Roads on the morning of March 8, 1962 mark not only the battle between an ironclad and wooden battleships, but of men on ships and men in a ship.Men inside the Virginia could only imagine what was really happening outside. Jack described the events that followed the suspense was awful the dull reports of the enemy artillery, and an occasional crack and chill of the ship told that we had been struck I heard the sharp reports of our own guns then there came a trepidation throughout the ship and I was nearly thrown from t he coal pose upon which I was sitting The cracking and breaking of her timbers told full well how terminal to her that collision was. The Confederate ironclad Virginia had collided with the Union battleship Cumberland with such a force that men on both ships were knocked off their feet and caused a gawp hole at the side of Cumberland. A junior officer aboard Cumberland noted he once clean and beautiful deck was slimed with blood, blackened with powder and looked like a slaughter house. Despite the damage, men in Cumberland continued to fire shots at Virginia while the ship was literally sinking. The crew on Virginia, on the other hand, had little time to watch yet.Symonds explained that for a few anxious moments it seemed likely that the Cumberland would take her assassin mass with her. The Virginias ram had plunged so deeply into the Cumberland that, although Buchanan had immediately ordered all astern, the ironclad remained embedded in the side of its sinking victim. Virgi nia was alarmingly tilted forward. It was save when the on-line(prenominal) of James River swung its stern slowly to starboard, and with the resulting torque on the ships ram caused a section of it to break off, allowing it to extricate itself from its mortally wounded foe. One hundred twenty-one of the 376 aboard the Cumberland has been killed outright from the fatal eruption. The river current had pushed Virginia downstream, and crewmen aboard the other battleship, Congress, thought that the Virginia was fleeing. Much to their dismay, Buchanan was not yet done. His aspiration was to destroy the entire Federal squadron, as Symonds explained. He managed to turn his ship back to reenter Hampton Roads after forty minutes of hard manuevering and stabilise for a course directly towards the Congress.Having witnessed the destruction of Cumberland, men aboard the Congress no longer doubted the seriousness of the threat and saw no hope of standing up against the rebel ironclad. The cap tain, Lieutenant Joseph Smith, Jr. , ordered to raise the anchor and steered the ship into shoal water where Virginia could not follow and was safe from ramming. Virginia, however, had still guns to use. It pounded heavily on the Congress until it was so utterly wreck to render it useless and caused them to surrender. The surrender of USS Congress should have not pose a problem had the traditional naval state of war been observed.Buchanan ordered deputy William H. Parker aboard the gunship Beaufort to accept the surrender and burn the ship, of course, after letting the endure crew escape and harboring the wounded, but when Parker complied, soldiers on shore began judgement of dismissal at them. Symonds explained that army troops were not inpressed by the traditions of the sea. Brigadier General Joseph K. Mansfield growled I know the d-d ship has surrenderred, but we havent, when a Federal surrogate tried to stop him from firing at Beaufort. With Buchanans urging, Bob Minor vo lunteered to take the remaining boat aboard Virginia to burn the surrendered ship.To make sure there was no misunderstanding, Minor raised the flannel flag of truce, but no sooner was he under way when the army at the shore began firing at him. Enraged, Buchanan ordered to reopen fire on the already disabled and helpless Congress. Symonds wrote that the Virginia fired three deliberate rounds of hot shot into the grounded hull of the Congress which caused the sun-baked hull to kindle fire. Soon the Congress was burning briskly, the flames discharge up its rigging and lighting up the roadstead, and at last the firing ceased, though the Congress continued to burn through the twilight and into the evening, Symonds continued.A total of 120 of the ships 434 had died that day. Symonds explains that each side felt the fury of violated purity to the events that followed the surrender of the USS Congress. He wrote To the Confederates, the Yankees were the guilty party, since they had fired on a white flag while officers attempted to take possession of a straight prize. To the Federals, the Confederates were at fault, since they now opened fire on a grounded vessel full of helpless men, a vessel that was flying not only one but two white flags of surrender.This was where the time-honored traditions of the Age of piece of paper collided with the realities of total war in a mechanized age. For the rest of the war, and for decades afterward, each side would point an accusing finger at the other to charge that in Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, the traditional rules of naval warfareindeed the very ideals of chivalry and humanitywere sacrificed to a new pathfinder of modern war a mechanized war wihout rules, without restraint, without mercy, and without honor. The Virginia exchanged long-ranged shots with the USS manganese after dealing with the Congress.Although there were still a few hours of solar day left and there were three more Union warship in the roadstead, i t had already been a long day and the crew was exhausted. Buchanan agreed for a break and ordered the Virginia to be anchored at Sewalls Point, from which point it could renew the attack the next day. The Battle of Hampton Roads March 9, 1862 The next morning revealed the demolition caused by Virginias rampage in Newport. It resumed its attack, this time targetting Minnesota. At this time, the Monitor, which arrived shortly after the battle the previous day, now made her appearance.William Swinton wrote that it was a moment of disturbance on the little craft, for there had been no time for drilling the men It engaged the Virginia with exchanges of shots, both of which proved to be futile as both ships appeared un modify and unfazed from the firing. The Confederate Military History records that after some time, the Merrimac succeeded in ramming the Monitor, but her prow had been broken off in ramming the Cumberland the day before, and she did no harm. To the surprise of the crew of Virginia, the Monitor run off into shoal water where they could not follow.Having consumed most of its coals, Virginia was forced to retreat. To compare, the Confederate ironclad carried more guns than the Union Monitor, but it was slow, clumsy, and prone to engine trouble. The Union prototype was the faster and more manueverable ironclad but it lacked the Rebel vessels brutish size and power. Neither ironclad caused serious damage to the other and the battle ended without a fatal victory to either side. However, the timely appearance of the Monitor prevented the Virginia from attacking more of the Unions wooden battleships and destry the blockade. ConclusionAlthough the Battle of Hampton Roads ended without a decisive conclusion, it marked a new age of naval warfare. Neither ironclads seriously damaged the other, but for the Union, it was a success because it prevented the Confederate to break the blockade. Having seen the potential of their prototype, the Union made several copies of the Monitor to win the war altogether. Symonds put it in a contest where weapons of war required the application of industrial productivity, the Union states had an overwhelming advantage over their southern counterparts. Bibliography Battle of Hampton Roads. Available from http//www. htm. network accessed 29, July 2008. Catton, Bruce and James M. McPherson, The Civil War. Mariner Books, 2004. Hampton Roads Battle of the Ironclad. Available from http//www. civilwarhome. com/ironclad. htm net income accessed 29, July 2008. Konstam, Angus and Adam Hook. Hampton Roads 1862 Clash of the Ironclads Osprey Publishing, 2002. Lincoln, Abraham. Second beginning(a) Address Swinton, William. The Twelve Decisive Battles of the War. Dick & Fitzgerald, 1867. Symonds, Craig L. Decision at Sea Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History. New York Oxford University Press US, 2005.

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