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In Virginia, the famous and feared Confederate ironclad "Merrimac" is burned to avoid its capture

U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia, March, 1862, artist's impression
05/11/1862
With the Union occupation of Norfolk, Captain Josiah Tatnall of the C.S.S. Virginia (the "Merrimac") found himself trapped.  Unable to retreat up river, the Virginia was evacuated and set afire at her moorings near Craney Island at around four in the morning.  Tatnall reported that she burned for an hour and blew up just before five.  A C.S.N. enquiry later challenged the decision but took no action against Tatnall or his officers.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
 Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P. Putnam, 1863), V: 46-47.

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How to Cite This Page: "In Virginia, the famous and feared Confederate ironclad "Merrimac" is burned to avoid its capture," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/39135.