The Naval Engagement between the Merrimac and the Monitor at Hampton Roads/ on the 9th of March 1862


On March 8, 1862, the Confederate ironclad ship, the CSS Virginia, built from the hull of the USS Merrimack, sailed out of Norfolk to attack Union ships in an attempt to break the Federal blockade, which prevented Norfolk and Richmond from engaging in international trade. It succeeded in destroying two ships, the USS Cumberland and USS Congress. As it approached the USS Minnesota on the morning, the Virginia was engaged by the Union’s own ironclad vessel, the USS Monitor. After exchanging fire for several hours, the retreated to Norfolk, leaving the first battle between ironclad ships a draw.

The print shows the two ironclads firing upon one another in the harbor of Hampton Roads. The USS Minnesota provides additional fire from the right and other Union and Confederate ships surround the main confrontation. The wrecked USS Cumberland and USS Congress are visible in the back right.

During the engagement, graphic artist Charles Worrel was serving as a lieutenant in the 20th New York Volunteer Infantry, which was stationed nearby at Fort Monroe, Virginia. His sketch of the battle was later published in Harper’s Weekly and used in this lithograph by E. Sachse & Co., who mistakenly included his name as “Worret.”

Edward Sachse moved to America from Germany sometime in the 1840s. He settled in Baltimore under E. Weber & Co., the city’s most prominent lithographer. He established E. Sachse & Co. in 1850, specializing in bird’s eye views of Baltimore and Washington D.C. His brother Theodore joined the firm in the mid-1850s and after Edward’s death in 1873, Theodore’s son Adolph headed the company, as A. Sachse & Co., from 1877 to 1887. The print was published by Casimir Bohn (1816-1883), a German-born publisher and bookseller based in Washington, D.C.

Date Made: 1862

Publisher: Bohn, C.Maker: E. Sachse and CompanyOriginal Artist: Worret, Charles

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Maryland, Baltimore

Subject: Civil WarPatriotism and Patriotic SymbolsRelated Event: Civil War


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, American Civil War Prints, Art, Domestic Furnishings


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.3265Catalog Number: 60.3265

Object Name: LithographObject Type: Lithograph

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: image: 9 in x 16 1/4 in; 22.86 cm x 41.275 cm


Record Id: nmah_325513

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