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Civil War Lecture: Last Days of the CSS Virginia
May 13, 2017 @ 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Last Days of the CSS Virginia
Presented by John V. Quarstein, Director, USS Monitor Center
When President Abraham Lincoln orchestrated the capture of Norfolk and Portsmouth on 11 May 1862, the CSS Virginia had few options. Too unseaworthy to steam to another port with its poor engines; the Virginia’s draft of 22 feet also precluded towing the ironclad up the James River to Richmond. Sadly, the warship was run aground during the early morning of 11 May 1862, and was scuttled. Flag Officer Josiah Tattnall, the Virginia’s last commander, reported, “Thus perished the Virginia and with her, many high flown hopes of naval supremacy and success.”