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Battle on the Waters!

Imagine the day in 1862, when sailing the ocean changed forever! All thanks to the Battle on Hampton Roads! The Battle of Hampton Roads (or Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack) was the first modern naval engagement in world history. It was the first time ironclad ships (ships covered in metal armor) met in combat.

Naval Engagement and Battle of the Ironclads are part of the Morris Museum of Art's Civil War collection. The two paintings were created by an unknown artist and painted on top of ticking, the material used for beach umbrellas.

Naval Engagement depicts the first day of battle, in which the CSS Virginia destroyed two Union wooden-hulled ships.

The Battle of the Ironclads depicts the second day of combat, in which the ironclad CSS Virginia and the ironclad USS Monitor battled through the morning. They fired on each other again and again, but cannonballs did little damage to the ship's armor. Eventually the battle ended in a draw.

This event signaled a new age of warfare for the whole world. Britain and France halted production on their wooden-hulled ships to focus on ironclads.

Make a self-propelled boat! Cut out a boat from cardboard, then waterproof it with duct tape or foil. Use a rubber band to wind up the rudder and watch the boat move across the water! Make two and have a battle with your family! Share your projects at #morrismuseumoart


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