The Civil War Connections Blog

Tag Archives: French Forrest

“….and VIRGINIA was her name…”

The old Merrimack had undergone a transformation at Gosport. Though there was still work to be done, Flag Officer French Forrest wanted to launch and rechristen the new ironclad.  And so, on February 17, 1862, with very little fanfare, the Merrimack  got her new name. Workmen continued to pound away during the ceremony. William Cline, who […]

Work ordered to begin on a new ironclad

CSS Virginia was the first ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy and was one of the participants in the Battle of Hampton Roads in March, 1862 opposite the USS Monitor. As you’ll recall, when Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, one of the important federal military bases threatened was Gosport Shipyard, now Norfolk […]

submarine diving….1861 style

On May 30, 1861, Barnabas and Joseph Baker of the B & J Baker Co. of 3 Campbell’s Wharf, in Norfolk, VA, raised the burned-out hull of the Merrimack from the Elizabeth River.  Barnabas, who lived in Portsmouth, and Joseph, who lived in Berkeley, along with their partner E.M. Stoddard of Portsmouth prided themselves on […]