CSS Virginia Home Page

Picture of Battle of Ironclads

Battle between the C.S.S. Virginia and the U.S.S. Monitor, Hampton Roads, Va., March 9, 1862.
Engraved in 1863 by J. Davies from a drawing by C. Parsons.
(Source: NARA [NWDNS-64-CC-63])

Cmdr Jones & Virginia picture



These pages are dedicated in the memory of my great-grandfather, Catesby ap Roger Jones, the Executive Officer of the Virginia who was in command during the battle with the Monitor. For more information on him, please see the web page for him.
Mabry Tyson

To that brave and intelligent officer Lieutenant Catesby Jones, the executive and ordnance officer of the Virginia, I am greatly indebted for the success achieved. His constant attention to his duties in the equipment of the ship; his intelligence in the instruction of ordnance to the crew, as proved by the accuracy and effect of their fire, some of the guns having been personally directed by him; his tact and management in the government of raw recruits; his general knowledge of the executive duties of a man-of-war, together with his high-toned bearing, were all eminently conspicuous, and had their fruits in the admirable efficiency of the Virginia. If conduct such as his (and I do not know that I have used adequate language in describing it) entitles an officer to promotion, I see in the case of Lieutenant Jones one in all respects worthy of it.  
Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan, C.S. Navy
March 27, 1862
Report on the battle against the Monitor
to the Secretary of the Navy



Every web site has its own unique signature. This site's highlights are its compilation of historical documents and the bibliography. Whether you are a serious student of the Civil War or just a high school student needing to write a paper, the information is here. (Warning: some of the texts are perhaps too graphic for young children.) Remember as you read the articles, each author (including me!) had his own viewpoint and has his own interpretation. Especially during wartime and shortly thereafter, there were reasons to present one side of a story.

Maybe some day I'll add the fancy graphics and animation that catch people's eyes. But they don't change the facts of history.

Site Statistics

Historical Documents: More than 380 are in the index, of which about 250 are online (about 50 within this site).

Bibliography: Approximately 420 items (mostly distinct from the historical documents), including books, videos, and sound recordings.

Virginia crew: Approximately 500 names are listed of men reported to be on the Virginia. Only about 300 were in the battle. Another 67 men are listed from the other Confederate ships.

Monitor and USN crews: The site lists approximately 240 USN crewmen listed of which 111 are from the Monitor.

Links and images: In the approximately 250 web pages at this site, there are over 1000 links and approximately 450 images. I use Adobe GoLive to manage the web pages and I keep the links accurate by using Linklint to check for broken links weekly. These statistics include private pages that aren't available to the public.


News and recent changes to the site. For more details, see recent changes.

USS Monitor

Due to the rapid deterioration of the USS Monitor, the decision was made to recover what is possible.



I wish to thank all those people and organizations around the web who make information available to the rest of the world. Rather than my listing them here, you will see their names throughout these pages.

Some of the images and icons that you will see on these pages are not part of these pages. Your browser will load them directly from their original source. In all cases, the text will indicate the source. I also have tried to make sure that any foreign pages that are linked will appear in a different window than this frame. When you are done looking at those pages, close that window rather than clicking “BACK” in order to get back to this frame.


These pages are under construction. As other information becomes available, I plan to incorporate it. My goal is to collect and make easily accessible all the words of all the participants, witnesses, and any others that may have special knowledge of the CSS Virginia and the events in which she was involved.

Web pages are different than books. I might not yet allow this to be published if it were a book as I'd want to “complete” it. But as a web page, I can make it public as it is and improve it over time.


There are a number of tables in these pages. If your browser can't handle them, I apologize.

Some of the pages included here are very large. The page of images is at least 250KB. The tables in the Muster roll page occupy about 50KB. On Macintoshes, you may need to adjust the memory allocated to the browser.

I also have a listing of all pages in this site. This may help in your explorations.


I have strived to be both complete and accurate. If you spot anything missing or anything that is incorrect, please contact . I would very much appreciate pointers to information available around the internet.


Students below the university or college level have our permission to use any of the material on these pages in school reports as long as they are not sold. You must indicate the source of the material and that it is copyrighted (eg, “Copyrighted by Mabry Tyson and Martha H. Tyson as found on the CSS Virginia Home Page at http://cssvirginia.org”). Likewise, teachers may use these materials for teaching students below the university or college level. University and college students and all others should contact Mabry Tyson ( ) with any request to use the material.

We have provided a large amount of material on these web pages in a convenient form that will save you many hours of research. I hope that you will find it useful and that you are able to compose a high-quality report of your own from the material here. For any students who might want a shortcut for preparing a paper, you won't find it here. The raw materials are here but you will have to craft them into your own explanation of the events. I saw one “report” on this event at a site of student reports that was seriously in error

We have provided a challenging list of research projects that might give you ideas for your own report. If it is convenient, we would be pleased if you would send us an electronic copy of your report. If you are willing, we may post it on the site.

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Copyright 1994-2016 by Mabry Tyson