Images Related to the CSS Virginia

No photograph of the Virginia is known to exist. However, many paintings and drawings of her exist. (Click on Medium Image for somewhat larger images. Click on images for much larger images. For more information on the images, click on the reference such as LC-B811-0486. For even larger images, click on a link to a TIFF file if your browser and computer handle TIFF images.)

Images of the sunken USS Monitor! Water conditions in the summer of 1997 allowed for some extraordinary good images to be taken. See also pictures available from the 1998 and 1999 expeditions through the Monitor National Maritime Sanctuary site.

More images can be found from the sites listed on the links page.

Prints of some of these images may be at the Naval Historical Center. Copies may be available from the Naval Historical Foundation. Some also may be available from Archival Research International.

The Naval Historical Center has a number of relevant pages of images:

I believe I have not violated any copyrights in posting these images this way. If there is a problem, please contact

so we can resolve it.


Burst gun

One of the Virginia's guns damaged in its fight with the Cumberland. See more images of this gun from the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center.


Painting 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])

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Currier & Ives: Sinking of the Cumberland by the Iron Clad MerrimacThe Sinking of the Cumberland by the Iron Clad Merrimac, off Newport News, Virginia, March 8th, 1862. Cumberland went down with all her Flags flying: destroyed but not conquered. Copy of lithograph by Currier & Ives, 1862. (Source: NARA [NWDNS-19-N-33D(1)])


Evans after Davidson: Battle between the Monitor and MerrimacBattle between the Monitor and Merrimac, Hampton Roads, Virginia, March 9, 1862. Copy of engraving by Evans after J.O. Davidson (ca. 1921). (Source: NARA [NWDNS-111-BA-1917])


Virginia - Monitor battle image

Another painting of the C.S.S. Virginia and the U.S.S. Monitor at Hampton Roads by W.F. Hassal 1886. (Source: LOC [LC-D416-9864] )

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Lithograph of the USS Merrimack Lithograph of the USS Merrimack

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Color painting of the Virginia vs MonitorAnother painting of the battle (from Norfolk Naval Ship Yard)

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CSS Virginia in Dry Dock #1Artist's rendition of the CSS Virginia in Dry Dock #1 at the Gosport Ship Yard (from the Norfolk Naval Ship Yard).

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Drawing of CSS VirginiaAnother drawing of the CSS Virginia (from the Norfolk Naval Ship Yard).

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[Gun at Ft. Darling]On May 15, 1862, a few days after the Virginia was destroyed, the Monitor and the ironclad Galena tried to approach Richmond via the James River. Catesby Jones and some of the crew of the Virginia manned one of the guns of Fort Darling on Drewry's Bluff and stopped the advance.. This appears to be one of the 9-inch Dahlgren Guns from the Patrick Henry that they used. The Galena was badly damaged. The Monitor stayed further downstream.
(Source: LOC. [Drewry's Bluff, Va. Interior of Fort Darling (Confederate) on the James] [1865] [LC-B811-3345] 447K Tiff)

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[Damage to Galena from Ft. Darling]Deck of iron-clad gunboat Galena, showing stack damaged by fire from Fort Darling, May 15, 1862.
(Source: LOC [James River, Va.]
Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer.
1862 June. [LC-B815-0652] 589K Tiff)

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Picture of sunken Virginia II and Jamestown
James River, Va. Sunken Confederate ships Virginia (ram) and Jamestown (Source: LOC [LC-B811-3350] 459K Tiff) This is not the original CSS Virginia.

The Jamestown was sunk in the James River in front of Drewry's Bluff in May, 1862 (and the original Virginia's crew manned the guns of the fort above the bluff). In April, 1865, the ironclad Virginia II (actually the "II" was not part of the ship's name but it is used to distinguish the two) was sunk in the same area.

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The Monitor shows the damage from the battle with the Virginia in 1862.
(Source: NARA [200-CC-486]
and LOC([James River, Va. Deck and turret of U.S.S. Monitor seen from the bow (i.e. stern)]
Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer.
1862 July 9. Image [LC-B811-0486] 446K Tiff)
Left to Right: R.W. Hands, L.N. Stodder, A.B. Campbell, L.P. Flye. [Amadon, Hoehling agrees on Campbell and Flye]

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[View of turret of Monitor]Another view of the damaged turret of the Monitor .
(Source: LOC[LC-B815-0659] 586K Tiff
July 9, 1862: Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer.)
Left to Right: Campbell, Flye [Davis]

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[Officers on deck of Monitor]Officers of the U.S.S. Monitor grouped by the turret.
(Source: LOC [LC-B815-0390] 587K Tiff
Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer.
1862 July 9. )
Top row, left to right: Albert B. Campbell, Mark Trueman Sunstrom, William F. Keeler, L. Howard Newman.
Middle row: Louis N. Stodder, George Frederickson, William Flye, Daniel C. Logue, Samuel Dana Greene.
Bottom row: Robinson W. Hands, E.V. Gager. [Amadon]

Top row, left to right: George Frederickson, Mark Sunstrom, William Keeler, Isaac Newton.
Middle Row: Samuel D. Greene, Louis N. Stodder, Edwin V. Gager, William Flye, Daniel C. Logue.
Bottom row: Robinson Hands, Albert Cambell. [Davis, Smith]

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[Sailors relaxing on deck of Monitor]James River, Va. Sailors relaxing on deck of U.S.S. Monitor.
(Source: LOC. [LC-B811-0490] 576K Tiff. Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer. 1862 July 9.)

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[Sailors on deck of USS Monitor]Sailors on deck of U.S.S. Monitor; cookstove at left.
(Source: LOC [LC-B815-0660] 579K Tiff. Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer. 1862 July 9.)

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[Picture of Brooke rifle on bow of Teaser]Bow of Confederate gunboat Teaser, Lt. Hunter Davidson, captured by U.S.S. Maratanza on July 4, 1862. (Source: LOC [LC-B815-0481] 590K Tiff. Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer. 1862 July 4.)

The Dictionary of American Naval Forces Ships indicates the Teaser had a 32pdr, but I don't believe they were single banded guns as this is.

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[Picture of deck of Teaser]Deck of Confederate gunboat Teaser, captured by U.S.S. Maratanza, showing damage from shell fire. (Source: LOC [LC-B815-0483] 505K Tiff. Gibson, James F., b. 1828, photographer. 1862 July 4.)

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"Ericsson Battery of Two Guns of 12 inch Calibre. [sic] Plan and Side Elevation." U.S.S. Monitor
By John Ericsson, October 1861
Ink and graphite on tracing linen
16 1/2" x 26 1/2"
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Ships


[Portrait of Franklin Buchanan]Franklin Buchanan, Flag-Officer of the CSS Virginia. Wounded on March 8, 1862, he never again commanded the Virginia. He is shown here in his US Navy Uniform.
(Source: LOC [LC-B812-1428] 455K Tiff)

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[Portrait of Catesby ap R. Jones]Catesby ap Roger Jones, the executive and ordnance officer of the CSS Virginia. He was in command of the Virginia during the battle with the Monitor. This exact uniform is on display at the Confederate Naval Museum. This portrait was done about 100 years later from a CDV.

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Picture of Dahlgren and Dahlgren gun

Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren standing by a Dahlgren gun on deck of U.S.S. Pawnee in Charleston, SC, between 1860 and 1865. (Source: LOC [LC-B811-3417] 286K Tiff) The CSS Virginia had six 9-inch Dahlgren guns. The USS Monitor had two 11-inch Dahlgren guns.

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[Armor of CSS Virginia & Granite from Dry Dock #1]Armor of the CSS Virginia and a piece of the original granite from Dry Dock #1 at Trophy Park, Norfolk Navy Ship Yard.

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[Battle Flag of the CSS Virginia] The Cape May County Historical and Genealogical Society has a flag that may have come from the CSS Virginia but they are not sure.

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An (alleged) piece of the Virginia's armor from the Tredegar Iron Works. [Horseshoe of Virginia armor]



Off-Site Images

CSS Virginia officer, Midshipman H. L. Littlepage made a drawing of the Virginia that is dated just before the first battle. This drawing of the Virginia is rarely shown in books. The drawing is now at the Museum of the Confederacy. I believe that the drawing was made at a later date from memory, depicting the Virginia as it was just before the battle.

Another page on the Monitor and Virginia. A number of pictures here but I don't generally know their origin and copyright status.

Ships Company, CSS Virginia/ USS Monitor has a number of images

Naval Historical Center's page of images of the Monitor. (They also may someday have more Confederate ships images online.)

Dr. Zemenick's page on the Monitor with a drawing of the Monitor and of the battle along with a picture of an 1872 Tin Toy Monitor.

An image of the Virginia leaving the Congress burning by Tom Freeman.

600KHz side-scan sonar image of the wreck of the USS Cumberland. (This is a link to an image at the home page of Marine Sonic Technology, Ltd..)

Painting of the battle"Returning Fire" by William R. McGrath. Click on image for larger image and sales information. (Image used with permission.)

A small lithograph of the battle from the Mariners' Museum.

WWW.CIVILWARHOME.COM's Battle of the Ironclads pages has an image of the battle.

"Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (C.S.S. Virginia)" by Carl Beuder from the National Maritime Museum Association. They also have a wire-frame and computer generated views of the Monitor, computer-generated view of the turret mechanism.

A print of the Virginia from C. Ron Virts. Unfortunately this doesn't seem too accurate (the Virginia had a curved end on its casemate, etc.).

MultiEDUCATOR page with an image of the battle.

An image of a diorama of the Monitor and Virginia battle "Let Us Have Peace" from the J. Stewart collection at the Maryland Historical Society. [As of Jan. 2003, the link to the image isn't working and is under construction]

Sean Wagstaff created a virtual reality of the view from the Monitor at Brooklyn Shipyards. See the information on the remaking of the Monitor at the PBS site.

Palmer's Studio offers a gallery of computer-generated images of Civil War ships including the Virginia and the Monitor.

[USPS logo]In 1995, the United States Postal Service issued stamps commemorating the Civil War. One of the stamps featured the Battle of the Ironclads.

CSS Virginia
Copyright 1996-2004 by Mabry Tyson