Posted by Mabry Tyson on March 29, 2002 at 12:10:44:
In Reply to: CSS Virginia posted by Duke Adams on February 14, 2002 at 12:37:43:
I don't believe I've ever seen anything that specifically said the ironclads had any paint. However, it seems reasonable that they were painted to minimize the damage of seawater.
When I've seen material from the Virginia, it was painted black but most likely it had been (re)painted in modern times.
Ramsay does say "They had seen our black hulk that looked like the roof of a barn afloat."
The Virginia's sloped roof had been covered with grease, but I don't know what color that would have been.
When you look at the pictures of the Monitor, such as,
the surface appears gray. In the Baltimore American article about the blinding of the Monitor's captain, it speaks of fragments of paint flying into his eye (from the bars of the pilot house).
I can't help with the colors of the other ironclads. I would suggest visiting the Naval Historical Center site and consulting the contemporary photos or paintings. http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/nhcorg11.htm
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