What became known as the Battle of Hampton Roads, and more graphically, the First Battle of the Ironclads, took place 150 years ago, 8–9 March 1862. Fast-forward to 9 October 1873, when the U.S. Naval Institute held its first meeting and one year later assembled the organization’s first volume of Papers and Proceedings . Included in that first bound edition was an expanded version of the following, written by one of the Institute’s founding members. We present it here in celebration of this sesquicentennial of a battle that forever changed the way war would be waged at sea. That momentous engagement effectively closed the curtain on the Age of Sail. We have retained the original style in which this “paper” was written.—Eds.
At ten minutes before ten, on the morning of the 30th of January, 1862, an iron floating battery, designed for the Government of the United States by John Ericsson, and named, at his suggestion, the Monitor , was launched at Green Point, Long Island, and at three p.m., on the 25th of February, formally taken possession of by the Navy Department, and put in commission at the Navy Yard, New York.