Confederate Navy, CSS Virginia, Wood Relic

3.5 x 4 x 2.75 in. charred wood block affixed with a brass plaque identifying it as a Piece of the Rebel Ram 'Virginia" / Formerly the U.S.S. Merrimac

The Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad of the Confederate Navy, and famously took part in the world's first battle of two ironclad warships when it engaged the USS Monitor on March 9, 1862.  That fight, on the second day of the Battle of Hampton Roads, was a stalemate.  Two months later, unable to retreat farther up the James River to avoid the advancing Union forces, Flag Officer Josiah Tattnall ordered the boat abandoned and sunk in order to keep it out of enemy hands.  The hull was raised in 1883, and relics such as this immediately became hot sellers.  By that time, the world's leading navies had begun to be dominated by the superior ironclad and iron-hulled ships, and collectors were already very much aware of the significance of the Virginia's place in history.
Estimate: $1,000 - $1,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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