USS Merrimack (1855)

U.S. Navy Steam frigate / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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USS Merrimack, also improperly Merrimac, was a steam frigate, best known as the hull upon which the ironclad warship CSS Virginia was constructed during the American Civil War. The CSS Virginia then took part in the Battle of Hampton Roads (also known as "the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack") in the first engagement between ironclad warships.

Quick facts: History, United States, General characteristi...
USS Merrimack; Engraving by L.H. Bradford & Co., after a drawing by G.G. Pook
Flag_of_the_United_States_%281851%E2%80%931858%29.svgUnited States
Ordered6 April 1854
Launched15 June 1855
Commissioned20 February 1856
Decommissioned16 February 1860
  • Burned and sunk in dock, 20 April 1861
  • Raised and converted into ironclad CSS Virginia
General characteristics
Length275 ft (84 m)
Beam38.5 ft (11.7 m)
Draft24 ft (7.3 m)
Propulsionsail, steam engine
Speed12 knots
  • 14 × 8-inch guns,
  • 2 × 10-inch guns,
  • 24 × 9-inch guns

Merrimack was the first of six screw frigates (steam frigates powered by screw propellers) begun in 1854. Like others of her class (Wabash, Roanoke, Niagara, Minnesota and Colorado), she was named after a river. The Merrimack originates in New Hampshire and flows through the town of Merrimac, Massachusetts, often considered an older spelling which has sometimes caused confusion of the name.[1]