In 1861, at the onset of the American Civil War, the Union forces stationed in Gosport, Virginia, prepare to leave. The Confederate forces are poised to take Gosport. Before departing Gosport, the Union forces destroy the port facilities, docks, warehouses and a few ships that cannot sail. One of these ships is U.S.S. Merrimack, a 40-gun steam frigate. However, the Union forces fail to destroy the dry dock. The Confederates use the dry dock to repair the Merrimack and cover it with iron plates in order to turn it into an Ironclad. The Confederates intend to use the ironclad ship, re-named C.S.S. Virginia, to attack the Union wooden warships blockading the Confederacy. Washington D.C. gets wind of these Confederate plans and decides to send two spies, one man and a Southern belle, to Virginia to steal the exact specs of the new Confederate ironclad ship. This information is vital for the Union in order to allow it to build a more powerful ironclad ship than the Confederate one. While ...
Men of steel in ships of iron clash in the fiercest naval battle of the Civil War.
Did You Know?
If you watch carefully during the opening credits, you will see a horse fall and the rider strike his head on the ground. That was not an effect, but rather a real event where the rider suffered a head laceration and required transportation to a local hospital. There were multiple cameras used for that shot, and they continued to roll for about twenty seconds to capture the explosion effects before medics were clear to assess and treat the rider. See more
When the Monitor first appears from behind the Minnesota there is nobody on deck. But in the next close-up the Monitor's captain and her officers are standing on deck. See more
At the beginning of the American Civil War, when Virginia voted to secede from the Union, the United States Navy was forced to abandon Gosport, its finest naval facility. The U.S.S. Pawnee arrived with orders to make certain that nothing of any value was left to fall into Confederate hands, including the pride of the Navy: the 40-gun steam frigate Merrimack.
Burn every ship that can't be towed! Burn the machine shops, the storehouses...
Lt. Joe Smith Jr.
What about the drydock, sir?
Destroy it, ...