An Ironclad war story this Wednesday

Published 9:53 pm Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society and Suffolk Public Library are inviting local history buffs and naval enthusiasts to discuss one of the most significant battles of the Civil War.

The library will hold the latest in its series of Afternoon Conversations from 2 to 3 p.m. this Wednesday at the Phillips-Dawson House at 137 Bank St. Mariners Museum volunteer Dan Wood will talk about local maritime history, specifically the Battle of Hampton Roads.

Often referred to as the Battle of Ironclads, the skirmish between the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia warships — the latter built with remains of the USS Merrimack — was part of a Confederate effort to break the Union blockade of Southern ports that included Richmond and Norfolk, according to This was the first fight between ironclad warships, and it occurred off the shores of modern-day Suffolk.

Email newsletter signup

“Though they had short lives, the two ironclads ushered in a new era in naval warfare,” per

The presentation is free and expected to last roughly 45 minutes with time for questions afterwards.

Outreach assistant and Afternoon Conversations co-organizer Joseph Ficklen said the goal of conversations like this one is to share exciting details from history for locals to better understand the richness of Hampton Roads lore.

“The history of our region has been shaped by naval trade and conflict,” Ficklen said.

Visit for more information.