|The Civil War’s Battle of Hampton Roads is remembered as the first fight between iron clad ships, and is a testament to the Navy’s long and important history in Virginia. The above engraving from the Naval Historical Center shows the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) engaged during the March 9, 1862 fight.|
Virginia has always played a crucial role in our nation’s defense, and the Commonwealth was the location of many decisive events during the Civil War, including the surrender of Confederate forces in April 1865. The legacy of the war is evident throughout Virginia today, including many of our Defense Department installations. Some, like Fort Monroe and the Norfolk (Gosport) Naval Shipyard, were active participants during the war. Others carry names reflective of the past, including Forts Lee, A.P. Hill and Pickett. Other federal sites bear witness to the cost of the war, most notably cemeteries across the state filled with dead from both sides.
The 2006 Virginia General Assembly created the Virginia Sesquicentennial American Civil War Commission to prepare for and commemorate the 150th anniversary of this most trying period in our nation’s history. Ongoing and special events have been carefully designed to provide an accurate and balanced look back, and a website has been created to provide information on the commission and its work.
More information, including a complete listing of events for the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150 years), is available at www.virginiacivilwar.org.