The Peninsula Campaign Page33
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Congress and Cumberland Overlook:
Scene of the March 8, 1862, sinking of the USS Cumberland and USS Congress by the ironclad ram, CSS Virginia. This engagement not only ended the era of wooden ships, but also blocked the James River to McClellan’s use during the early stages of the Peninsula Campaign.
In 1861, Union General Benjamin Butler secured Newport News for the Union and established Camp Butler. In 1862, off Newport's News Point, the Confederate ironclad ship C.S.S. Virginia--previously the Union vessel U.S.S. Merrimack which had been scuttled at Gosport Navy Yard--attacked and sank the U.S.S. Cumberland and the U.S.S. Congress and caused the U.S.S. Minnesota to run aground. On March 9, 1862, the Union ironclad U.S.S. Monitor engaged the C.S.S. Virginia in Hampton Roads. This first battle of ironclad ships ended in a draw. Major General George B. McClellan's Peninsula Campaign resulted in land battles at Youngs Mill and Lee's Mill. Wounded Union soldiers from the fight at Dam No. 1 were carried to Endview. After General Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Newport News became a place for holding  Confederate prisoners of war.


Congress and Cumberland Overlook
Cumberland rammed


(7-2007) Enlarge Congress and Cumberland Overlook
Interpretive Marker: A Great Confederate Naval Victory


(7-2007) Enlarge Congress and Cumberland Overlook
Interpretive Marker: Christopher Newport Park


(7-2007) Enlarge w/detail Congress and Cumberland Overlook
Collis Potter Huntington: Founder Newport News shipbuilding and dry dock company

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