By Mark Bowser
The shadowy figure sailed toward the unsuspecting craft. What was it? A sea monster? Maybe a ship? It was a ship. The Merrimack opened up its cannons and in short order obliterated the wooden Union vessel.
The Merrimack then continued on its journey taking out any Union vessel it came across. The Civil War had been raging for a year and now the Confederates had a vessel which seemed to be invincible.
But how did the Merrimack come into existence? Earlier in the war, the Confederates had sunk a wooden Union vessel. After some time, the Confederates decided to try to salvage the sunken enemy vessel.
After bringing it to the surface, they discovered that the hull was in pretty good shape. They decided to cover it with iron. They placed slanted sheets of iron at the top making a metal shield that would repel cannon balls like rain to an umbrella. The Merrimack had vengeance in it’s iron heart and was ready to ravage the Union forces.
After a day of glorious victory after victory, the Merrimack and its crew settled in for a well deserved night’s sleep dreaming of a similar adventure for the next day. But, they would soon find out that they were in for a surprise of their own.
The next day, the Merrimack set sail on its course again, but in the near distance they saw a very odd looking vessel. It sat very low in the water and had a very flat, dark deck. In the middle of the craft was a little rounded box that butted up a few feet from the deck. What on earth was that? Oh well, the Merrimack would take care of it too.
The odd looking craft sailed directly towards the Merrimack like an alligator sneaking up on its prey. It was the Monitor. The Union’s own iron fortress of the sea. The Merrimack soon found out what that box was on the top. It was a gun turret that could swivel in any direction. No matter what invasive maneuver the Merrimack would attempt, the Monitor could aim its humongous guns upon her.
The battle waged on and on with both iron vessels holding their own. Finally, the Merrimack gave up and sailed away. With the Monitor on patrol, the Confederate Merrimack would think twice before venturing back up through the Union forces again.
Ingenuity and inventiveness are two of the human beings most admirable traits. Wake yours up today and go to battle against your most pressing challenges.