Designed by John Ericsson, the Monitor was completed in time to meet the Confederate threat of the C.S.S. Virginia. In a gallant action, the Monitor lay in wait to defend the grounded U.S.S. Minnesota. The battle which ensued lasted for over four hours with neither ship sustaining serious damage. This ended the age of the wooden fighting ship. After serving briefly on the James River Monitor was ordered to Charleston in 1862 for a refit. Several days later she sank in a violent storm off Cape Hatteras.