Re: See the ironclads battle again — on YouTube
The letter I wrote/sent to the Newport News (VA) Daily Press is as follows:
Please stop referring to the CSS Virginia as the Merrimac. The Merrimac is NOT… “also known as the Virginia”… (as you say in your 3/1/09 Daily-Press piece on same). The Merrimac is neither the ship remembered in the battle on the James River by most people, or the correct name at the time of battle.
The two ships which opposed each other were the CSS Virginia and the USS Monitor. The Merrimac ceased to exist as soon as the CSA resurrected the sunken hull and rebuilt her as the CSS Virginia.
If you are speaking to the citizens of a former union state then you may appropriately refer to her as the Merrimac. If, however, your audience is citizens of a former Confederate state, then it is appropriate to call her the CSS Virginia.
I’m not sure what kind of history deficient persons live in Hampton Roads, because the stupidest thing is calling the bridge down there the Monitor/Merrimac. The USS Monitor did not engage the USS Merrimac–see my point?
Unfortunately journalists of today, not understanding either history, the truth, or the majority audience to which they write, (or in some cases all three), do a great disservice to the readers, particularly to our youth, by continually providing articles incorrect in historical accuracy, such as yours.
We can no longer count on our schools to provide our youth in Virginia of the proud history of our Confederate state within the CSA nation, but I would expect journalist to get it right.
Thank you. 
Jesse L. Harrup, Jr.
Colonial Heights, VA