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Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads is a channel through which the waters of the James River, Nansemond River[?], and Elizabeth River[?] of Virginia pass (between Old Point Comfort[?] to the north and Sewell’s Point[?] to the south) into Chesapeake Bay. It is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News, and is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy. For a width of 500 feet the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 feet to 30 feet. The entrance from Chesapeake Bay was (in 1911) defended by Fortress Monroe[?] on Old Point Comfort and by Fort Wood[?] on a small island called the Rip Raps[?] near the middle of the channel; and at Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth river, is an important navy-yard.

The famous battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimack) took place in the Roads.

(from an old encyclopedia)

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