A Union vessel sunk the Confederate ironclad Albemarle at its berth in Plymouth, North Carolina, 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. The Confederate ironclad had menaced Union warships since it was commissioned in 1864, sinking the USS Southfield on one occasion and damaging or driving others off in a subsequent encounter. Later, when Union forces gained control of Plymouth, the ironclad would be refloated and taken in 1865 to Norfolk, Virginia, before being sold off. Fighting continued in late October in Virginia as Union commander Ulysses S. Grant launched a double-pronged offensive near the Confederate seat at Richmond, Virginia, and the neighboring city of Petersburg. But the attempt on Oct. 27-28, 1864, to cut off Confederate supply lines was repulsed by the Confederate defenders at Burgess Mill in Virginia and Union fighters were forced to retreat to their earlier positions.