Tag Archives: Monitor

The Faces of the Crewmen of the USS Monitor to be Reconstructed

Crew of the USS Monitor

The USS Monitor was one of the first iron clad naval ships and most famous for engaging in battle with the Merrimack (in the first battle between ironclad ships). When the turret of the Monitor was raised, two skeletons were found along with it.

Now, forensic anthropologists are using the skulls of the deceased crewmen in an attempt to reconstruct the faces of the ship’s sailors. The men both appear to be Caucasian and between the ages of 17 and 24.  If successful, this will be the first time their faces have been seen in more than a hundred and fifty years.

To learn more about the USS Monitor, see the article in MSNBC.

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Museum Restoring USS Monitor’s Engine

The Battle of the USS Monitor & the CSS Virginia

The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia is currently working to restore and reconstruct the innovative engines of the USS Monitor. The USS Monitor was one of the first ironclad naval vessels in the United States and was constructed to confront new Confederate naval technologies that were being employed to break the Union blockade. Most famously, the USS Monitor clashed with the CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) in the first battle involving ironclad ships in Hampton Roads, Virginia. While officially the battle was a standstill, the Monitor was successful in that it prevented the CSS Virginia from breaching the Union blockade.

In a brutal storm in 1862, the Monitor sunk off the coast of Cape Hatteras in the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic.” The wreck was rediscovered in 1973 and declared a protected national landmark in 1983. You can read about that expedition in National Geographic’s article: “Civil War Wreck Rises Again: Restoring the Monitor.” This month’s National Geographic highlights the efforts of the Mariner’s Museum to reconstruct and restore the innovative engines of the ill-fated ship in this article: “Monitor’s Innovative Engine Being Restored at Virginia Museum.”