[45], The top of the armored deck was only about 18 inches (460 mm) above the waterline. The engineers reported that the pumps were having no effect. [174], The Navy tested an "underwater locator" in August 1949 by searching an area south of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse for the wreck of Monitor. Realizing that raising the whole wreck was impractical for financial reasons as well as the inability to bring up the wreck intact, NOAA developed a comprehensive plan to recover the most significant parts of the ship, namely her engine, propeller, guns, and turret. the Titanic II. [20], The three ironclad ships selected differed substantially in design and degree of risk. [134] In a further attempt to entice Monitor closer to the Confederate side, so she could be boarded, the James River Squadron moved in and captured three merchant ships, the brigs Marcus and Sabout, and the schooner Catherine T. Stodder managed to hang on to the safety lines around the deck and cut through the hawser with a hatchet. On the morning of 27 February the ship entered the East River preparatory to leaving New York, but proved to be all but unsteerable and had to be towed back to the navy yard. After his formal greeting the crew swarmed around Worden and embraced and shook hands with their former commander and thanked God for his recovery and return. A huge wave passed over me tearing me from my footing...I was carried ...ten or twelve yards from the vessel when ... the wave threw me against the vessel's side near one of the iron stanchions which supported the life line; this I grasped with all the energy of desperation & ...was hauled into the boat...". Six days later, Ericsson signed a contract with Bushnell, John F. Winslow and John A. Griswold which stated that the four partners would equally share in the profits or the losses incurred by the construction of the ironclad. Monitor and the C.S.S. Their power cut, the Monitor and the Rhode Island were drifting dangerously close together. Paymaster William Keeler later gave a moment-by-moment account of his escape from the Monitor: "...I divested myself of the greater portion of my clothing to afford me greater facilities for swimming... & attempted to descend the ladder leading down the outside of the turret, but found it full of men hesitating but desiring to make the perilous passage of the deck." The growing number of relics required conservation and a proper home so the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in charge of all U.S. marine sanctuaries, selected the Mariners' Museum on 9 March 1987 after considering proposals from several other institutions. Ericsson had personally paid for the costs of all the officer's furnishings. [142] Not a single Union ship reached Richmond until near the end of the war, when the city was finally evacuated by the Confederates. [28], The ship was powered by a single-cylinder horizontal vibrating-lever steam engine,[29] also designed by Ericsson, which drove a 9-foot (2.7 m) propeller,[27] whose shaft was nine inches in diameter. they cried. [46] The two innermost plates were riveted together while the outer plates were bolted to the inner ones. This was usually concreted coal as one of the ship's coal bunkers had ruptured and dumped most of its contents into the turret. [126] Strategically, nothing had changed: the Union still controlled Hampton Roads and the Confederates still held several rivers and Norfolk,[127] making it a strategic victory for the North. Saving a vivid link to the sinking of the USS Monitor. [55] The ship's steam engines and machinery were constructed at the DeLamater Iron Works, also in Manhattan. [37] Each gun weighed approximately 16,000 pounds (7,300 kg). [209], In 1995 the U.S. The remains of a US sailor who drowned during the sinking of the US Ironclad USS Monitor in 1862. Forty-seven men were rescued by the life boats from Rhode Island. Lighting for each living area was provided by small skylights in the deck above, which were covered by an iron hatch during battle. The engines were slowed to preserve steam for the pumps. Their task was to "examine plans for the completion of iron-clad vessels" and consider its costs. Large waves were splashing over and completely covering the deck and pilot house so the crew temporarily rigged the wheel atop the turret which was manned by helmsman Francis Butts. [207], The Greenpoint Monitor Monument in McGolrick Park, Brooklyn, depicts a sailor from Monitor pulling on a capstan. Just before dawn on December 30, the USS Monitor, in tow of the USS Rhode Island, began to "experience a swell from the southward" and as the day progressed, the clouds increased "till the sun was obscured by their cold grey mantle.” Officers and crew amused themselves by watching three sharks swim alongside the ship. On December 30, 1862 the USS Monitor sank during a gale off Cape Hatteras, NC. John Quarstein is director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center and author of "The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union's First Ironclad." She also informed them President Lincoln had personally paid Worden a visit extending his gratitude. Shortly after midnight, the water overcame the engine and the Monitor's pumps stopped, and with them, any hope of saving the ship. The USS Rhode Island in the background launches rescue boats. At 5:00 p.m., the officers sat down to dinner in the wardroom, joking about being free from their "monotonous inactive life.". Sinking of the Monitor. [154][155], While Monitor was undergoing repairs her crew was put aboard USS King Philip and were eventually granted a furlough by Bankhead who himself went on leave. Weeks recalled, "Some sang as they worked, and... the voices, mingling with the roar of the waters, sounded like a defiance to Ocean.". [140] After a near four-hour artillery duel and sustaining numerous hits overall, the flotilla was unable to neutralize the fortification and had to turn back. He recalled, "We had now got in my boat all of the Monitor's crew that could be persuaded to come down from the turret for they had seen some of their shipmates who had left the turret for the deck washed overboard and sink in their sight." Keeler described "Mountains of water ... rushing across our decks...the howling of the tempest, ... the bubbling cry of the strong swimmer in his agony and the whole panorama of horror which time can never efface from my memory." Two days later, Selfridge was in turn relieved by Lieutenant William Nicholson Jeffers on 15 May 1862. For an image of the stamp, see footnote link. [77], Monitor also required petty officers: among them was Daniel Toffey, Worden's nephew. Many of the men were on top of the turret. The sides of the "raft" consisted of three to five layers of 1-inch (25 mm) iron plates, backed by about 30 inches (762 mm) of pine and oak. Before Monitor could reach Hampton Roads, the Confederate ironclad had already destroyed the sail frigates USS Cumberland and USS Congress and had run the steam frigate USS Minnesota aground. Realizing the ship was in serious trouble, Bankhead signaled Rhode Island for help and hoisted the red lantern next to Monitor's white running light atop the turret. At 11 p.m. Bankhead sent the message to the Rhode Island, "Send your boats immediately, we are sinking!" On 8 March 2013 their remains were buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. [26][e] One of Ericsson's prime goals in designing the ship was to present the smallest possible target to enemy gunfire. Acting Assistant Paymaster William F. Keeler; Sinking of the USS Monitor in a storm off Cape Hatteras, Harper's Weekly, 1863 On May 10, just two days after the last challenge of the Virginia echoed off the water, the Confederate Army marched to defend Richmond. 2012 150th Anniversary of the Launching of the USS Monitor. The Monitor was being towed southward, past Cape Hatteras, when it foundered and sank in rough seas in the early hours of December 31, 1862. Reed gave these ships a superstructure to increase seaworthiness and raise the freeboard of the gun turrets so they could be worked in all weathers. During the battle Monitor fired solid shot, about once every eight minutes, while Virginia fired shell exclusively. [44] They could fire a 136-pound (61.7 kg) round shot or shell up to a range of 3,650 yards (3,340 m) at an elevation of +15°. [82] Other crew members were interviewed later in life, like Louis N. Stodder, one of the last crew members to abandon Monitor minutes before she sank in a storm at sea,[83] who was the last surviving crew member of Monitor and lived well into the 20th century. The letters of Acting Paymaster William F. Keeler to his wife Anna also corroborate many of the accounts of affairs that took place aboard the Monitor. The ship required ten officers: a commander, an executive officer, four engineers, one medical officer, two masters and a paymaster. The Navy did not find it necessary to commission a board of inquiry to investigate the affair and took no action against Bankhead or any of his officers. Four officers and twelve crewmen were lost. Page 5 of 14 - About 133 essays. [75] In Monitor's turret, Greene and Stodder supervised loading and firing of the two 11-inch Dahlgrens. Monitor sinks in a storm off, North Carolina. The second, a cutter, was commanded by Masters Mate Rodney Browne. During this second meeting, Ericsson showed Bushnell a model of his own design, the future Monitor, derived from his 1854 design. 1K Views. Monitor was the most innovative design by virtue of its low freeboard, shallow-draft iron hull, and total dependence on steam power. [36] Including the guns, the turret weighed approximately 160 long tons (163 t); the entire weight rested on an iron spindle that had to be jacked up using a wedge before the turret could rotate. Keeler's saga continued: "I found a rope hanging from one of the awning stanchions over my head & slid down it to the deck. Soon, however, the sea began to break over the vessel, the waves white with foam. A large blower that operated with its own engine was installed which drew fresh air down through the pilothouse. For the uninitiated, the rate (job) of LANDSMAN was of a naval recruit at the time. For a more detailed account of the sinking of the Monitor, visit The Mariners' Museum website, Red signal lantern recovered from the Monitor wreck site and conserved at The Mariners' Museum. The USS Rhode Island , which had been towing the ironclad, rescued all but 16 of the crew. The pilothouse was almost continuously under water. Two boats from the Rhode Island reached the Monitor and Bankhead ordered Lt. Samuel D. Greene "to put as many men into them as they would safely carry.". [88] One fireman was able to punch a hole in the fan box, drain the water, and restart the fan. The Sea Link was able to ferry divers down to the sunken vessel and retrieve small artifacts. Upon mustering the crew upon the Rhode Island, John Bankhead found the following men missing: Standing, top row, left to right: [129] Worden was later taken to his summer home in New York and remained unconscious for three months. Monitor's wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged. Lincoln came forward and greeted Worden and then introduced him to some of the others. [201], Conservation of the propeller was completed nearly three years after its recovery and it is on display in the Monitor Center at the Mariners' Museum. First Assistant Engineer, Isaac Newton Jr. Second Assistant Engineer, Albert B. Campbell, Hazard identification and risk assessment, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 23:22. [138][139] Monitor was now part of a flotilla under the command of Admiral John Rodgers aboard Galena, and, along with three other gunboats, steamed up the James River and engaged the Confederate batteries at Drewry's Bluff. During this time, Mrs. Worden personally brought news of her husband's progress and recovery and was optimistic, informing the crew his eyesight would soon return but he would be laid up for some time. [80], Living quarters for the senior officers consisted of eight separate well-furnished cabins, each provided with a small oak table and chair, an oil lamp, shelves and drawers and a canvas floor covering covered with a rug. [193] As archaeologists examined the contents of the turret after it has been landed aboard Wotan, they discovered a second skeleton, but removing it did not begin until the turret arrived at the Mariners' Museum for conservation. [58][60], Construction progressed in fits and starts, plagued by a number of short delays in the delivery of iron and occasional shortages of cash, but they did not significantly delay the ship's progress by more than a few weeks. [136], The Confederate Navy originally had devised a plan where the James River Squadron would swarm Monitor with a party of men with the intention of capturing the vessel by boarding and disabling her by using heavy hammers to drive iron wedges under and disabling the turret and by covering the pilothouse with a wet sail effectively blinding the pilot. [87] Rising seas that night washed the oakum away and water poured underneath the turret, as well as through the hawsepipe, various hatches, ventilation pipes, and the two funnels, so that the belts for the ventilation and boiler fans loosened and fell off and the fires in the boilers were nearly extinguished over the course of the next day; this created a toxic atmosphere in the engine room that knocked out most of the engine-room crew. Francis Banister Butts, Landsman, United States Navy, wrote the story. The battle between the two ironclads marked a turning point in the way naval warfare would be fought in the immediate future and beyond. During the course of the war improved designs based on Monitor emerged with a total of 60 ironclads built. The breastwork monitor was developed during the 1860s by Sir Edward Reed, Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy, as an improvement of the basic Monitor design. (Courtesy The Mariners' Museum). Third Assistant Engineer Mark Trueman Sunstrom; Accounts vary. On 27 August, Monitor was discovered 111 years after sinking, near Cape Hatteras at coordinates .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}35°0′6″N 75°24′23″W / 35.00167°N 75.40639°W / 35.00167; -75.40639Coordinates: 35°0′6″N 75°24′23″W / 35.00167°N 75.40639°W / 35.00167; -75.40639. [191], With Tropical Storm Cristobal bearing down on the recovery team, and time and money running out,[192] the team made the decision to raise the turret on 5 August 2002, after 41 days of work, and the gun turret broke the surface at 5:30 pm to the cheers of everyone aboard Wotan and other recovery ships nearby. [160], While the design of Monitor was well-suited for river combat, her low freeboard and heavy turret made her highly unseaworthy in rough waters. [140][143], After the battle at Drewry's Bluff Monitor remained on the James River providing support, along with the Galena and other gunboats, to McClellan's troops at various points along the river including Harrison's Landing[145] Gager. Maine. Desperate men had to cling to the top of the turret until the lifeboats returned. There were also artillery batteries at Fort Darling overlooking and guarding the approach, along with other heavy guns and sharpshooters positioned along the river banks. That day, Monitor was made ready for sea, her crew under strict orders not to discuss the impending voyage with anyone, but bad weather delayed her departure until 29 December. The United States Involvement During The Civil War ... ‘yellow journalism,” and the sinking of the U.S.S. [4] In response, the United States began construction in 1854 of a steam-powered ironclad warship, Stevens Battery,[5] but work was delayed and the designer, Robert Stevens, died in 1856, stalling further work. One of the launches was caught between them and suffered damage, but remained afloat as sixteen men climbed in. Construction immediately began at the Continental Ironworks in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, N.Y. He then ordered the anchor dropped to stop the ship's rolling and pitching with little effect, making it no easier for the rescue boats to get close enough to receive her crew. Dix. Library of Congress. [o] To preserve the ship, the wreck, and everything around it, a .5-nautical-mile (0.93 km; 0.58 mi) radius was designated as the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, the first U.S. marine sanctuary, on 30 January 1975. In developing the ship, Ericsson obtained 240 patents for equipment, including 45 related just to its turret. [9], Word of Merrimack's reconstruction and conversion was confirmed in the North in late February 1862 when Mary Louvestre of Norfolk, a freed slave who worked as a housekeeper for one of the Confederate engineers working on Merrimack,[10] made her way through Confederate lines with news that the Confederates were building an ironclad warship. USS Monitor; USS Monitor. There was one major delay, however, over the signing of the actual contract with the government. Bushnell got Ericsson's permission to show the model to Welles, who told Bushnell to show it to the board. No sooner than Monitor had weighed anchor, numerous small boats and spectators on shore flocked around the ship to congratulate the crew for what they regarded as their victory over Virginia. The latter refers to the Monitor's encounter with CSS Virginia in prominent detail. [132], On 11 April, Virginia, accompanied by a number of gunboats, steamed into Hampton Roads to Sewell's Point at the southeast edge, almost over to Newport News, in a challenge to Monitor in an attempt to lure the Union ironclad into battle. His modification proved to be successful during trials on 4 March. When Stodder and others came to close up the dock and ship one evening Stodder noted, "When we came up to clean that night there was not a key, doorknob, escutcheon – there wasn't a thing that hadn't been carried away. [59] Although never formally assigned to the crew, he remained aboard her as an inspector during her maiden voyage and battle. Around 160 divers were assigned to remove the parts of the hull, including the armor belt, that lay on top of the turret using chisels, exothermic cutting torches and 20,000 psi (137,895 kPa; 1,406 kgf/cm2) hydroblasters. Sinking of the USS Monitor "PHOTO PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION" EVENT WAS HELD: SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 2013 Cemetery Trolley: Honored USS Monitor Crewmen and workers at their gravesites. [d] Ericsson's guarantee of delivery in 100 days proved to be decisive in choosing his design despite the risk involved. On her way there, she foundered while under tow during a storm off Cape Hatteras on the last day of the year. [131], Both the Union and Confederacy soon came up with plans for defeating the other's ironclad. Sinking of the USS Monitor. But we lack almost the preliminary information indispensable to commence with. At 10 p.m. Bankhead gave the order for the red distress lantern to be hoisted. [25] The most prominent feature on the vessel was a large cylindrical gun turret mounted amidships above the low-freeboard upper hull, also called the "raft". Upon examination, the steering gear controlling the rudder had been improperly installed and Rowland offered to realign the rudder, which he estimated to take only a day. Weeks to Jacob’s sister, Antionette Nicklis, just a few days after the loss of the Monitor and her brother: ‘To Miss Antoinette Nicklis, [64][66][67] Gunnery trials were successfully performed the previous day, although Stimers twice nearly caused disasters as he did not understand how the recoil mechanism worked on Ericsson's carriage for the 11-inch guns. Both ships were constantly in motion, maintaining a circular pattern. [52] Winslow balked at this draconian provision and had to be persuaded by his partners to sign after the Navy rejected his attempt to amend the contract. [49][50], Commodore Joseph Smith, Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, sent Ericsson formal notice of the acceptance of his proposal on 21 September 1861. [170][171][n] Bankhead, Greene and Stodder barely managed to get clear of the sinking vessel and survived the ordeal,[166] but suffered from exposure from the icy winter sea. [154] Monitor was finally taken out of dry dock on 26 October. Convinced by the papers Louvestre was carrying, he had production of Monitor sped up. [173], Some time later a controversy emerged over why Monitor sank. The ship's cook was paid one dollar to prepare a meal for the crew befitting the day; it was received with mixed opinion. The use of heavy iron plating on the sides of warships was not practical until steam propulsion matured enough to carry its great weight. [216] These ships were described by Admiral George Alexander Ballard as being like "full-armoured knights riding on donkeys, easy to avoid but bad to close with". By 7:30 p.m. one of the hawsers snapped and the Monitor began rolling wildly. [18] The Ironclad Board evaluated 17 different designs, but recommended only three for procurement on 16 September, including Ericsson's Monitor design. [19][70] Because Monitor was an experimental craft, urgently needed, hurriedly constructed and almost immediately put to sea, a number of problems were discovered during her maiden voyage to Hampton Roads and during the battle there. [106][107] As Virginia approached, she began firing at Minnesota from more than a mile away, a few of her shells hitting the vessel. Its rounded shape helped to deflect cannon shot. [165] At 11:30 pm. Oddly, these did not depend on their own ironclads. [203] The Dahlgren guns were removed from the turret in September 2004 and placed in their own conservation tanks. The deafening sound of the impact stunned some of the crew, causing nose and ear bleeding. The Confederate government was ecstatic and immediately promoted Buchanan to Admiral. Bankhead ordered the engineers to start the Worthington pumps, which temporarily stemmed the rising waters, but soon Monitor was hit by a squall and a series of violent waves and water continued to work its way into the vessel. Buchanan was commander of the Washington Navy Yard when the war broke out. Two black Americans were also among the enlisted men in the crew. Neither ship had sustained any significant damage. Reed took advantage of the lack of masts and designed the ships with one twin-gun turret at each end of the superstructure, each able to turn and fire in a 270° arc. He took "one lingering look and ... left the Monitor's cabin forever." The Monitor's Design Made It Ill-Suited to the Open Ocean Depiction of the sinking of the Monitor off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Sinking of the USS Monitor. Another expedition was mounted that same month to confirm the discovery and the research submersible Alcoa Sea Probe was able to take still photos and video of the wreck that confirmed it was Monitor. [27], Monitor's turret measured 20 ft (6.1 m) in diameter and 9 ft (2.7 m) high, constructed with 8 inches (20 cm) of armor (11 inches in front at the gun ports) rendering the overall vessel somewhat top heavy. A small armored pilot house was fitted on the upper deck towards the bow, however, its position prevented Monitor from firing her guns straight forward. Some sources claim she stole and was carrying the ship's plans, rather than a letter from a third party. A four-hour battle ensued, each ship pounding the other with close-range cannon fire, although neither ship could destroy or seriously damage the other. [188], The 2001 dive season concentrated on raising the ship's steam engine and condenser. Several times, Monitor received direct hits on the turret, causing some bolts to violently shear off and ricochet around inside. The only way to see out of the turret was through the gun ports; when the guns were not in use, or withdrawn for reloading during battle, heavy iron port stoppers would swing down into place to close the gunports. ", Stevens previously served as commander of, In the actual engravings the men's names are inscribed below those of the ships' names. [159], The crew celebrated Christmas aboard Monitor while berthed at Hampton Roads in what was described as a most merry fashion, while many other celebrations were occurring along the shore. "[83], After a frantic rescue effort, Monitor finally foundered and sank approximately 16 miles (26 km) southeast off Cape Hatteras with the loss of sixteen men,[169] including four officers, some of whom remained in the turret and went down with the ironclad. Entire army regiments were also directed to come by the navy yard and review the ship and honor the crew. Sinking of the Ironclad USS Monitor Index | Home. [103] Samuel Howard, Acting Master of Minnesota, who was familiar with Hampton Roads with its varying depths and shallow areas, had volunteered to be the pilot the night before and thus was accepted, while Quarter Master Peter Williams steered the vessel throughout the battle (Williams was later awarded the Medal of Honor for this act). On December 31st 1862 at 1:30am the Monitor sank during a storm off of Cape Hatteras taking 16 of her crew with her. From Century Magazine, p299, 1885. A large, eight-legged lifting frame, nicknamed the "spider", was carefully positioned over the turret to move it onto the platform and the entire affair would be lifted by the crane mounted on the Wotan. A memorial to Monitor and her lost crew members was erected in the Civil War section of Hampton National Cemetery by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, together with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and dedicated on 29 December 2012. [172] After his initial recovery, Bankhead filed his official report, as did the commanding officers of the Rhode Island, stating officers and men of both Monitor and Rhode Island did everything within their ability to keep Monitor from sinking. The Union Navy advertised for proposals for "iron-clad steam vessels of war" on 7 August and Welles appointed three senior officers as the Ironclad Board the following day. [112], During the engagement, Monitor's turret began to malfunction, making it extremely difficult to turn and stop at a given position, so the crew simply let the turret continuously turn and fired their guns "on the fly" as they bore on Virginia. Before setting out to engage the Union blockade Buchanan had quizzed Ramsay and learned of the history of their questionable reliability. The increased motion forced out some of the oakum under the turret and water started pouring in through the gaps. [154][157] Stanchions were also installed around the perimeter of the freeboard with a rope strung through each making it safer to walk about the deck amid stormy weather and rough seas. SEE THE GREENPOINT MONITOR MUSEUM'S LEGACY GRANT PRE-PROPOSAL Bankhead ordered the engineers to stop engines and divert all available steam to the large Adams centrifugal steam pump;[166] but with reduced steam output from a boiler being fed wet coal, it too was unable to stem the rapidly rising water. 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A fight as they rolled heavily on the sides of warships was not practical until steam propulsion enough. Built and assembled at the DeLamater iron Works, also in Manhattan examined design! Were conceived as harbor Defense ships with little need to leave port Virginia... Commander Stephen Decatur Trenchard called for the uninitiated, the Monitor 's design made it Ill-Suited to the Monitor a... Their discovery on 8 March 2013 their remains were buried at Arlington National CEMETERY with full military.. Off, North Carolina their engines and machinery were constructed at the DeLamater iron Works, also in,. Greeted Worden and sinking of the uss monitor introduced him to some of the Monitor proposed for armored ships well. He took `` one lingering look and... left the Monitor seemed to ride more easily remain here any...... Monitor and CSS Virginia depicting the two ironclads marked a turning point in naval warfare be! Shell guns and rifled cannons he termed a breastwork some of the dire situation after the initial.. Sinking during a storm off the coast of Cape Hatteras with the United States during.

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