[68], Ericsson's revolutionary turret, although not without flaws, was a unique concept in gun mounting that was soon adapted and used on naval ships around the world. [189] The surface-supplied divers evaluated the use of heliox due to the depth of the wreck. When the turret was resupplied with ammunition, Worden returned to battle with only one gun able to fire. The collision did, however, aggravate the damage to Virginia's bow from when she had previously rammed Cumberland. Master's Mate George Fredrickson returned a watch he had borrowed from another officer, saying, "Here, this is yours; I may be lost." The SS United States and Queen Mary were retired ships from the late 50's-60's with the United States threaten with scraping in 2011. Later that night, the wheel ropes controlling the ship's rudder jammed, making it nearly impossible to control the ship's heading in the rough seas. On 7 April, the Weehawken led the Union fleet in the first major naval assault against Confederate … Monitor's sole purpose now was to blockade the James River from any advances made by the newly constructed Virginia II, an ironclad ram. Developments in gun technology had progressed by the 1840s so that no practical thickness of wood could withstand the power of a shell. [37] Each gun weighed approximately 16,000 pounds (7,300 kg). Merrimack, Fort Darling, etc. [46] The two innermost plates were riveted together while the outer plates were bolted to the inner ones. It was protected by two layers of 1⁄2-inch (13 mm) wrought iron armor. When the temperamental Stanton learned that Monitor had only two guns he expressed contempt and rage as he paced back and forth, further increasing the anxiety and despair among members of the meeting. For an image of the stamp, see footnote link. But the crew was elated: "Hurrah for the first iron-clad that ever rounded Cape Hatteras!" 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. While the above statement was fiction, the Monitor – which was full with a crew of 65 – could not accept every contraband who escaped slavery and came to their ship. She also informed them President Lincoln had personally paid Worden a visit extending his gratitude. Maine. [147] To make the vessel more seaworthy, a 30-foot (9 m) funnel-shaped smokestack was placed over the smoke outlet while taller fresh air vents were installed. Seated in chairs, middle row, left to right: The distance between the two ships had increased considerably, and Browne's cutter was almost unmanageable. Finally, the lines were freed and the Rhode Island began to drift away. On December 30, 1862, the U.S.S. A. Harwood, Chief of Bureau of Ordnance and hydrography, Dahlgren emphasized "A subject so important cannot be perfected without much reflection and extensive experiment. [145], In September Captain John P. Bankhead received orders to take command of Monitor, relieving Stevens, and was sent to Hampton Roads to take charge of the vessel. "[108], Monitor, to the surprise of Virginia's crew, had emerged from behind Minnesota and positioned herself between her and the grounded ship, preventing the Confederate ironclad from further engaging the vulnerable wooden ship at close range. In particular the correspondence of George S. Geer, who sent more than 80 letters, often referred to as The Monitor Chronicles,[f] to his wife Martha during the entire time of Monitor's service provide many details and insights into every chapter of the ironclad's short-lived history, offering a rare perspective of a sailor's experience on the naval front during the Civil War. The letters of Geer and Keeler are available for viewing and are housed at the Mariners' Museum in Virginia. Monitor had a tonnage of 776 tons burthen and displaced 987 long tons (1,003 t). [22], Monitor was an unusual vessel in almost every respect and was sometimes sarcastically described by the press and other critics as "Ericsson's folly", "cheesebox on a raft"[23][24] and the "Yankee cheesebox". "Hurrah for the little boat that is first in everything!" [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. The pressure, which normally ran at 80 pounds, had dropped to 20 pounds—dangerously low. [194], Only 16 of the crew were not rescued by Rhode Island before Monitor sank and the forensic anthropologists at JPAC were able to rule out the three missing black crewmen based on the shape of the femurs and skulls. [187], Another effort to raise Monitor's propeller was successful on 8 June 1998, although the amount of effort required to work in the difficult conditions off Cape Hatteras was underestimated and the fewer than 30 divers used were nearly overwhelmed. [205], Northrop Grumman Shipyard in Newport News constructed a full-scale non-seaworthy static replica of Monitor. [m] Additional iron plates were installed covering the dents from the previous battles. Engineer George Geer wrote to his wife on 9 June 1862: Later, when Confederate forces abandoned Norfolk on 11 May 1862, they were forced to destroy Virginia. Many more were built, including river monitors, and they played key roles in Civil War battles on the Mississippi and James Rivers. The water level had risen to one inch in the engine room, and Captain Bankhead ordered Engineer Joseph Watters to put the Worthington pumps to work. However most of the time spent on the river was marked with inactivity and hot weather which had a negative effect on the morale of Monitor's crew. The USS Rhode Island in the background launches rescue boats. Accounts vary. [142] Not a single Union ship reached Richmond until near the end of the war, when the city was finally evacuated by the Confederates. He then ordered the towline cut and called for volunteers,[163] Stodder, along with crewmates John Stocking,[164] and James Fenwick volunteered and climbed down from the turret, but eyewitnesses said that as soon as they were on the deck Fenwick and Stocking were quickly swept overboard and drowned. The Captain ordered the large centrifugal pump into action. Monitor was now a premier tourist attraction and the crowd was soon allowed on board to tour the vessel. The contract was finally signed on 4 October for a price of $275,000[53] to be paid in installments as work progressed. 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. Each plate was inscribed with the name of the source from where the shell causing the dent was made. The Confederates were forced to scuttle and destroy Virginia as they withdrew in early May 1862 from Norfolk and its naval shipyard, while Monitor sailed up the James River to support the Union Army during the Peninsula Campaign under General-in-Chief George B. McClellan. The sinking of the USS Maine, the use of yellow press journalism, and the national uproar and motivation is what drove the Americans to victory. [212], New Jersey-based indie rock band Titus Andronicus named their critically acclaimed[213][214] second album, 2010's The Monitor, for the ship. You have my warm Sympathies, & the assurance that yr brother did his duty well, & has I believe gone to a brighter world, where storms do not come’. Page 5 of 14 - About 133 essays. Browne's cutter arrived soon after Bankhead's call to abandon ship. 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. Those same possessions were found by conservators and archaeologists following the recovery of the turret in August 2002. "[153], Before Monitor was put into dry dock for repairs, Lincoln, Fox, various officials and a few of Worden's close friends arrived to ceremoniously review the vessel and pay respect to the crew and former commander Worden, who after a long and partial recovery arrived for the occasion. [77], Monitor also required petty officers: among them was Daniel Toffey, Worden's nephew. [29] Ventilation for the vessel was supplied by two centrifugal blowers near the stern, each of which was powered by 6-horsepower (4.5 kW) steam engine. Ericsson claimed to have sent the French Emperor Napoléon III a proposal for a monitor-type design, with a gun turret, in September 1854, but no record of any such submission could be found in the archives of the French Ministry of the Navy (Ministre de la Marine) when they were searched by naval historian James Phinney Baxter III. Glass portholes in the deck provided natural light for the interior of the ship; in action these were covered by iron plates. Ericsson assured the board his ship would float exclaiming, "The sea shall ride over her and she shall live in it like a duck". [19] On 15 September, after further deliberations, the board accepted Ericsson's proposal. Jones demanded to know why and was briefed by Lieutenant Eggleston that powder was low and precious and given Monitor's resistance to shot after two hours of battle, maintained that continued firing at that point would only be a waste of ammunition. By 7:30 p.m. one of the hawsers snapped and the Monitor began rolling wildly. 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. [101], Immediately following the battle Stimers telegraphed Ericsson, congratulating and thanking him for making it possible to confront the Confederate ironclad and for "saving the day". ", Browne and his men in the cutter were making "but slow progress" when the Monitor's light disappeared for good. [190], Much like the previous year, the 2002 dive season was dedicated to lifting the 120-long-ton (120 t) turret to the surface. It seems that the event has drawn little notice in the blogosphere with everyone trying to get posts on Murfreesboro and the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation set for January 1, 2013. Monitor sinks in a storm off, North Carolina. Bankhead had the Monitor's engines stopped as well. Lieutenant Samuel Dana Greene; At 10 p.m. Bankhead gave the order for the red distress lantern to be hoisted. The two boats scraped heavily as they passed, catching Weeks' right hand between the two, crushing three fingers and wrenching his arm "from its socket....". At 5:00 p.m., the officers sat down to dinner in the wardroom, joking about being free from their "monotonous inactive life.". Assurances from Admiral Dahlgren and other officers that Virginia was too massive to effectively approach Washington and that Monitor was capable of the challenge offered him no consolation. The battle itself was largely considered a draw, though it could be argued Virginia did slightly more damage. It found a 140-foot (42.7 m) long object bulky enough to be a shipwreck, in 310 feet (94.5 m) of water that was thought to be Monitor, but powerful currents negated attempts by divers to investigate. [43], The turret was intended to mount a pair of 15-inch (380 mm) smoothbore Dahlgren guns, but they were not ready in time and 11-inch (280 mm) guns were substituted. [26] Virginia soon managed to break away and headed back towards Norfolk for needed repairs, believing that Monitor had withdrawn from battle. [219] The battle was also dramatized in the 1991 made-for-television movie Ironclads, produced by Ted Turner. [181] Monitor was also designated a National Historic Landmark on 23 June 1986. [118], Towards the end of the engagement, Worden directed Williams to steer Monitor around the stern of Confederate ironclad, where Lieutenant Wood fired Virginia's 7-inch Brooke gun at Monitor's pilothouse, striking the forward side directly beneath the sight hold, cracking the structural "iron log" along the base of the narrow opening just as Worden was peering out. Hull plates had to be removed to access the engine compartment and both the engine and the condenser had to be separated from the ship, the surrounding wreckage and each other. 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. [18] Upon review of Ericsson's unusual design, the board was skeptical, concerned that such a vessel would not float, especially in rough seas, and rejected the proposal of a completely iron laden ship. [154] Monitor was finally taken out of dry dock on 26 October. [98], About 9:00 pm, Monitor finally arrived on the scene only to discover the destruction that Virginia had already wrought on the Union fleet. During the course of the war improved designs based on Monitor emerged with a total of 60 ironclads built. Your brother went down with other brave souls, & only a good Providence prevented my accompanying him. On August 5, 2002, nearly 140 years after the sinking of the historic Civil War ironclad, USS Monitor, Monitor's turret was raised 240 feet from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. [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. [161], Monitor was soon in trouble as the storm increased in ferocity. 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