The USS Monitor was an iron-hulled steamship built during the American Civil War. She was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the Union Navy.
USS Monitor presented a new concept in ship design and employed a variety of new inventions and innovations in ship building that caught the attention of the world.
USS Monitor is most famous for her central role in the Battle of Hampton Roads on 9 March 1862. The ship participated in the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff later that month and remained in the area giving support to General McClellan’s forces on land until she was ordered to join the blockaders off North Carolina in December.
On her way there she foundered and sank on 31 December 1862, during a storm off Cape Hatteras with the loss of sixteen men, including four officers, some of whom remained in the turret and went down with the ironclad, while forty-seven men were rescued by the lifeboats from Rhode Island.
USS Monitor’s wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged. Her guns, gun turret, engine and other relics are on display at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.