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Remembering the Monitor

I read an interesting article recently about the new USS Monitor Center at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia. The USS Monitor, and the Monitor Class ships that came after it, played an important roll in the Civil War and in the history of naval combat. The article does a nice job discussing the history of the ship and the new exhibits at the museum.

I was particularly interested in the article because a few weeks back I was playing around the search on Footnote and did a quick search for “monitor” in the Matthew Brady collection of Civil War Photos as a test. I found some great images (over 30 of them) of ships and their crews.

It was interesting to see the differences between the various incarnations of the Monitors and to see the way the decks of the ships were used. Here are a few examples:

Monitor 1 This one has a single (and smaller) turret, a tall thin smoke stack and a cannon and any number of other accouterments attached to the deck.

Sangus Sangus Officers and Crew Here’s another single turret example, the Sangus, but it’s quite different from the example above with a larger turret, stockier pipe and what looks like equipment for clearing the water in front of the ship. There are even pictures of her officers and crew.

Monitor 2 Here’s another one where they pulled out all the stops, double turrets, tents, lifeboat hangers, flags, you name it.