USS Monitor: A Historic Ship Completes Its Final Voyage

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Texas A&M University Press, 2012 - History - 239 pages
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"Recovering a lost ship that forever changed war at sea... On March 9, 1862, USS Monitor, prototype of a new class of armored warships, fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, Virginia, only a day after Virginia had ravaged the Union fleet blockading the James River. In the world's first clash between iron-armored warships, Monitor and Virginia exchanged gunfire at close range for nearly four hours. The events at Hampton Roads changed the world's navies. After centuries of dominating battles at sea, wooden, sail-powered warships would be rendered obsolete. Iron, steam power, and heavy guns in rotating turrets were now the means to wage naval warfare. The harbinger of the change did not last long, however. Less than nine months later, the now-famous Monitor was under tow, heading south to Beaufort, North Carolina, when in heavy seas, the vessel sank, taking sixteen of its crew with it. Monitor was considered at the time to be a total and irretrievable loss; even the location of its final resting place became a mystery. Not until 1973 was the inverted hulk located, and in 1995, partial recovery of the wreck began under the auspices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with the US Navy. The decision to place Monitor in a protected zone-a national marine sanctuary-marked another historic first for the vessel. The story of this decision, the subsequent protection and management of the historic resource, and the raising of major hull components including the gun turret, add another layer of history to the Monitor's fascinating story. Lavish illustration (photographs, site drawings, and artifact sketches) complement this informative and highly readable account by John D. Broadwater, whose decades-long career as an archaeologist included participating in several early Monitor expeditions and eventually heading Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, during which time he planned and directed the major expeditions that resulted in recovery of many of Monitor's most significant objects. Naval warfare buffs, amateurs and professionals involved in maritime archaeology, and Civil War aficionados will be intrigued and informed by USS MONITOR: A HISTORIC SHIP COMPLETES ITS FINAL VOYAGE."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

First Encounter
1
The Monitor is No More
5
Discovery
14
Story of an Ironclad
28
A Sanctuary for America
62
Charting a New Course for Monitor
98
Implementing the Recovery Plan
117
Engineering the Recovery of Monitors Machinery
139
Monitor Completes Its Final Voyage
166
In Monitors Turret
183
The Story Continues
207
Notes
217
Bibliography
225
Index
235
Cover 2
241
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