USS Puritan

1864: July 2

The First USS Puritan The Puritan was originally designed as a double-turreted ironclad monitor based on John Ericsson's plans. The builder had a long debate with the Navy and the Puritan was built with a single turret. She was contracted to Ericsson on July 28, 1862 and Ericsson sub-contracted it to Continental Iron Works Greenpoint, NY and the machinery to Allaire Works New York, NY. The Puritan was launched July 2, 1864, but due to delays in casting the 15-inch smooth bore guns, she was never completed. Construction was suspended in 1865.

The decommissioned Puritan began to deteriorate. Then, in 1875, Secretary of the Navy George Robeson decided to carry out work on five Civil War ironclads. He had wanted to build five new monitors, but Congress would only appropriate funds to repairs. So Robeson started building five new monitors under the guise of repairing the deteriorating Civil War-era ships. The five new monitors were given the same names as the old Civil War ironclads, including the Puritan. A scandal resulted when it came to light that Robeson was building new ships with money set aside for repairs. When Robeson's plan was discovered the old Puritan was turned over to John Roach of Chester, Pennsylvania, as partial payment for the "unauthorized" construction of the new Puritan. The new monitor kept the name Puritan.

Displacement: 3,265 tons
Length: 351 feet
Beam: 50 feet
Draft: 20 feet

We're in a race to conserve history! Follow along as artifacts are uncovered and more facts are learned about the Monitor and the men who served aboard!

From the heart breaking accounts of life aboard the ironclads to thrilling descriptions of the battles recounted by those who witnessed them you're sure to learn something new!