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Civil War Lectures

Keep company with John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he presents on the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

NEW in 2022!

This lecture series is being offered in person in the Museum’s McMullen classroom and livestreamed simultaneously. Advance registration is required.

Advance registration is required whether attending the lecture in person or online.

Attending in person?
Free with $1 admission, and FREE for Mariners’ Museum Members. Seating is limited. 
Watching remotely?
FREE to watch online, and you may register below.

Order signed copies of John Quarstein’s books online at our Museum’s Gift Shop.
Members receive 10% OFF Gift Shop purchases with code.Email Membership to get your Member discount code. Not a member? Become one today.
John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center



USS Camanche : The West Coast’s Only Ironclad

Friday, May 20, 2022 • 12 p.m. (ET)

Presenters: John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center
with guest speaker Robert Bailey

About the presentation:
The March 9, 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads fought by the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia changed the future of naval warfare. The Union commissioned the next generation of monitors, 10 new Passaic-class ironclads. California had sided with the Union and petitioned Washington, D.C., for a modern naval ship to protect San Francisco’s harbor. Gold and silver continued to flow en route to the East Coast to fund the war effort. Thus, an innovative plan was hatched to construct USS Camanche.

Civil engineer Robert Bailey will share the incredible story of this monitor, built in New Jersey, disassembled, and shipped in pieces to the West Coast via the clipper ship Aquila. But not all went as planned! Find out from Bailey: Is it possible to sink a ship before it’s launched?

In person 

Free with $1 admission. Free for Mariners’ Museum Members.


FREE to watch online. Advance registration is required.


Pre-registration is required.
For additional assistance, questions or support, please contact us at: [email protected].

Can’t attend?
No problem! Many of our programs and lectures are uploaded to our YouTube Channel shortly afterwards.