John V. Quarstein
Director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center
About the Lecture
On Christmas Eve, 1862, the ironclad Monitor received orders to proceed to Beaufort, NC, to join a planned operation against Wilmington, NC. Executive Officer S. D. Greene noted that Monitor was not a “sea-going vessel.” (The ship had almost sunk twice during its March 1862 trip from New York to Hampton Roads.) Monitor left Hampton Roads in clear weather on December 29 but encountered a heavy gale the following afternoon. Heavy seas overwhelmed the ironclad. It sank in the early morning of December 31, 1862. As crew member Frank Butts noted, “The Monitor is no more.”
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“Rescue of the Crew of USS Monitor by USS Rhode Island, December 31, 1862.” Oil painting, 1892. William Richardson Tyler, artist. The Mariners’ Museum 2018.0005.000001