USS Monitor painting

Painting by Tom Freeman depicting the sinking of the Monitor during a violent storm off North Carolina in the early hours of Dec. 31, 1862. The USS Rhode Island, which had been towing the ironclad, rescued all but 16 of the crew. Courtesy Tom Freeman.

USS Monitor is one of the most historic warships of all time. The Civil War ironclad was the Union’s first iron ship and fought on March 9, 1862, in the Battle of Hampton Roads against CSS Virginia. The battle ended in a draw, but what did win that day was naval technology.

We invite you to explore this history edition of our web site to learn more about the unique warship and the crew who sailed it. As you dive into history, discover why Monitor was built, who designed it, and what caused the ship's demise. Venture into the 20th century and learn how the Monitor shipwreck was discovered, then sail into present day to see what is being done to protect and conserve its legacy.

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This site is for historic purposes and is no longer updated.

Revised September 08, 2023 by MNMS Webmaster
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