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USS Monitor at sea.jpgFuneral of the Unknowns of the USS Monitor at Arlington National Cemetery (8 March 2013)

Only 16 of the crew were not rescued by Rhode Island before Monitor

With Tropical Storm Cristobal bearing down on the recovery team, and time and money running out,[192] the team made the decision to raise the turret on 5 August 2002, after 41 days of work, and the gun turret broke the surface at 5:30 pm to the cheers of everyone aboard Wotan and other recovery ships nearby.[193] As archaeologists examined the contents of the turret after it has been landed aboard Wotan, they discovered a second skeleton, but removing it did not begin until the turret arrived at the Mariners' Museum for conservation. The remains of these sailors were transferred to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, in the hope that they could be identified.[194]

Only 16 of the crew were not rescued by Rhode Island before Monitor sank and the forensic anthropologists at JPAC were able to rule out the three missing black crewmen based on the shape of the femurs and skulls.[195] Among the most promising of the 16 candidates were crew members Jacob Nicklis, Robert Williams and William Bryan,[196][197][198][199] but a decade passed without their identities being discovered. On 8 March 2013 their remains were buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.[200]

In 2003 NOAA divers and volunteers returned to the Monitor with the goal of obtaining overall video of the site to create a permanent record of the current conditions on the wreck after the turret recovery. Jeff Johnston of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) also wanted a definitive image of the vessel's pilothouse. During the dives, Monitor's iron pilothouse was located near the bow of the vessel and documented for the first time by videographer Rick Allen, of Nautilus Productions, in its inverted position.[201]

Conservation of the propeller was completed nearly three years after its recovery and it is on display in the Monitor Center at the Mariners' Museum.[202] As of 2013, conservation of the engine, its components, the turret and the guns continues.Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) also wanted a definitive image of the vessel's pilothouse. During the dives, Monitor's iron pilothouse was located near the bow of the vessel and documented for the first time by videographer Rick Allen, of Nautilus Productions, in its inverted position.[201]

Conservation of the propeller was completed nearly three years after its recovery and it is on display in the Monitor Center at the Mariners' Museum.[202] As of 2013, conservation of the engine, its components, the turret and the guns continues.[203] The Dahlgren guns were removed from the turret in September 2004 and placed in their own conservation tanks.[204] Among some of the artifacts recovered from the sunken vessel was a red signal lantern, possibly the one used to send a distress signal to Rhode Island and the last thing to be seen before Monitor sank in 1862 – it was the first object recovered from the site in 1977. A gold wedding band was also recovered from the hand of the skeletal remains of one of Monitor's crew members found in the turret.[205]

Northrop Grumman Shipyard in Newport News constructed a full-scale non-seaworthy static replica of Monitor. The replica was laid down in February 2005 and completed just two months later on the grounds of the Mariners' Museum.[206] The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary conducts occasional dives on the wreck to monitor and record any changes in its condition and its environment.[207]

The Greenpoint Monitor Monument in McGolrick Park, Brooklyn, depicts a sailor from Monitor pulling on a capstan. The sculptor Antonio de Filippo was commissioned by the State of New York in the 1930s for a bronze statue to commemorate the Battle of Hampton Roads, John Ericsson, and the crew of the ship. It was dedicated on 6 November 1938.[208] A vandal doused it with white paint on 7 January 2013.[209]

In 1995 the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating USS Monitor and CSS Virginia depicting the two ships while engaged in their famous battle at Hampton Roads. For an image of the stamp, see footnote link.[210]

The 150th anniversary of the ship's loss prompted several events in commemoration. A memorial to Monitor and her lost crew members was erected in the Civil War section of Hampton National Cemetery by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, together with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and dedicated on 29 December 2012.[211] The [210]

The 150th anniversary of the ship's loss prompted several events in commemoration. A memorial to Monitor and her lost crew members was erected in the Civil War section of Hampton National Cemetery by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, together with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and dedicated on 29 December 2012.[211] The Greenpoint Monitor Museum commemorated the ship and her crew with an event on 12 January 2013 at the grave sites of those Monitor crew members buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, followed by a service in the cemetery's chapel.[212]

New Jersey-based indie rock band Titus Andronicus named their critically acclaimed[213][214] second album, 2010's The Monitor, for the ship. Featured on the album's sleeve are the crewmen of Monitor, taken from a tintype portrait. The album's interwoven references to the Civil War include speeches and writings from the period, as well as the side-long closing track "The Battle of Hampton Roads". The latter refers to the Monitor's encounter with CSS Virginia in prominent detail. Singer/guitarist Patrick Stickles commented while making the album that he was inspired by Ken Burns's The Civil War and the ship itself so much that he decided to name Titus Andronicus's second album in its honor.[215]

Monitor gave her name to a new type of mastless, low-freeboard warship that mounted its armament in turrets. Many more were built, including river monitors, and they played key roles in Civil War battles on the Mississippi and James Rivers. The breastwork monitor was developed during the 1860s by Sir Edward Reed, Chief Constructor of the Royal Navy, as an improvement of the basic Monitor design. Reed gave these ships a superstructure to increase seaworthiness and raise the freeboard of the gun turrets so they could be worked in all weathers. The superstructure was armored to protect the bases of the turrets, the funnels and the ventilator ducts in what he termed a breastwork. The ships were conceived as harbor defense ships with little need to leave port. Reed took advantage of the lack of masts and designed the ships with one twin-gun turret at each end of the superstructure, each able to turn and fire in a 270° arc.[216] These ships were described by Admiral George Alexander Ballard as being like "full-armoured knights riding on donkeys, easy to avoid but bad to close with".[217] Reed later developed the design into the Devastation class, the first ocean-going turret ships without masts, the direct ancestors of the pre-dreadnought battleships and the dreadnoughts.[218]

In popular culture

The battle between the Monitor and the Confederate ironclad C

The battle between the Monitor and the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia was reenacted using scale models in the 1936 film Hearts in Bondage by Republic Pictures.[219] The battle was also dramatized in the 1991 made-for-television movie Ironclads, produced by Ted Turner.[220]

See also