Last week the United States buried two sailors who manned one of the most famous ironclads in our country’s history, the USS Monitor. On March 9, 1862, the Monitor engaged the confederate ironclad, the CSS Virginia (formerly the CSS Merrimac), in Hampton Roads off of the coast of Virginia. Neither vessel could claim a victory in that first clash of ironclads, but as multiple sources put it, the battle marked “a turning point in military history” and that “a new era of naval warfare had dawned.”
All of the Monitor’s 16 crew members perished when it sank in fierce seas off of the coast of North Carolina about eight months later. In 2002, the remains of two of those sailors were recovered when part of the ship was raised. And last week they were finally, appropriately, buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
While IRONCLAD wasn’t named after the ironclads, (more…)