USS Monitor Crewmembers Buried

Crewmen from Monitor BuriedThe year 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of both the launch and the sinking of USS Monitor.

The news continues in 2013. On Friday, March 8, 151 years after they went down with the Monitor, two unknown sailors were buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In case you missed it, you can watch the full ceremony (courtesy of ABC news), a short clip and commentary (CBS News), or read a write-up by National Geographic.

Facial Reconstruction of USS Monitor Sailors (Click to View Larger)

Facial Reconstruction of USS Monitor Sailors (Click to View Larger)

When I think of the Civil War, it’s the land battles that spring to my mind: Gettysburg, Antietam, Vicksburg. It was actually a sea battle at Hampton Roads, Virginia, that changed the course of the war. John Ericsson’s remarkable invention, a small, nimble ironclad warship with a revolving turret, faced off against the South’s Merrimack in March of 1862, and upheld the Union blockade, choking off the South’s supply line.

The story goes that when Lincoln was asked what he thought when shown a model of Ericsson’s odd little ship the President said he felt about it the way the little girl felt about the stocking she’d just slipped her foot into: I think there’s something in it!