Two unidentified sailors from the USS Monitor crew, a Civil War ironclad ship lost at sea in 1862 will be interred on March 8 at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington. They are believed to be the last Civil War sailors to be buried there.
The two men, discovered when the intact Monitor turret was dredged from the sea in 2002, were part of the 62 man crew. Sixteen of those sailors lost at sea when the ship capsized and sank off Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862 while being towed in to be repaired. The Monitor turret is currently on display at the USS Monitor Center of The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.
These particular two men have been the subject of forensics reconstruction by Louisiana State University in hopes that their relatives would come forward and identify them. That process so far has not been successful.
Meanwhile in recent weeks, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said it was time to honor the remains with a memorial service. Secretary Mabus will be one of the speakers at the memorial service. He commented that “It’s important we honor these brave men and all they represent as we reflect upon the significant role the Monitor and her crew had in setting the course of our modern Navy.”
The Monitor is most known for its battle with CSS Virginian (formerly the USS Merrimack) at Hampton Roads, Virginia on March 8, the anniversary date of the planned interment.
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