US Civil War Ship Discovered in Great Condition on Sea Floor

US Civil War Ship Discovered in Great Condition on Sea Floor

Warship Wreck Site Shocks Officials – Nobody Expected This!

( – During the Civil War, technology began to change at a rampant pace. Numerous firsts led to innovations that contributed to the industrial revolution, including the telegraph, aerial reconnaissance, photography, the rise of railroads, the Army ambulance corps, the Gatling Gun, and modernizing warships. Now, researchers are investigating one of those historic battleships in greater detail on the ocean floor.

On January 30, 1862, the US Navy launched the USS Monitor in Brooklyn, New York. It was the first of its kind commissioned by the US government in response to ironclad warships the Confederate Union was building in Virginia. The new ironclad ship contained 40 patented inventions. In addition to its revolutionary steel construction, the vessel boasted two massive rotating 11-inch Dahlgren guns.

On March 8, 1862, the Monitor and Confederate ironclad ship Minnesota blasted away at each other for four hours. The battle forever changed warfare. Despite the massive success of the historic warship, on December 31, 1862, the vessel sank off the shores of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, during a gale while being towed. Sixteen sailors died on board the doomed ship.

The Monitor Is in Great Condition

For nearly 110 years, the historic Civil War-era ironclad remained lost at sea. In 1973, researchers on a Duke University research vessel discovered the sunken ship 230 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 16 miles offshore. In 1974, an expedition to the shipwreck confirmed the vessel was indeed the USS Monitor.

Over the last 50 years, numerous dives to the Monitor revealed the condition of the sunken ship, and salvage teams recovered several artifacts. On August 5, 2002, researchers salvaged the vessel’s massive turret. Salvagers also recovered thousands of other items from the Civil War-era treasure for preservation.

Recently, researchers deployed a remotely-operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to assess the ship’s condition. After 160 years on the seafloor, the vessel’s condition astonished them. The Monitor was in much better shape than anyone expected, considering the currents and hurricanes.

Tane Renata Casserley is the resource protection and permit coordinator at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. She told The News & Observer that the historic find exists in an excellent preservation state on the bottom of the sea floor.

Questions Arise as to Why Monitor Is in Great Condition

In 2002, Casserley said divers cut into the ironclad’s metal structure to retrieve the turret and other artifacts. She said NOAA wanted to know if the cuts into the hull caused any further deterioration. Now, 20 years later, they found the cuts didn’t harm the vessel’s preservation.

Casserley couldn’t offer a scientific explanation for the Monitor’s superb condition. Still, she said the quality of the ship’s construction defended it in battle and continues to protect the vessel in its final resting place. She noted that the iron hull and armor belt designed to protect the ironclad during times of war enabled the ship to create a stable habitat.

As it keeps proving, the Monitor’s story isn’t over. There are likely to be more exciting revelations in the future.

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