The USS Monitor
is one of the most famous ships that has ever been built for naval warfare.
It helped usher in a new era of ironclad, turreted, and steam-powered naval
vessels when it met the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimac) at the Battle of Hampton
Roads. Even though the battle resulted in a draw, it marked the end of the
dominance of wooden-hulled, sailing warships. Later that year, the Monitor sank
in a gale off the coast of North Carolina where it remained
undiscovered for over 100 years.
It was found in 1973 and was soon designated as the nation's first National Marine Sanctuary. The
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary works to preserve the historic record of this significant vessel, interpret its role in shaping US naval history, recover important ship components and
artifacts, and protect the wreck from further damage by activities such
as vessel anchoring and fishing. This Encyclopedia is meant to provide information, video
clips, still images, and additional educational resources about the USS Monitor
and its place in history. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource.