Union Sailors Caught In Famous NC Shipwreck Laid To Rest 150 Years Later

Mar 8, 2013

The remains of two Union sailors who went down with the ironclad USS Monitor off the North Carolina coast will be honored Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. 

The wreck of the Civil War vessel USS Monitor lies off the coast of Cape Hatteras. Two sailors who went down with the ship will be laid to rest Friday.
Credit Monitor National Marine Sanctuary / noaa.gov

The Civil War ship sank 150 years ago.  The remains were found in 2002.  Lauren Heesemann is the research coordinator for NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. 

"The date for the burial was chosen because its the 151st anniversary of the battle of Hampton Roads which is one of the battles that the Monitor is most known for; the battle of the Monitor versus the Merrimack or the CSS Virginia," Heesemann says.

She says Friday's ceremony may help identify the men.

"With this burial event, we hope that it will spark some more interest," Heesemann says. 

"Perhaps more individuals will donate their DNA and one day we will be able to positively identify these two sailors."

Heesemann says the burial Friday afternoon is open to the public.  She expects descendants of the men who served on the Monitor to attend.