Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

U.S.S. Monitor Modeling

Posted in Technology by Andy Hall on March 2, 2012

With the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Hampton Roads just a few days away, I’m hoping to get my digital model of U.S.S. Monitor finished soon. (Good thing the U.S. Navy was depending on Ericsson’s Monitor, and not mine.) It still needs a fair amount of work — especially at the stern, where I haven’t even started with the rudder assembly — but she’s starting to look good topside. It’s hard to see in most images, but all the deck porthole covers and coal scuttle covers are removable. The finished model, I hope, will be configurable to the different stages in her very brief naval career. A few more images in higher resolution are available here.

Renders of my earlier Virginia model are here. That one also needs some additional detailing.

And this, from the new issue of America’s Civil War:

When [Monitor] went to the ocean floor in 1862 it took 16 sailors with it. Two sets of remains were recovered with the turret when it was raised in 2002.

Along with painstakingly identifying and preserving all the mechanical parts of the wreck, members of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary believe the human remains might be identified, as well. “we’re actively trying to do genealogical work work and forensic archaeology to identify those individuals and identify descendants of those individuals,” archaeologist Joe Hoyt told WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va.

That would be cool. As I recall, with her deck awash, the only way out of Monitor was up through the top of the turret (below). Is one of the sets of remains recovered in the turret that of Third Assistant Engineer Robinson Woollen Hands? It’s a possibility.

Earlier posts about Monitor:

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3 Responses

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  1. Woodrowfan said, on March 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I LOVE your model of the Monitor, and look forward to seeing it and the finished model of the Merrimac as well, 🙂

    Seriously, it’s beautiful!

    • Andy Hall said, on March 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Yeah, well, flattery will get you EVERYWHERE. Here’s a couple more images of the two, both of which are about 80-90% done.

      The other neat thing is that Friday, almost 150 years to the day of the famous battle, I stumbled upon a 1981 special edition of Civil War Times Illustrated, which has some very detailed descriptions of MONITOR’s construction, that I’d not seen before. Technical stuff, but for me it’s (shall we say?), riveting. It won’t affect this digital model, but at some point I’ll have to do some illustrations showing how the armor was set up.


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