Wednesday, November 16, 2005
A full-scale replica of the iconic Civil War ironclad USS Monitor has been topped off with a replica of another icon in its own right: the ship's revolutionary revolving gun turret.
Riggers used a crane Tuesday to put the replica turret on the deck of the replica Monitor. It sits next to the USS Monitor Center, a $30 million wing of The Mariners' Museum that's due to open March 9th, 2007 -- the 145th anniversary of the famous first battle of ironclads. The USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, changing naval warfare by making wooden ships obsolete. The Confederates built the Virginia on the salvaged hull of a Union ship, the USS Merrimack. The Monitor sank off North Carolina less than a year later. Employees of the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard are building the 170-foot replica of the Monitor in 22 steel sections at the yard, from materials donated by the Navy. Construction of the replica is to be completed early next year.