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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Monitor

The June page of the Old Dominion University College of Sciences calendar has a photograph if the Union ironclad Monitor. The face of the turret is shown and the deck and part of the modified pilot house. There are two officers standing to the right of the turret on the low deck. This is obviously after the battle with the CSS Virginia, because there are shot dents in the turret and the pilot house has had the slanted iron plates added for additional protection for the captain and steersman. John L. Worden had been wounded in the battle while standing in the open cage when a shell exploded. The two gunports are visible, but the left port has a Dahlgren gun muzzle protruding while the right port is either empty or the muzzle is shorter. The appearance is not unlike the later monitors which had one 11in and one 15in Dahlgren gun. The 15in was shorter, so it did not protrude as far as the 11in gun. They eventually had to add a collar to the 15in gun to keep the flash out of the turret. That is what this photograph looks like, although probably the right gun is just pulled back, not a larger gun. This is a picture of what is left of the turret with a gun apparently sitting on a cradle.

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