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Honor the Monitor

Grassroots effort to name a U.S. Navy submarine after the Union ironclad

Welcome to the web page of the Committee to Honor the Monitor, a part of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable. We hope you will join us in our grassroots effort to persuade the President, Congress, and U.S. Navy to name a new submarine after the famous ironclad, U.S.S. Monitor.

We encourage you to send a letter to your own U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives, to the President and Defense Department or U.S. Navy official, touching on the points made in our August 27, 2004 press release. Petitions are useful, if your Civil War Roundtable, historical society or other group would like to create one, but individual letters often have more influence on policymakers.

Please also contact your local media, and rally other history enthusiasts, veterans, and community leaders to reach our goal. We can do it!

Press Release - 08/04 (pdf)
The USS Monitor Center
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
The Mariners' Museum


Nova - Lincoln's Secret Weapon

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20025

Hon. Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350

Ray Mabus
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000

Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert
Chief of Naval Operations
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-2000

Hon. Carl Levin
Senate Armed Services Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. James Inhofe
Ranking Minority Member,
Senate Armed Services Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. Buck McKeon
House Armed Services Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Adam Smith
Ranking Minority Member,
House Armed Services Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Find Your Congressman



William F.B. Vodrey
Committee to Honor the Monitor
Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
(216) 664-3643 weekdays


The USS Monitor - A Brief History

The USS Monitor, a 987-ton armored turret gunboat, was built at New York to the design of Swedish inventor John Ericsson. She was the first of what became a large number of "monitors" in the United States and other navies.

Commissioned on 25 February 1862, she soon was underway for Hampton Roads, Virginia. Monitor arrived there on 9 March, and was immediately sent into action against the Confederate ironclad Virginia, which had sunk two U.S. Navy ships the previous day. The resulting battle, the first between iron-armored warships, was a tactical draw. However, Monitor prevented the  Virginia from gaining control of Hampton Roads and thus preserved the Federal blockade of the Norfolk area.

Following this historic action, Monitor remained in the Hampton Roads area and, in mid-1862 was actively employed along the James River in support of the Army's Peninsular Campaign. In late December 1862, Monitor was ordered south for further operations. Caught in a storm off Cape Hatteras, she foundered on 31 December.

Her wreck was discovered in 1974 and is now a marine sanctuary. Work is presently underway to recover major components of her structure and machinery, to be followed by extensive preservation efforts and ultimate museum exhibition.

The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable