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During the years of peace that followed, The Fulton saw only ceremonial service. Finally, in , someone's carelessness in its powder magazine caused an explosion that blew it to bits. So what did the Navy do, now that the advantages of steam were clear? Well, they bought a small steamship, used it for three years in the West Indies, then mothballed it. Meanwhile, commissioners studied the matter. Not until did they agree on a design and build a foot steamer.

Called Fulton the second , it also saw some West Indies service. The Confederate forces finally burned it when they found it in Pensacola, early in the Civil War. Except for a steam dispatch boat, the US Navy didn't have another finished steamship until Only after civilian steam packet service was in full swing did they begin serious steam warship building. Then they did not move with anything like the speed that civilian builder Fulton had. It took another civilian outsider to jumpstart the technology of steam warships once the Civil War had begun. That was Swedish inventor John Ericsson.

Ericsson had already built a fine steam warship, the Princeton. Skip to main content. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab. Add to Watchlist. People who viewed this item also viewed. Picture Information. Have one to sell? Sell now - Have one to sell?

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Civil War Ships

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# Worthington Steam Pumps from the USS Monitor - ASME

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The Monitor And THE NAVY UNDER STEAM

On the morning of 27 February the ship entered the East River preparatory to leaving New York, but proved to be all but unsteerable and had to be towed back to the navy yard. Upon examination, the steering gear controlling the rudder had been improperly installed and Rowland offered to realign the rudder, which he estimated to take only a day.

Ericsson, however, preferred to revise the steering gear by adding an extra set of pulleys as he believed it would take less time. His modification proved to be successful during trials on 4 March. Instead of tightening them to reduce the recoil upon firing, he loosened them so that both guns struck the back of the turret, fortunately without hurting anybody or damaging the guns. Ericsson's revolutionary turret, although not without flaws, was a unique concept in gun mounting that was soon adapted and used on naval ships around the world.

During the "boom time" of the Civil War, Ericsson could have made a fortune with his inventions used in Monitor , but instead gave the U.


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Monitor ' s crew were all volunteers and totaled 49 officers and enlisted men. The ship required ten officers: a commander, an executive officer, four engineers, one medical officer, two masters and a paymaster. Four of the officers were Line officers and responsible for the handling of the vessel and operation of guns during battle, while the engineering officers were considered a class unto themselves.


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  • Each gun was crewed by eight men. Thus, during battle, at least 18 men were present in the turret.

    Monitor also required petty officers: among them was Daniel Toffey, Worden's nephew. Worden had selected Toffey to serve as his captain's clerk. Two black Americans were also among the enlisted men in the crew. Living quarters for the senior officers consisted of eight separate well-furnished cabins, each provided with a small oak table and chair, an oil lamp, shelves and drawers and a canvas floor covering covered with a rug.

    The entire crew were given goat-skin mats to sleep on. Lighting for each living area was provided by small skylights in the deck above, which were covered by an iron hatch during battle. The officer's wardroom was located forward of the berth deck where officers would eat their meals, hold meetings or socialize during what little spare time they had.


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    • It was well furnished with an oriental rug, a large oak table and other such items. Ericsson had personally paid for the costs of all the officer's furnishings. Many details of Monitor ' s history and insights of everyday crew life have been discovered from correspondence sent from the various crew members to family and friends while serving aboard the ironclad.

      In particular the correspondence of George S. Geer , who sent more than 80 letters, often referred to as The Monitor Chronicles , [f] to his wife Martha during the entire time of Monitor ' s service provide many details and insights into every chapter of the ironclad's short-lived history, offering a rare perspective of a sailor's experience on the naval front during the Civil War. The letters of Acting Paymaster William F.

      Keeler to his wife Anna also corroborate many of the accounts of affairs that took place aboard the Monitor. The letters of Geer and Keeler are available for viewing and are housed at the Mariners' Museum in Virginia. Stodder , one of the last crew members to abandon Monitor minutes before she sank in a storm at sea, [84] who was the last surviving crew member of Monitor and lived well into the 20th century.

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      First Assistant Engineer Isaac Newton ordered the engine room abandoned and had the able-bodied crew drag the afflicted engine room hands to the top of the turret where the fresh air could revive them. Later that night, the wheel ropes controlling the ship's rudder jammed, making it nearly impossible to control the ship's heading in the rough seas. Monitor was now in danger of foundering , so Worden signaled Seth Low for help and had Monitor towed to calmer waters closer to shore so she was able to restart her engines later that evening.