Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn December 30, 1862, the U.S.S. Monitor sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The Monitor was an “ironclad,” a steamship protected by heavy sheets of iron and other metals.The Monitor held up well in the Civil War’s Battle of Hampton Roads, fought just nine months earlier. In the battle, the Monitor faced off against the Confederacy’s own ironclad, the C.S.S. Virginia. (The Virginia was built with the hull and engines of the U.S.S. Merrimac, and it is sometimes referred to by that name.) The Battle of Hampton Roads is considered the most important naval conflict of the Civil War, although neither side could claim a decisive victory.Although the Monitor functioned well in the shallow, relatively calm waters of the Chesapeake Bay, the ship was heavy and sat low in the water. She could not hold up to the turbulent storms around the Outer Banks.The Monitor remained one of many of the "ghost ships" of the Outer Banks until 1973. Then, an expedition partly funded by the National Geographic Society rediscovered the historic shipwreck using radar, photography, and a ROV. In 1975, the site of the Monitor shipwreck became the nation’s first national marine sanctuary.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry battle Noun
violent encounter during a conflict.
Civil War Noun
(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).
Confederate States of America, states which broke from the United States to form a new government during the Civil War.
a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.
able to make decisions with certainty.
machine that converts energy into power or motion.
journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.
to work or work correctly.
Great Lakes Noun
largest freshwater bodies in the world, located in the United States and Canada. Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Superior make up the Great Lakes.
Gulf Coast Noun
land in the United States surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.
main body of a ship.
chemical element with the symbol Fe.
steam-propelled warship protected by plates of iron or another metal.
marine sanctuary Noun
part of the ocean protected by the government to preserve its natural and cultural features while allowing people to use and enjoy it in a sustainable way.
Encyclopedic Entry: marine sanctuary Monitor Noun
(1861-1862) steam-powered military ship protected by metal plates (an "ironclad") commissioned by the U.S. Navy during the Civil War.
National Geographic Society Noun
(1888) organization whose mission is "Inspiring people to care about the planet."
Outer Banks Noun
barrier islands off the coast of the U.S. state of North Carolina.
art and science of producing still or moving images using the chemical reaction of light on a sensitive surface, such as film or an electronic sensor.
to take action to prevent injury or attack.
(RAdio Detection And Ranging) method of determining the presence and location of an object using radio waves.
to direct attention to something.
remotely operated vehicle.
large surface layer or covering.
remains of a sunken marine vessel.
severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.
wealth, riches, and other valuable materials.
violent or chaotic.