The USS Monitor is one of the nation’s most iconic vessels and its remains can be found within the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Cape Hatteras (NC Historical Marker B-50). The Sanctuary also hosts a virtual maritime heritage trail: http://monitor.noaa.gov/obxtrail/welcome.html .
The USS Monitor was an iconic Civil War ironclad. Built in approximately 100 days, she was outfitted with a deck of iron and a rotating gun turret, a truly innovative creation. On March 9th, 1862, the USS Monitor met the CSS Virginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads. While there was no clear winner, it became apparent that iron now reigned supreme and naval warfare would never be the same. On December 31, 1862, less than a year after her launching, the USS Monitor sank during a storm 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras.