Another Mystery Solved: Monitors Turret Roof Located
July 25, 2002
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
Late in the evening of July 24, Navy saturation diver HMC Mitch Pearce, excavating behind one of the gun carriages, encountered three railroad rails that make up part of the roof of the Monitors inverted gun turret. Beneath the rails is an iron plate on which the officers and crew stood waiting 140 years ago for rescue boats from the tow ship USS Rhode Island. For years, historians have debated whether or not the roof would still be in place, because the Monitors designer and builder, John Ericsson, wrote that the turret roof was designed for quick removal in two sections. Knowing that at least part of the roof is still in place increases the likelihood that we will find a variety of artifacts within the turret.
Meanwhile, teams of Navy divers are continuing to work at the base of the eight legs of the Spider lifting frame, struggling against position around the turret. We are hoping that the Spider will be securely in position by next week.
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