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USS Montauk
Civil War Union Naval Ship

USS Montauk (1862-1904)

USS Montauk , a 1335-ton Passaic class monitor built at Greenpoint, New York, was commissioned in December 1862 under the command of Commander John L. Worden . She arrived at Port Royal, South Carolina, in mid-January 1863 to join the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Late in the month she bombarded Fort McAllister, Georgia, in a test of her combat abilities. At the end of February, Montauk returned to Ft. McAllister to shell and destroy the Confederate privateer Rattlesnake and early in the next month covered another bombardment of the fort by three of her sister monitors. She was hit several times by enemy cannon fire in these actions and also received damage when a mine (or "torpedo" in the terminology of the day) detonated near her hull just after she had attacked the Rattlesnake .

On 7 April 1863, Montauk was one of nine ironclads, including seven monitors, that made a close-range bombardment of Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor, S.C. During the summer of that year, she participated in a series of attacks on the Charleston harbor fortifications that led to the capture of Battery Wagner in September. Montauk continued to serve in the vicinity of Charleston until February 1865, when she moved north to take part in operations on the Cape Fear River, North Carolina.

While stationed off Washington, D.C., in late April 1865, Montauk served as the platform for an examination of the body of John Wilkes Booth, the murderer of President Abraham Lincoln. She also was a temporary prison for some of Booth's co-conspirators. Decommissioned later in 1865, the ship was placed in what turned out to be permanent lay up at the League Island Navy Yard, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. USS Montauk remained there for nearly four decades and was sold for scrapping in April 1904.

Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia
Four monitors laid up in the Anacostia River, off the Washington Navy Yard, circa 1866.
Ships are (from left to right): USS Mahopac , USS Saugus , USS Montauk (probably); and either USS Casco or USS Chimo . Photo mounted on a stereograph card, marked: "Photographed and published by Kilburn Brothers, Littleton, N.H.".

Ships moored in the Anacostia River off the Yard's waterfront, after the end of the Civil War, about 1865.
The large twin-turret monitor in the center is Miantonomoh , with the smaller monitor Montauk tied up alongside her, to the left. In the left distance are the "light draft" monitor Chimo and the twin-turret monitor Tonawanda . The former Confederate ironclad Stonewall is beyond them.
In the right distance is the Yard's western shiphouse. Ship at right is probably USS Resaca .
The original print is mounted on a carte de visite produced by Christimo, 45 Rua de Quitanda, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

USS Monitor
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Naval Strategies

Naval Strategies of the Civil War: Confederate Innovations and Federal Opportunism
Compare and contrast the strategies of the Southern Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, against his rival in the North, Welles. Mallory used technological innovation and the skill of individuals to bolster the South's seapower against the Union Navy's superior numbers

Monitor
Year on a Monitor and the Destruction of Fort Sumter
Personal view of the Civil War Navy. The monitor saw action in several significant naval assaults by the Union's Squadron. It took part in the failed Federal attack on Sumter in April 1863. The "Nahant" also participated in the capture of the Confederate Ram "Atlanta," and in the assault on Fort Wagner





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Ironclad vs Monitor

Confederate Ironclad vs Union Ironclad: Hampton Roads 1862
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Line engraving, after a sketch by W.T. Crane, published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War"
It depicts the interior of the monitor's gun turret, probably at about the time she was completed in December 1862.
Guns are both Dahlgren smoothbores: a XV-inch at right and an XI-inch at left.

Line engraving, after a sketch by W.T. Crane, published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War".
It depicts a scene the compartment below the monitor's gun turret, probably at about the time the ship was completed in December 1862.
Note crewman reading a newspaper, at right.

Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War".
It depicts scenes on board the monitor, probably at about the time she was completed in December 1862.
The views include the Commanding Officer's cabin, arrangements for manually rotating the gun turret, and the anchor well on the foredeck.

Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War".
It depicts scenes on board the monitor, probably at about the time she was completed in December 1862.
The views include a view in the officers' ward room, with negro messmen at work, and several vignettes of ordnance equipment.

Line engraving published in "The Soldier in Our Civil War".
It depicts scenes on board the monitor, probably at about the time she was completed in December 1862.
The views include: interior of the armored pilothouse,with vignettes showing the inside and outside appearance of the pilothouse viewing ports; turret port for the ship's XV-inch Dahlgren gun; entrance to the shell room; a crewman reading a newspaper near the windlass; signal flags hoisted above the pilothouse; and the flagstaff at the ship's stern.

"The Iron-clad 'Montauk' engaging the Rebel Fort McAllister, in the Ogeechee River, 28th January 1863. -- Sketched by an Officer of the 'Dawn.'"
Line engraving, published in "Harper's Weekly", 1863, depicting USS Montauk in the foreground, firing on the fort. At left, also bombarding, are the U.S. ships Seneca , Wissahickon , Dawn and C.P. Williams .



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Sources:
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress
US Naval Archives


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