TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Civil War sailors buried at Arlington

AP
Naval honor guards ready a casket of one of two sailors from the Civil War ship, the USS Monitor, at Arlington National Cemetery, Friday, March 8, 2013 in Arlington, Va. A century and a half after the Civil War ship the USS Monitor sank, two unknown crewmen found in the ironclad's turret were buried at the cemetery. Friday's burial may be the last time Civil War soldiers are buried there. AP

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Friday, March 8, 2013, 7:36 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — One hundred and fifty years after their Civil War ironclad sank, two unknown sailors from the warship Monitor were laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.

“This may well be the last time we bury Navy personnel who fought in the Civil War at Arlington,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at a funeral service. “We do not want their sacrifice, however distant, to be unremembered.”

The burial, with full military honors, came after an unsuccessful effort to identify the sailors, including forensic reconstructions of their faces last year.

The skeletal remains were discovered inside the Union warship's gun turret after it was raised from the ocean floor off the North Carolina coast in 2002.

While the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii spent years trying to identify the sailors, officials hope a descendant will emerge one day and provide a conclusive DNA match, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

The burial came in advance of Saturday's 151st anniversary of the first battle between ironclads, the Monitor and the Confederate ship Virginia, also known as the Merrimack, in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862. The 4 12-hour duel ended in a draw.

The Monitor sank in a New Year's Eve storm that year. The 16 sailors who died that day will be memorialized on a marker in the cemetery.

“While naval tradition holds the site of a shipwreck as hallowed ground and a proper final resting place for sailors who perish at sea, this ceremony pays tribute not only to the two sailors being interred, but to all who died when Monitor sank so many years ago during the Civil War,” Mabus said.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Obama defers deportations for 4 million illegals
  2. Former Va. Sen. Webb launches presidential exploratory committee
  3. Ex-coal exec pleads not guilty in W.Va. mine blast
  4. ‘Sex purchasers’ publicly shamed
  5. Roofs collapse under Buffalo snow; weekend forecast adds to urgency to clear bulk
  6. Enrollment count in federal health care law padded, House panel says
  7. GOP hopes backlash doesn’t backfire
  8. NSA: China thefts could lead to attack
  9. FDA approves Hysingla painkiller’s abuse deterrent form
  10. 4 Yemenis, Tunisian moved from Gitmo
  11. Shooter wounds 3 in Florida State library before being killed by police
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.