Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. performs nearly 30 funeral services each day. Most of burials are military veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the current Middle East conflicts or their spouses.
March 9 was no different with one exception—one funeral was held to inter two sailors in what was most likely the last burial of Civil War casualties at Arlington. The sailors were members of the crew of the famed Union ironclad USS Monitor.
Designed by John Ericsson in June 1861, the Monitor was an armored ship with the first-ever rotating turret atop a hull that barely cleared the water. Its high-technology vibrating lever steam engine was groundbreaking technology as well. Ericsson hurried his ship’s completion, assembling it in 118 days at the naval yard in Brooklyn Navy Yard.