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Civil War Lectures

Join us for a FREE virtual Lecture

Join John Quarstein, renowned historian and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, as he presents on the intriguing maritime history of the Civil War. This long-running series explores the ships, personalities, technologies, and battles that would shape our nation for the next 150 years.

Civil War lectures are FREE. Advance registration is required to submit questions or comments to the presenter.

Got ideas for a lecture topic or want to share comments or questions? Email us at [email protected].

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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UPCOMING LECTURES:


 
John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein

Civil War Lecture: Battle of Wassaw Sound, Georgia

 Friday, June 18, 2021 • 12 p.m. (ET)

 FREE VIRTUAL LECTURE

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center. Quarstein will give a presentation on the Civil War naval battle between the Confederate ram CSS Atlanta and the Passaic-class ironclad monitors USS Weehawken and USS Nahant.
 
About the lecture:
When the British-built blockade-runner Fingal could not escape from Savannah, Georgia, in 1862, the Confederates transformed the iron-hulled vessel into the ironclad CSS Atlanta. The Atlanta was equipped with four Brooke rifles, a 20-foot ram, and a spar torpedo. Many Southerners believed that this ram could be a match for any Union monitor. When the test came on June 17, 1863, in Wassaw Sound, Georgia, Atlanta was captured by two Passaic-class monitors, Weehawken and Nahant, in a brief encounter. The captured ironclad was repaired and commissioned as USS Atlanta, serving in the James River against its former Confederate owners. The ram was eventually sold to Haiti, but sank en route to the Caribbean Sea.


Image credit: The capture of CSS Atlanta (at left) by USS Weehawken, in Wassaw Sound, Georgia, 17 June 1863. Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 58896.

Civil War Lecture: CSS Arkansas

 Friday, July 23, 2021 • 12 p.m. (ET)

 FREE VIRTUAL LECTURE

Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Advance registration is required.

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center. Quarstein will give a presentation on the spectacular career of the last Confederate ironclad on the Mississippi.

 
About the presentation:
The Confederacy planned to build four ironclads on the Mississippi River. Unfortunately, Union naval superiority forced the destruction of three of these warships. When Memphis was captured, only one ship, CSS Arkansas, escaped and was taken up the Yazoo River to be completed. The ram steamed through the entire Union fleet until it reached Vicksburg. The Arkansas was attacked several times by Federal rams, wooden sloops of war, and ironclads, yet every attempt failed to destroy it. An ill-advised order sent the ram to support a Confederate effort to re-capture Baton Rouge. Arkansas’s engines broke down en route, and the ship was scuttled. So ended the brief, but spectacular career of the last Confederate ironclad on the Mississippi.


Image credit: CSS Arkansas. R.G. Skerrett, artist, 1904.  Courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command.


Pre-registration is required.
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: [email protected].
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