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Battle of Hampton Roads Series: Spirits on USS Monitor

March 5 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein


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

As part of The Mariners’ Museum’s Commemoration of the Battle of Hampton Roads, join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein when he presents on how the consumption of alcohol plagued sailors on USS Monitor during the Civil War. Viewers are welcome to send John any comments or questions during the presentation, and he will answer following his talk.

About this presentation: Drinking and fighting always seem to have some type of connection. Grog was first concocted in the 17th century eventually mixing rum, gin, or whiskey with water and lime/lemon. It was a boost to sailors fighting boredom on long sea journeys or giving a surge of instant courage when preparing for battle. Enlisted men could only drink when their grog ration was issued or when they were off duty. Officers, however, drank without care and were only punished when their intoxication became debilitating. Monitor’s paymaster, William Keeler, fought to do away with the grog ration saying drinking was the “curse of the navy.” Many Civil War soldiers and sailors were plagued by whiskey, whiskey, and more whiskey.

Spirits on USS Monitor: Alcohol and the Civil War Navy
March 5 • 12 p.m. (EST)

In observance of the Battle of Hampton Roads’ upcoming 159th anniversary, The Mariners’ Museum and Park will offer virtual programming on Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6 to commemorate the famous Civil War Battle that changed modern naval history forever. Check out our complete series of the programs being offered about this historic event.



Pre-registration for this program is required.
For more information, contact: [email protected].

Can’t make the virtual program live?
No problem! Many of our programs are uploaded to our YouTube Channel shortly afterwards.



Image header credit: Handbill advertisement for J.C. Childs & Co.’s “Monitor Blend Pure Rye Whskey,” ca. 1885-1902. The Mariners’ Museum 2008.0.011.000001


March 5
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST


The Mariners’ Museum
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606 United States
(757) 596-2222