Join us on Friday, June 5 at 12 p.m. for a Live Lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center! Live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, John will give a 30-minute presentation on the loss of CSS Albemarle. Viewers are welcome to send him any comments or questions during the presentation, and John will answer them following his talk!
About this presentation: CSS Albemarle’s presence following the naval battles of Plymouth and Albemarle Sound confirmed that this Confederate ironclad was the most powerful warship in the North Carolina Sounds. Union monitors were unable to enter the sounds due to their deep draft. The situation enabled Albemarle to support the Confederate army’s recapture of river ports like Edenton, Plymouth, and Washington. The Federals were determined to retake eastern North Carolina. The only way to do this was to destroy the Confederate ram. So, the US Navy tasked Lieutenant William Cushing to capture or destroy the ironclad. Using Picket Boat No. 1, Cushing‘s daring nighttime attack with a spar torpedo sank Albemarle on October 27-28, 1864. These actions enabled the Union to once more gain control of eastern North Carolina.
Image credit: Lieutenant Cushing’s torpedo boat sinking the CSS Albemarle on Roanoke River, N.C. Courtesy Library of Congress.