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Navy Decides Monitor Must Remain Sunk


The Navy still doesn't want to raise the Monitor, but the American Patriots, as well as members of the City Council still do.

In a lengthy communication to the Council, Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews and vice-Admiral Forrest P. Sherman said they "read with interest the resolution of the Cambridge City council," but that they feel that raising the ironclad would be a "long, tedious; extremely expensive" process, impossible to undertake at this time. But Councillor Foley told the CRIMSON that he still wants to raise the Monitor and moor it on the Charles River. Other Council members concurred.

The Navy's letter explained how the "cheesebox on a raft" sank in a gale 25 miles off Cape Hatteras shortly after midnight, December 31, 1862. The U.S.S Rhode Island accompanied her and was able to take some crew members off the ship after the Monitor started leaking on December 29.

The Rhode Island attempted to stay at the approximate position of the sinking, the letter went on to explain. The ship's position varied between 34 and 35 degrees latitude and 74 and 75 degrees longitude as it went under.

Over the last 100 years, the communication stated, there have been many proposals to raise the ship, especialy by old sailors. In spite of improved salvaging facilities, however, the letter said, it would be difficult to locate the Monitor, as there are many wrecks off Cape Hatteras. "It would be difficult to tell which is the Monitor," the Navy stated.

Andrew E. Norman '51, co-chairman of the American Patriots, issued the following statement last night: "We (the American Patriots) are deeply disturbed that the men who govern our naval affairs today have so little devotion to the traditions and history of this great country that they balk and whimper that the job might be tedious. American Patriots feel as ever that no expense and no effort must be spared The Monitor must be raised. There are higher authorities than Secretary Matthews."

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