Brooklyn in the Civil War
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Sailors on deck of U.S.S. Monitor

The U.S.S. Monitor, built in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, was the first ironclad warship built for the U.S. Navy. This photograph shows the deck and the round gun turret of the ship. The gun turret stood 20 feet wide and 9 feet high, and held two 11-inch Dahlgren guns. This type of gun was designed by U. S. Navy Commander John A. Dahlgren. They were large, heavy, smoothbore, muzzle-loading, soda bottle shaped guns, and were used by both sides during the war. The 11-inch pivot-mounted gun fired a shell that could pierce 4.5 inches of plate iron backed by 20 inches of solid oak.

The U.S. Navy grew rapidly during the Civil War, expanding from 7,600 in 1861 to 51,000 in 1865. The confrontation between the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia on March 9, 1862 was the world's first battle between two ironclad ships.

For more about the Monitor, see Documents 34, 35, and 36. For more about the U.S. Navy, see Document 32.

Citation - Document 37
ca. 1862
Courtesy Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-B8171-0660 DLC

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