Weekend commemorates 155 years since Battle of the Ironclads
On Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5, 2017, The Mariners’ Museum and Park will commemorate the Civil War Battle that changed modern naval history forever. The Battle of Hampton Roads, when the Union ironclad USS Monitor fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia to a draw, proved the supremacy of iron to wood. One hundred and fifty-five years later, the Museum remembers the Battle with a weekend full of family-friendly activities, living history encampments, special events, and lectures. This year, in addition to the Battle itself, the weekend will focus on minorities in the Civil War.
Activities both outside and inside the Museum will occur Saturday and Sunday and will include:
Guests will be able to take guided tours of the USS Monitor Center and the Batten Conservation Lab, in addition to hearing about "Spies Among Us," detailing the role of women and children in the Civil War.
Visitors can go on an exclusive behind-the-scenes wet lab tour of the USS Monitor Center Batten Conservation Complex, the world’s largest marine archaeological metals conservations facility.
Tours are $10 per person.
See the Activities section for more information.
On Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m., Hampton Roads' top restaurants and caterers will prepare their best interpretations of 19th-century dishes during History Bites, a food-tasting event of historic proportions!
Ongoing Weekend Activities
Saturday, March 4
Sunday, March 5
“Shades of Grief” presented by Samantha McCarty at 2:30 p.m.
Huntington Room or Explorers Theater
Saturday, March 4
“The Pamunkey Indian Tribe and the Civil War in Virginia”
Ashley Atkins Spivey
Director at Pamunkey Indian Museum and Cultural Center
Most Americans have at one point in time heard the story of Pocahontas and John Smith, but very few have learned the rich history of Virginia’s Indian communities beyond the colonial period. Through the voices of Pamunkey men and women recorded by the Southern Claims Commission in 1871, the story of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe and the Civil War in Virginia comes to life. Pulling from their intimate knowledge of the riverine landscape, Pamunkey men put their lives on the line to serve the Union as pilots and scouts on Union gun-boats that traversed Virginia waterways. Pamunkey women held ground on the Reservation, working to aid Union soldiers who encamped near the community throughout the War.
“Beyond the Call of Duty”
John V. Quarstein
Director of the USS Monitor Center
The medal of honor is the United States' highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor. The medal was formerly established by Congress in 1862 and, since then 3,515 have been awarded, half of them during the Civil War. Of the over 212,000 African Americans who served in the Union army and navy during the war; 25 would receive the Medal of Honor. This review of African American recipients will focus on the 5 August 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay and the 29 September 1864 Battle of New Market Heights.
“Union Tooth and Nail: Pamunkey Indian Spies, Scouts, and Guides during the Civil War”
Lauren Porter, Debra Martin, Gordon Atkinson, and Warren Taylor
Pamunkey tribal members
This theatrical program involves four characters--all played by Pamunkey tribal members--that help to dramatize varying perspectives on Pamunkey involvement in the War.
“From Slavery to Freedom to Leadership: The Life and Legacy of Robert Smalls”
Dr. Bernard Powers
Professor of History, College of Charleston
Born into slavery, Robert Smalls made a dramatic and successful bid for freedom during the Civil War and became an important asset to the Union military effort. In peacetime, Smalls capitalized on his military fame and talents to play a leadership role in South Carolina's political life, helping African Americans to solidify their new freedom. Despite pervasive racism, Smalls continued with a soldier's tenacity, a champion of African American rights. This talk will focus on Smalls' life experiences to illustrate major themes of the 19th century African American experience.
“The Civil War in 7 Songs”
Carson Hudson and Arden Clark
Music could be found everywhere during the Civil War. It inspired and affected a generation of Americans in a way that has never been repeated. Join historian Carson Hudson as he musically explores the tragic story of the time when America was at war with itself in the 1860s.
“African Americans in the Civil War”
Ludger Balan and Dr. Malcolm Beech
USCT Living History Organization
Ludger Balan and Dr. Malcolm Beech of the US Colored Troops Living History Association will discuss the roles of African Americans in the Civil War and specifically the ways that they served in the US Navy.
Sunday, March 5
“The Steam Engine of the USS Monitor”
Metal craftsman and engineer
A review of the design, functions and operation of the engine, and a brief history of the research needed to build a miniature operating replica of this famous John Ericsson invention.
“Yankees in Williamsburg”
Carson Hudson, Jr.
Historian and Musician
Today, Williamsburg, Virginia, lives in the shadow of the reconstructed historic area of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Thousands of Visitors come annually to visit the recreated colonial town where the Founding Fathers walked. Sadly, a forgotten fact is that the very ground in Williamsburg where the Founding Fathers once walked was later soaked with the blood of their children and grandchildren during the Civil War. Most visitors are unaware that it is truly hallowed ground. This lecture will tell some of the forgotten stories of when America was at war with itself.
“From Civil War to World War II: How USS Monitor is Preserving Our Naval and Maritime Past”
Superintendent of NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
One hundred and fifty five years ago, the Monitor changed history at the Battle of Hampton Roads. Today the Civil War ironclad is engaged in another great effort to preserve our WWII past. Learn how NOAA and the Monitor Center are working to preserve the remains of WWII shipwrecks off the North Carolina Coast.
“Shades of Grief”
Historic clothing technician
The American Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, took an unprecedented toll on the nation’s population, with casualties estimated at over 600,000, and left few families untouched by tragedy. While everyone in society felt the specter of death, it was primarily women who visually displayed their grief through specific changes in dress and behavior. This presentation seeks to examine the history, design, and use of mourning millinery and accessories in the 1860s by looking at extant items and period images and documents to develop an understanding of the importance of these items in interpreting mid-19th century mourning culture.
“To Be Free, A Citizen, and Voter: The History of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments”
CEO of The American Civil War Museum
At the end of the Civil War, the United States ratified three amendments to the Constitution: the 13th Amendment abolished slavery; the 14th defined citizenship and established rights of due process and equal protection under the law; and the 15th established voting rights for citizens regardless of race. This talk examines how these amendments changed American society in the years following the Civil War, and the ways they still shape our nation today.
Activities on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5
3rd Virginia Infantry
The 3rd Virginia Infantry is a living history interpretive group based upon the original 3rd Virginia and will include musket demonstrations and the history of the unit to include the company's involvement in the occupation of Gosport Naval Yard in April of 1861.
99th New York
The 99th New York will present to the public the history of Company D, 99th NY and the role the men playing in the battle on board the ill-fated USS Congress. To present the names of the men who fell in combat, taken prisoner and lost. We will conduct a memorial service in honor of all those lost in the Battle of Hampton Roads. The 99th Co D is headquartered here in Hampton Roads at Fort Norfolk and is currently seeking new recruits.
United States Colored Troops Living History Association
The United States Colored Troops Living History Association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and accurately interpret the history of the United States Colored Troops of the American Civil War and those who supported their efforts to abolish slavery and preserve the Union. Additionally, the association seeks to educate the public and promote research of the history and legacy of those who served in the Civil War. The association serves as a support organization for USCT reenactors and living history presenters and assists them by marketing and publicizing their contributions to recognizing and honoring our Civil War ancestors.
The 21st Georgia has been involved in reenacting for just over 30 years. We strive to bring an authentic aspect to reenacting and want to properly portray the soldiers of the Civil War. Our fife and drum corps has participated in Colonial Williamsburg's Drummers Call event for the past two years and have performed at the American Civil War museum.
Pegram's Battery is a volunteer artillery unit from Petersburg National Battlefield. This veteran unit provides firing demonstrations and talks on the role of Civil War artillery.
Behind-The-Scenes Conservation Lab Tours
USS Monitor Center Batten Conservation Complex
Visitors can go on an exclusive behind-the-scenes wet lab tour of the USS Monitor Center Batten Conservation Complex, the world’s largest marine archaeological metals conservations facility. Conservation professionals responsible for treating Monitor’s turret, engine, and other artifacts will lead each tour. Get an intimate look at some of the ship’s amazing artifacts!
Coffee with the Cook
Featuring Eric Jeanneret
Enjoy a cup of coffee while learning about cooking aboard the USS Monitor in this demonstration and presentation on the deck of the Monitor replica. Watch as the cook prepares portions of the daily meal for the enlisted men. You'll be able to ask questions, and maybe even help in the preparation!
Saturday, March 4, 2017, Main Lobby @ 6:30 p.m.
A food tasting event of HISTORIC proportions!
Hampton Roads’ top restaurants and caterers will prepare their best interpretations of 19th century dishes representing both the North the South and the Navy. Guests and judges including Abraham Lincoln will vote on their favorite recipes as participants compete for the coveted Cast-Iron Skillet Awards.
Tickets: $35 ($30 for Museum Members). $45 day of the event.
Tickets include unlimited food tastings and one drink ticket. A cash bar will be available offering beer, wine, and grog.
2017 Participating Restaurants, Caterers, and Culinary Schools: