NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A popular commemoration event to attend in person over the years, The Mariners’ Museum and Park will instead offer virtual programming for the Battle of Hampton Roads’ upcoming 159th anniversary on Friday, March 5, and Saturday, March 6. With the Museum galleries closed due to the ongoing global health pandemic, the Mariners’ commitment to connect people to the world’s waters remains at the forefront as its team shifts many programs to virtual.

This year’s virtual programs will provide different insights and perspectives to the famous Civil War battle where the Union USS Monitor and the Confederate CSS Virginia fought relentlessly for hours off the waters near Chesapeake Bay in Hampton Roads on March 8-9, 1862. While the battle ended in a draw, it also demonstrated a supremacy of iron over wood and changed modern naval warfare forever. All of the programs for the Mariners’ Battle of Hampton Roads Series will be available online and free of charge.

John V. Quarstein, renowned author, historian, and director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center, will kick off the commemoration Friday, March 5 at 12 p.m. Eastern time. Quarstein will present “Spirits on USS Monitor: Alcohol and the Civil War Navy,” and how the consumption of alcohol plagued sailors. This talk is also part of the Civil War Lecture Series.

On Saturday, March 6, the Mariners’ virtual schedule will be filled with four intriguing programs starting at 10 a.m. when Erika Cosme, content and interpretation developer, takes viewers through the reasons and significance of ironclads in “The Development of European Ironclads.” Then at 11 a.m., the Mariners’ Interpretation Team and Eric Jeanneret, a longtime costumed interpreter for the Museum’s iconic event, collaborate to reveal important details about the history of Civil War food and present a comparison of food for enlisted and officers aboard USS Monitor.

The commemoration of the Battle of Hampton Roads will continue into the afternoon when Kyra Duffley, digital content assistant at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, brings an artistic element to the historic battle as she examines how romanticism and commercial patriotism paved the way for the Civil War to be the first “illustrated” war at 1 p.m. The series concludes at 2 p.m. with Hannah Fleming, maritime archaeologist at the Mariners’, when she pieces together the history of an artifact found from USS Monitor in “Follow the Phoenix.”

Viewers will be able to send any comments or questions to the presenters, which they will answer following the presentations. All virtual programs are free and scheduled for Eastern Time Zone.

Recent changes to registration have been made to make it easier to sign up. A personal Zoom account is no longer required, but advance registration is still necessary. For more information about the Battle of Hampton Roads Series and how to register, visit MarinersMuseum.org/BOHR.

Media interested in interviewing any of the scheduled guest speakers and The Mariners’ Team about their upcoming programs or would like to request images should contact Crystal Breede, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at cbreede@MarinersMuseum.org.

Full virtual schedule of The Mariners’ Battle of Hampton Roads Series:

All virtual programming is FREE. Pre-registration is required. Times are Eastern.

Friday, March 5, 2021

12 p.m. - Civil War Lecture Series
Spirits on USS Monitor: Alcohol and the Civil War Navy
Presenter: John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Kick start the Mariners’ Commemoration of the Battle of Hampton Roads by joining 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.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

10 a.m. - The Development of European Ironclads
Presenter: Erika Cosme, content and interpretation developer at The Mariners’ Museum

Follow along with Erika Cosme, content and interpretation developer at The Mariners’ Museum, as she takes you through the reasons and significance of ironclads and the technological impact they had on navies around the world.

11 a.m. - Foods and Feasts: A Comparison of Enlisted and Officers Foods Aboard USS Monitor
Presenters: The Mariners’ Interpretation Team and Eric Jeanneret, volunteer costumed interpreter

Join the Mariners’ Interpretation Team and Eric Jeanneret, a longtime costumed interpreter for the Museum’s iconic Battle of Hampton Roads event, as they reveal important details about the history of Civil War food and present a comparison of food for enlisted and officers aboard USS Monitor.

1 p.m. - Romanticism and Commercial Patriotism in the Art of the Battle of Hampton Roads
Presenter: Kyra Duffley, digital content assistant at The Mariners’ Museum

Have you ever wondered how paintings, especially ones depicted of war and fighting, are portrayed with such intricate details and vibrancy? Or have you questioned whether what is seen in the painting is what actually occurred? Come learn from Kyra Duffley, digital content assistant at The Mariners’, as she brings an enlightening perspective to the Battle of Hampton Roads in the form of art.

2 p.m. - Follow the Phoenix
Presenter: Hannah Fleming, maritime archaeologist at The Mariners’ Museum

Finding archaeological artifacts often leads to more questions than answers. Come discover a fragile reminder of the past with Hannah Fleming, maritime archaeologist at The Mariners’ Museum, when she pieces together the history of an artifact found from USS Monitor.

Mariners Museuma nd Park

The Mariners' Museum and Park connects people to the world's waters because through the water – through our shared maritime heritage - we are connected to one another. The organization is an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings, and other maritime artifacts. The Mariners’ Museum is home to the USS Monitor Center, and is surrounded by the 550-acre Mariners’ Park, the largest privately maintained park open to the public in North America. The Mariners’ Museum Library is the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere. Because of the Museum’s world-class collection and its reputation for high-level exhibits and programs, in 1999, the U.S. Congress designated The Mariners’ Museum as one of only two maritime museums that comprise America’s National Maritime Museum. While the Museum galleries are currently closed, guests can engage with the Mariners’ through FREE virtual programs, on social media platforms, and blog posts. The Mariners’ Park and Noland Trail remain open for daily use. For additional information, visit MarinersMuseum.org, call (757) 596-2222 or write to The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA 23606.

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