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Parts From Civil War Vessel Found

June 9, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The propeller from the famed Civil War vessel USS Monitor has been recovered by researchers documenting the condition of the sunken wreck.

The recovery was reported today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Monitor, the first ironclad turreted warship, fought the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia to a draw on March 9, 1862. Before its Confederate service, the Virginia had been named Merrimac.

The Monitor later sank in a storm off the North Carolina coast. The wreck was found in 1973 and designated a marine sanctuary two years later.

In addition to the propeller and shaft, the researchers recovered some other smaller artifacts, including a deck plate.

NOAA said the propeller and other materials will be placed in the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va., where the ship’s anchor is already on display.

The team researching the Monitor includes divers from NOAA, the U.S. Navy and the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

The section of propeller and shaft recovered is about nine feet long and weighs about three tons, the agency said. It said divers had to cut through nine inches of the shaft to free the items. The propeller is about nine feet in diameter.

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