Sunday, March 11, 2012

Battle of Hampton Roads Day 2 - Seaman Rob's Report

The second day of the BOHR event dawned with some frost on the ground, which is totally unheard of in March for a Floridian!! I attended the morning free lecture by Dr. John Quarstein on “The Men of the CSS Virginia”. Dr. Quarstein’s talk was an animated overview of the design and building of the CSS Virginia from the hulk of the USS Merrimack and the effort to find a crew to man her. Along the way he offered history and observations on the officers and men who crewed this revolutionary warship and he made the very interesting point that many of the men who served on the Virginia went on to serve in many important positions in the Confederate Navy, even after the ship was destroyed. I purchased a copy of Dr. Quarstein’s book “The Monitor Boys” and was fortunate to get him to sign it with a hearty “Huzzah” to Seaman Rob!! In addition, I met fellow CWN150 Guest Bloggers Sarah Adler and Andrew Duppstadt and I was “drafted” as an unofficial Hampton Roads Naval Museum volunteer to man the HRNM Booth while staffers Matt Eng, Laura Orr, and Gordon Calhoun were in a panel presentation at the Naval History Conference. Because I was not an attendee at the Conference, I am going to depend upon all of them to give an update on the content of their presentations and assessment of how it went. I enjoyed meeting many CW re-enactors (army, navy and marine) from the Virginia area and found them very friendly, informative, and I learned a lot from them. Thanks guys (and gals)!! All-in-all, this was an incredible weekend and I felt it was worth the drive up from Florida.

Images are from the Naval History and Heritage Command web site. Top photo is Adm. Franklin Buchanan, the first commander of the CSS Virginia, and the bottom photo is Catesby ap Roger Jones, the XO of the Virginia.

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