The Silverware from the Monitor
Personally engraved silverware recovered from the Monitor offers yet another glimpse into the life of crew members aboard the ironclad. These pieces are some of the 24 pieces found in the Monitor's gun turret in 2002 and currently on display at The Mariners' Museum in Virginia.
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When the Monitor's turret was excavated in 2002, 24 pieces of silver tableware were discovered. Of these recovered artifacts, the handles of five pieces were engraved with either the names or initials of crewmembers or officers. One of these pieces bears the initials "JN," which was most likely the property of Jacob Nicklis.
Jacob Nicklis was a 21-year-old sailor from Buffalo, New York, who came aboard the Monitor when it was undergoing repairs at the Washington Navy Yard. He wrote a letter to his father a few days before the Monitor went down, telling his father that while he did not particularly care for his accommodations, the food was okay. He ended his letter saying: "They say we will have a pretty rough time going around Hatteras, but I hope it will not be the case."
Nicklis was one of twelve crewmen and four officers who perished when the Monitor sank off the coast of Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862.
- Location: The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia
- Recovery: 2002
- Material: Silver
- Notable Features: Of the recovered silverware, the handles of five pieces were engraved with either the names or initials of crewmembers or officers.
Related Web Sites:
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. (1994). A look at the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary: Past, Present and Future.
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. (2005). Monitor National Marine Sanctuary factsheet.