Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
As It Happened -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Today, visitors could be forgiven live in the centre of Paris. for thinking that only rich people and fancy boutiques, It's a world of fine apartments indulgence and exquisite pleasures. once an exciting artistic movement, Even bohemianism, than a fashionable affectation. seems to have become no more

in east Paris, you find the 'bobos'. Around Canal Saint-Martin A bobo is a 'bourgeois boheme', to live in the centre someone who can afford and the romantic lifestyle. but who has the bohemian values We call it...

having your cake and eating it. In other words, in the street? So how can you recognise a bobo So usually it's by the appearance. Camper shoes, designer clothes... restaurant bobo. So Chez Prune, definitely bobo, GROOVY MUSIC That's not bobo at all, because bobo likes kitsch. but it could become bobo

(Laughs) there are a lot wannabes bobo Actually to be bobo. because not many people have the cash Am I a bobo? Depends if I had a good month or not. Well, maybe not. GROOVY WALTZ which endured so long, Real bohemianism of the Second World War, even surviving the ravages in sky-high property prices. has met its greatest match throughout the 20th century until now What has made Paris dynamic its anti-conformism, the underground, is what lies underneath, alive. and we need to keep this spirit inimitable way Parisians in their rebellious, are already rising to the challenge. in the many artists' squats... You can see it illegally occupied old warehouses in the city's artistic heritage by those who want to share but cannot afford studio space. This place is perfect for me. What about London and Berlin? You see this spirit outside too. in Paris's streets, If you are out on a Friday night to a special sight. you might be treated bring the city to a halt, Thousands of rollerbladers just to be looked at and admired reminding us that Paris isn't but experienced and enjoyed. This spirit will always be there part of what makes Paris... Paris. because it is part of Paris's DNA itself as a city of innovation, Over its long history, it has defined a breeding ground of ideas... and a hotbed of revolution... attracting the people of the world... but most of all, a lighthouse city ever-growing, ever-young. to keep it ever-changing, Paris is as alluring today as ever, so well not just because it has survived but also because it has evolved to keep her alive and exciting. and Parisian people continue Who could ask for more? Captions (c) SBS Australia 2008 in SBS World News Australia at 9:30. Coming up for the first time Radovan Karadzic has appeared before the UN's war crimes tribunal. claims The former Bosnian Serb leader helped him evade capture. alleged backroom deals with the US in Australia is mounting. Evidence of a looming recession the Reserve Bank Some economists are urging

to cut interest rates immediately a long-term economic slowdown. to avoid with Chinese authorities The IOC denies it cut a secret deal during the Olympic Games. to censor the Internet have opened access Chinese authorities to some blocked Internet websites. And - and tasted it. We've now finally touched it that hasn't been done before. That's one thing there's water on Mars. NASA scientists confirm at 9:30. That and the rest of the day's news See you then. Fire! March the 9th, 1862. in the American Civil War An inconclusive battle of naval warfare forever. transforms the face Fire! with billowing sails, Flanked by tall wooden ships meet to fight. two strange alien beasts between ships with iron armour. It is the world's first combat The ironclads. Fighting for the South metal-covered barn roof - is a weapon shaped like a huge the Merrimack. is an even stranger contraption - Fighting for the North the Monitor. with shot nor shell. Neither can sink the other of the Monitor ruled the seas For nine months the crew until disaster struck. and letters They left behind poignant photographs of a world poised to change, that paint a vivid picture of a new kind of war. One wrote: for the mere fight than we deserve. "I think we get more credit impenetrable armour." "Anyone can fight behind aboard the first modern warship. This is the story of life and death

after their epic battle, Less than a year both ironclads lay on the seabed. after the Monitor disappeared, More than 100 years was suddenly rediscovered. her wreckage a most momentous discovery was made - Inside the gun turret, the remains of two sailors. has been ongoing ever since. The search for their identities Historian David Mindell for many years. has been fascinated by the Monitor Virginia, He is visiting Williamsburg, the Monitor and Merrimack fought. just 30 miles inland from where It's home to a leading genealogist. any living descendants Her job is to track down on the Monitor. of the two skeletons found for me here This is kind of familiar footage with the US army. because I'm under contract of soldiers I track down the families who are still unaccounted for. World War II and Vietnam. Mostly from Korea, but occasionally identify one of these fellows It means a lot when we can some closure to their families. and bring him home, finally bring descendants and who the person is? So how do you go about tracking down is following the people trail, Well, what I'll be doing

through the paper trail. and people trail that pertain to their lives, I'll be looking for any documents about their families, anything that can shed information pre-Monitor what their experiences were find out and anything that might help me

where their families are today. As a historian of technology, David too will be tracking down the stories of the men on the Monitor. I'm interested in the people who lived aboard, and what it was like to take this new machine for the first time out to sea and then into battle, how they learned about what its strengths and weaknesses were and what it felt like for the people inside. What we're both doing in different ways is putting flesh back on the bones, trying to, in a sense, give a second life to these fellows. The Monitor came out of a crisis facing President Lincoln at the start of the Civil War in 1861. To strangle Southern trade, Lincoln decided to use his vastly superior navy to blockade all major Southern ports.

It was called The Anaconda Plan. But the North's largest naval yard, at the mouth of the James river in Virginia, soon came under threat. As the South closed in, Northern troops fled, torching whatever they could not take, including the enormous frigate, the Merrimack. The Merrimack was one of the largest steam frigates in the US Navy at the time and the Union burned it and it sank right at its dock in the navy yard in Newport News. Rather than taking it out of the action, however, that merely caused the South to innovate. When the South pulled up the wreckage of the Merrimack, the designers decided not to rebuild this wooden frigate. Instead, they covered all 275 feet of her with thick plates of iron and a 40-foot iron ram on her prow.

A monster had arisen from the ashes to threaten Lincoln's blockade. Rumours of the South's terrible new weapon sent a shiver of fear through the Union, even touching the heart of the President. One of the observers commented on Lincoln going to the window and actually looking out the window of the Oval Office, trying to see down the Potomac whether the Merrimack wasn't steaming up the Potomac, here to shell Washington into submission. The press and politicians began mounting a campaign demanding that the Union build a weapon mighty enough to take on the Merrimack. And so the navy convened a board to begin looking at funding a few experiments in ironclad technology. Looking around anxiously for a solution,

Lincoln turned to the eccentric Swedish engineer John Ericsson, who had lived at the sharp edge of technical innovation for 30 years, real success always just one step away. In 1861, amidst howls of derision from competitors, Ericsson produced the design for a ship even more audacious than the Merrimack. The South had merely covered a wooden frigate with metal. His design would be made entirely of iron. The Merrimack had more than 80 guns,

but Ericsson's ship would have only two, because her gun turret would be designed to rotate 360 degrees, so that unlike any ship before,

she could remain stationary during a battle and still aim shots at any angle.

Ericsson named her the Monitor, and with a 100-day deadline the frantic construction began on October the 25th, 1861. The bones of the two men recovered from the Monitor are stored in military labs in Hawaii. Here forensic anthropologists have been studying the remains to seek out clues to their identities. The first body has been named Monitor One. From this skull alone, because of size and shape differences, I can tell this is a white male. And we can tell that just because of the features. The nasal bones in a Caucasoid individual are very large. The shape of the skull, this is very typical of a Caucasoid individual. Rounded, it's not very long, and it's not flat in the back. This is an important clue, because 8% of the crew were African American. Megan's research can focus on the white sailors. We know that we've got an adult, because the growth caps in these long bones have all finished developing. This person has pretty much reached their adult maturity, their size. He's not going to grow in height or in any other dimension. The length of the leg bone provides an estimate of his height, five foot eight inches, another vital clue for Megan. Okay, I'd like now to introduce you to Monitor Two. This is an older individual, as far as the age that he died. When we do the biological profile of this individual we see that he died in his 30s, probably 30 to 40 years old. He's a little bit different height than the other individual and has some different features that make him stand out from Monitor One. He's got arthritic changes that Monitor One doesn't have. Some of these guys led pretty hard lives. This is arthritis of the spine. Heavy labour, heavy activities, and age-related as well. Not only can we tell something about the biology of these two sailors, but we can also tell about their cultural activities, and in particular, it's a little difficult to see, but this individual right here, on the left side of his teeth, we have a pipe stem groove. That was caused by him gripping probably a clay-stemmed pipe, and it's like sandpaper, it rubs the teeth and it made a big semicircle. So we know this person was a long-time pipe smoker. Science can offer more help in the search to name the two dead men in what is the most difficult of cold cases. What it'll take now though is DNA. So we have taken a bone sample from one bone and one tooth from each of the two Monitors. And now somebody is going to have run down the ancestors. The difficult part is going back however many generations to find somebody. Normally, if they die from the Vietnam War, World War II, you go back a couple of generations, some people are living now and they're very close ancestors and descendants. For the Monitor, they'll have to go back quite a ways perhaps. But it could still be done. The task of tracking down living descendants is now handed on to one of the military's leading specialists, Megan Smolenyak. I've been doing genealogy since the 6th grade. I got a homework assignment from Mrs Berkowitz and we had to find out where our surnames came from. I didn't realise that Smolenyak was a weird name until that exercise. The next day there's a world map and she put our names up in our countries of origin. All the other kids were crowded round the British Isles and I had the whole Soviet Union to myself. That's what got me started, it was, genealogy's a slippery slope. You take that first step, you find that first clue, 20 years go by. That's how I started. Records of the 63 men who worked on board the Monitor provide only limited information about those who drowned. Okay, we know from crew rosters and so forth that 16 men lost their lives on the USS Monitor that evening. But ultimately we wound up with a list of nine that we really focused in on. For most of these fellows, they died rather young. Some were right off the ship from Europe so in most cases all we had to go on was the basic enlistment details. We knew their name, what country they were born in, roughly what year they were born, and what their height was, and that's about it. Armed with these facts, Megan will begin trying to whittle down her 16 candidates to a shortlist. You know, the pipedream in this situation would be to find DNA for all the candidate sailors, or at least enough until we get the matches on the two skeletons to identify who they are so that they can be returned to their families and properly interred and given the honours due to them all these decades later. In only 118 days, The Monitor was completed. Her crew had come from every corner of the globe but their experience had not prepared them for what they first saw on a freezing January 30 in 1862. Gone were the traditional wooden frigate's tall masts, clouds of sail and gun-decks bristling with cannon. Instead, in stunned disbelief, they beheld a metal tube just 179 feet long, with only a circular gun turret and square pilot house protruding above the water. A full scale replica in the Mariners' Museum, Virginia, dramatically demonstrates this shift. You have these images from older sailing vessels, like in 'Master and Commander' and the traditional great wooden frigates and whatnot, with the officers in the back and the captain has the beautifully set up table and the officers all live and work in the stern of the ship, with very well lit rooms and beautifully appointed apartments. And here the officers' country was actually quite nicely set up, but everybody is mixed up much more together. There's a real social change that came with the new technology of iron. A social change that didn't really sit well with the crew, and probably not so well with some of the traditional officers, because we all know navies are traditional. While the luxury and space formerly afforded the officers had vanished, the crew were now subject to new and unwelcome surveillance from superiors. The wardroom bulkhead that separated crew quarters from officer quarters, there were two portholes in it, the only two in the Monitor.

But it allowed an officer just to walk out to see what was happening on the berth deck. At one fell stroke, swashbuckling heroes had been transformed into little more than automatons. The Monitor's 63-man crew was not only far smaller but different in skills from that of earlier ships. Where there'd been dozens of gunners, there were now only four. Where there'd been carpenters, there were now mechanics. Where there'd been sail-makers, there were now boilermen. And where there'd been riggers, there was now the all-important presence of the engineers. Herman Melville, when he read about the Monitor, he wrote, "Warriors are now but operatives." Operative was the word for a factory worker, and it was his interpretation of how this heavily mechanical environment was changing naval warfare from this sort of pomp and splendour of the captain strutting around on the deck to this much more mechanical, kind of greasy, dark, iron-covered factory-like experience. It was a big change, particularly for officers, but for the crew too. Well, it also affected the make-up of the crew, because for the first time in US Navy history you have a crew that's primarily engineering. It wasn't a vessel, it was a machine. The Monitor really introduced the world to the idea that you might be now fighting inside machines and with machines. In addition to those who operated the machine, there were administrators, like the accountant, or paymaster, as he was known. The Monitor's paymaster was to become the ship's unofficial biographer, who charted every step of the Monitor's short life. His name was William Frederick Keeler. Keeler was a fascinating guy. He not only witnessed these incredible historical events but he wrote a series of letters to his wife. Keeler was a very well-read man, very literate, but he was also ever so slightly awkward. In today's parlance, you might call Keeler a bit of a nerd. The first time he sees the ship, he wonders about this strange iron contraption and what it's going to mean for the heroism and glory that he hopes to bring home from warfare. He writes to his wife: "I saw my iron home for the first time, "but I shall not attempt a description of it now. "You may rest assured that your better half "will be in no more danger from rebel complements "than if he was seated with you at home." Then he says "There isn't even danger enough to give us any glory." Slow! But there were dangers, new ones, resulting from the very innovations designed to protect the crew of the Monitor. Confined below the waterline, with no daylight, the crew depended on the machinery for the very air they breathed. If the machine broke down, they would die.

Her lethal potential became clear as she hit rough seas. Within a few days after the Monitor leaves port for the first time, it encounters a storm. And Keeler has this to say about the waves on the deck. As the day advances, some anxious faces are seen. Now we scoop up a huge volume of water on one side, and as it rolls to the other with the motion of the vessel, it is met by a sea coming from the opposite direction, the accumulative weight seeming sufficient to bury us forever. Paymaster Keeler preserved hundreds of artefacts and records for posterity, and some of the most personal and evocative have been handed down the generations to his great-great-grandson. a little photo album that includes, I believe, his family, and there's also one picture of himself in there. I've studied and written about William Keeler for more than a decade now, but it's also a great thrill for me to stand here and talk to someone who's actually descended from him. And looking at the photographs and looking at you, maybe I can see a little bit of Keeler's eyes in your eyes. That's the picture that was taken of him the first day when he got his uniform and had his portrait taken in the Brooklyn navy yard when he was just joining the Monitor. As I understand, he didn't want a uniform? Yeah, he thought he was just a regular guy, that he could join the navy and they wouldn't need to give him a uniform. Which is sort of touchingly naive, because the one rule of the military is that everyone has a uniform. So we've seen from Keeler's letters a few things about his personality and what kind of person he was. He was very organised, very meticulous, which is why we have these letters. He was a teetotaller, opposed to drinking.

Gee, that's very interesting, because my grandmother herself was a teetotaller. My mother was a teetotaller, and I guess most of the family, with the exception of myself, I'll have a glass of wine. Unfortunately for Megan, the sailors who drowned on the Monitor, unlike the paymaster, did not hand down orderly records of their lives. Hi Cheryl, this is Megan. Hi, how you doing? Okay, how about you? Good, thanks. I have got another one of my cases that I need your help on. Okay. She's on the search for surviving relatives of the skeletons. First she must narrow down the list from the 16 named men who died. We can eliminate three because they were African American. That much they can be sure of, and the two skeletons were not. But that still leaves 13 possible candidates. It's possible to rule out more candidates using additional data provided by the scientists. They did what's called isotope testing, which has to do with the water ingested during their lifetime. It gives an indication of where somebody was in their youth. It's reflected in their teeth. The indications are that both skeletons found in the turret were probably European-born, and possibly lived there till they were 12-14 at least, maybe only came to America a year or two before they wound up on the USS Monitor. So that led to six sailors in particular, and that's where I focused my initial efforts. This is the list of six candidates. William Eagan and Thomas Joyce from Ireland, William Allen from England, Bob Williams from Wales, James Fenwick from Scotland, and George Frederickson from Denmark. George Frederickson was so frustrating because there were so many possible records for him and none panned out. I had a lot of information, so I looked for his birth in Denmark. I knew which island he was born on, searched all nine parishes, nothing. So then I tried the Danish census records. Nothing. Then I looked for his marriage record, hoping it'd give me the names of the parents. Nothing. Then I looked for his wife's burial, find out that the whole family was buried in a cemetery that was completely moved in the 1920s. So then I started following the lines forward and the daughter died young, apparently childless. His son did have two children, but each of them married late and had no children of their own. So the whole family basically died out back in the 1950s. So very, very frustrating. Frederickson wasn't the only dead end. William Eagan and William Allen have also been ruled out. Megan must try now to find a living descendant of Thomas Joyce, Bob Williams or James Fenwick. Today, Newport News, at the mouth of the James river, is a peaceful marina dotted with pleasure boats and yachts. But in 1862 it was the site of the Southern navy's most powerful engine of war, her magnificent new weapon, the Merrimack, waited here for action. On March the 8th, 1862, this iron monster was at last sent to challenge the Northern blockade. One by one, the Merrimack destroyed the Union's outdated wooden vessels, as Union cannonballs helplessly bounced off. Two great frigates were destroyed, and only oncoming darkness prevented her from finishing off the whole fleet. In a little over four hours, the US Navy had suffered the most humiliating defeat she had ever endured. The Monitor, racing towards Hampton Roads, represented the Union's last hope of saving the blockade. Oh, how we longed to be there, but our iron hull crept slowly on. The monotonous clank, clank of the engine betokened no increase of its speed. The Monitor arrived just in time to witness, from a few miles away, the full force of her foe's destructive powers. For one night, the Confederate navy ruled the sea, unaware that the Monitor was heading their way. As dawn arrived on March 9th, those on the Merrimack saw a strange new contraption emerging from behind one of the few remaining frigates, dwarfed by the massive wooden dinosaur which had concealed her. As the Merrimack approached the Monitor, no one knew what to expect. Gentlemen, that is the Merrimack. You'd better get below.

Everyone was at his post, fixed like a statue. The most profound silence reigned. We were enclosed in what we supposed to be an impenetrable armour. We knew that a powerful foe was about to meet us. Ours was an untried experiment, and our enemy's first fire might make it a coffin for us all. On March 9th the Monitor and the Merrimack went at each other for about four hours on a very clear Sunday, late morning and afternoon. Hampton Roads here is a natural naval amphitheatre. Thousands of people from both sides witnessed the battle in this crisp, clear weather. But the strange thing was that unlike every other naval battle there were apparently no people. Instead, just two machines going at each other. All the people were buried inside. Mr Keeler, tell Mr Green I'm going to bring us on the starboard side close alongside so he knows which side to fire. Yes, sir. As soon as the Monitor went into battle, a major design flaw became apparent. The turret was in the middle of the ship, but the captain and pilot driving the ship were up forward in the pilot house. They couldn't speak to each other. Ericsson had designed in a speaking tube that broke early in the battle and it was left to people like William Keeler

to run back and forth carrying messages. Lieutenant Green, the captain says that he's bringing us on the starboard. Understood. Fire! Cannonballs that would formerly have created a lethal barrage of wooden splinters which shredded your opponent's crew now either made clean holes through the side or merely bounced off. Observers who saw the Monitor pictured it as this wilful beast carefully probing the weaknesses of the Merrimack. The irony was that on board the Monitor the crew really had no idea what was going on. Only the captain could see. Everybody else, including the gun crew, could not see out at all. You can elevate enough. Try the wooden gunboat. Elevate enough to hit the wooden boat. Understood. Fire! In theory, the Monitor had the advantage over her opponent, because while the Merrimack had to keep repositioning, the Monitor's rotating gun turrets meant she could fire in whatever position she was in. Tell him we struck her. In practice, whatever advantage the gun turret's rotation gave was negated by the considerable time it took to reload the two guns. If the Monitor had hit the Merrimack in any one place two times in a row, they probably would've sank the ship. But they never did, they could never manage to concentrate the fire in any practical way. Why isn't he firing? Again design flaws thwarted the Monitor's crew. They couldn't fire directly forwards or backwards

for fear of damaging their own ship. You made a hole. The captain asks why you don't fire? Tell him I can't do that. If I fire from this position, I risk injuring people in the pilot house, including him. At 12 noon, after four hours of fighting,

the Merrimack made a lucky hit, straight onto the viewing slit of the pilot house, while the Monitor's captain looked out.

Sir! My eyes! I'm blind! Tell Lieutenant Green the captain's hurt. The Monitor now withdrew to change command. After four and half hours of fighting, neither ship was in a position to finish off the fight. The Merrimack, afraid of being trapped by the changing tide, decided to retreat also.

Essentially the battle ended in a draw, neither ship was sank. Both sides claimed victory. For the Merrimack, they claimed that the Monitor had retreated. For the Monitor, they had obviously prevented a repeat of the carnage of the day before. So the entire event comes down through history to us as one of mixed results. Perfect ingredients for legend. After the battle, the Monitor's crew posed by the dented turret for photos which would be published in every Northern newspaper. Much to Keeler's surprise, they had become heroes.

I think we get more credit for the mere fight than we deserve. Anyone can fight behind impenetrable armour. In the following weeks, the iconic status of both ironclads was such that neither side dared risk a rematch in case they lost. And two months later, the Southern commanders destroyed the Merrimack because they were afraid the Union might capture her. One of those who drowned on the Monitor was a James R. Fenwick from Scotland. But the documents Megan initially found said that he was too short to match the height of either of the men found in the turret. However, with further research, she's now tracked something down which questions this. Well, I had almost ruled out Fenwick as a candidate, but I'm finding conflicting evidence about how tall he really was. The navy had him down as 5'5", but I've found a couple of pieces in a paper saying he was 5'8". And just maybe that makes him a candidate now for one of the sailors, for one of the two skeletons. This is important, because it brings Fenwick back in as a candidate. More digging unearths yet more intriguing information. One remarkable thing we learnt was that his wife was pregnant at the time that he died. So this means, hopefully, there could be a descendant out there,

and we have the chance of folk still living today. So that's a big piece of information we've gotten from this document. Two weeks after the Merrimack had been destroyed, the Monitor entered the steamy waters of the James river with orders to shell the Confederate capital, Richmond, into submission. Audaciously invading the enemy's heartland, this would become a harrowing and terrible journey. This experience was nothing like the brief period of apparent victory and joy in Hampton Roads. During the summer of 1862, the Monitor experienced something that we might recognise from Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' or the film 'Apocalypse Now'. The idea that we were in the heart of the enemy's country did not add a great deal of pleasure to my meditations. Not a man could show himself on the decks without a ball whizzing by. Coming up a river during wartime surrounded by hostile territory on both sides,

sharpshooters were firing at the crew, and they didn't actually need to hit any of them, all they needed was to keep Keeler and his compatriots inside the ship. And it was 150 degrees, the men almost literally cooked to death inside the Monitor. As temperatures increased, the stench of stale perspiration and rotting excrement became increasingly unbearable. Even the air they breathed, which the engines recycled, was fetid and rank. When the coast was clear, some of the Monitor's crew, including paymaster Keeler, came onto the mainland, and there witnessed the devastation being wreaked by the increasingly bloody battles for the possession of Virginia. The scene that I witnessed there is beyond the power of language to describe. To say the slaughterhouse would convey but a faint idea. Here was a body with the head, one arm and part of the breast torn off by a bursting shell.

Another with the top of his head taken off, the brains still steaming. Partly across him lay one with both legs taken off at the hips. And a little distance was another, completely disembowelled.

After four months of misery, the once optimistic crew began to play their own part in the darker side of the war. They had a ship that was designed for combat at sea trying to take on a mission for which it was not really suited.

In frustration, they would lash out at the civilian population, even at one point firing on a house like this one, full of civilians, because they had received some fire from the shore. And you can just imagine this enormous naval weapon with these 11-inch guns designed to cut through warships being turned on this very lightly built civilian house. Megan's search is closing in on the Fenwick family. The census of 1865 will reveal whether James Fenwick's daughter had any children herself. In the pension file for James Fenwick, it mentioned that his wife was pregnant, so I was very optimistic that we've got a descendant. But what I found is that she had apparently died in infancy. So no descendants. So that sends me back to the siblings to try to find relatives. While the search for a blood relation continues, more information about the character of James Fenwick is being unearthed. The more I get to know about Fenwick the more I like him. You can see what kind of human being he was. He was a bit of a bad boy, had a tattoo. We know from the Monitor's log that he got in a couple of brawls. On the other hand, I have this sweet letter he wrote to his wife a few days after marrying her bemoaning the fact that he'd left early and he wished he'd spent more time with her. So he's a bad boy with a soft side. Who doesn't like a fellow like that? On Christmas Day, 1862, the Monitor received what would turn out to be her last orders.

She must take a perilous journey to North Carolina, through waters notorious for their turbulent weather and sudden storms, known inauspiciously as the graveyard of the Atlantic. The wind was blowing violently, the heavy seas rolled over our bows, dashing against the pilot house, and surging aft, would strike the solid turret with a force to make it tremble. As well might one stand under Niagara as to attempt to breast the waves which were rolling over our decks. A dim lantern swinging to and fro with the motion of the vessel just served to make the nearest objects visible in the darkness. After groping about for a little time, I collected what books and papers I deemed it important to save, but found they made so large and unmanageable a mass that the attempt to save them would be utterly useless and would only endanger my life. I took down my watch, and putting it in my pocket, took out my safe keys with the intention of saving the government greenbacks. The safe was entirely submerged in the thick darkness below the water, and from the peculiar form of the lock I was unable to insert the key. I desisted from the attempt and started to return. Everything was enveloped in a thick, murky darkness. As the Monitor began to sink, another ship turned up to rescue her crew. 47 men managed to clamber onto the rescue boat, including paymaster Keeler. From here, he watched as the Monitor's red lantern bobbed up and down until, with one last terrible movement, the Monitor dragged both the lantern and 16 men to the bottom of the sea. What the fire of the enemy failed to do, The Monitor is no more. But for at least one of those who drowned, it turns out that this was not the first disastrous journey he'd made. Megan here. Hi Megan, it's Ellen. Hey, Ellen, how are you? Good. I have some interesting information to share with you. Oh good, good, good. I was able to find confirming information about the marriage for James Fenwick... Oh, you found the marriage. Great, okay. So that's great, but there were also some interesting titbits that I found in the Mariners House register. James Fenwick happened to stay at the Mariners House, due to a shipwreck. A shipwreck? Yes. You're kidding me. No, it's really... it was really interesting. Oh, that's wild. So this poor guy gets ship... That's how he wound up coming here. Yeah. That's bizarre. Then he wound up dying just a year and a half later. Exactly. Oh, my gosh. This is a pipedream, the kind of thing I live for. I just asked one of my researchers to go digging for a marriage record and what I got was a serious bonus. What she found out instead is that one of the sailors was shipwrecked. That's how he actually came to America, James Fenwick. I've been doing a lot of research and I haven't seen this any place else, so I'm pretty sure we're the first to figure this out. And I mean, what a story. This guy already had survived a shipwreck before he wound up on the crew of the USS Monitor. That was a very interesting last 18 months of his life.

James Fenwick disappeared along with the wreckage of the Monitor 150 years ago. But only in 2002 was the technology devised to retrieve the gun turret from the bottom of the sea. Today it is undergoing restoration in the Mariners' Museum, Virginia. Jeff Johnston, who helped supervise the recovery mission, was on the site at the exciting moment when the two skeletons were first discovered. Where did you actually find the bodies when you came to excavate it? Individual number one we actually found during the initial excavations on site in August. And literally he was lying right here beside this hatch. And Monitor Number Two, his head was lying under the gunnels. Wow! So this is... yeah. So they weren't far from the hatch. Well, this hatch was closed. Okay. Remember now, like I said, that was the hatch out. This was the way from below decks up into the turret, and then you had to go around. You can almost picture them trying to get out through that hatch. They were pretty far away. So it's surprising that more men didn't die when you think about how difficult it was to get out. Exactly, and considering the situation they were in the fact that only 16 men were lost, I think was a miracle. Standing inside the real turret gives David new insight into what has until now been mere theory. I can tell you for a fact what my first day here was like for me. It was just an incredible thrill. What's it like for you to finally get inside the Monitor's gun turret? To actually stand in here you get a sense for the size, and you have a sense for this sort of heavily mechanical environment.

Everything is big and sort of oversized and heavy and armoured. Then you can picture all those guys in here during that battle. The smoke and the... the huge noises and the cramped quarters and... pitching back and forth, up and down, water coming in, just terrifying and claustrophobic. So you really don't feel any danger from the enemy here, but you do wonder about taking this out into the ocean. That was the place where they felt that they deserved their heroism more than simply going into battle. The search is closing in on the family of one of the sailors known to have drowned on the Monitor. I have finally just managed to place James Fenwick with his birth family over in Scotland, and this has been a head banger, it was really tough. It was tough finding him because his family were a moving target. They moved every 20 minutes. It looks like his father was a ship joiner, a carpenter on ships,

and they probably followed the shipbuilding jobs. And this was the trick, because it was a census record listing all the siblings that would tell me I've found the right family. But I never had a location. But I finally got a break in the form of a baby sister named Amelia, who apparently died when she was only 18 months old, and by backing into her birthplace, I found a location where the family was in 1851, which was a census year. She apparently was born and I can see now the family was living in Arbroath

and I finally have my smoking gun - James R. Fenwick aged 13, already working in the factories,

and with the right family, parents Charles and Elizabeth. So, finally! Now Megan's final task is to see if there are any descendants of these people still living. Along with the bodies, many artefacts, including personal items,

have been found on or around the wreckage. This is actually a rather symbolic artefact for the Monitor, because it was potentially the last thing seen before the Monitor sank, and the first thing recovered. Oh, hands down, as, you know, Monitor artefacts go, this is by far my personal favourite, for just that reason. We know it was definitely lit the night the Monitor sank because the cracks are consistent with hot glass plunging into water. And the fact that it was found outside the turret, all the evidence sort of weighs in, that when Keeler talks about watching that red lantern rise and fall a hundred times, till it didn't come up any more I think that's the red lantern right there. It's quite an evocative object because it brings that final scene, literally the final moments, right back to you. In Keeler's letters, amongst the rest of the crew, and then the fact that it was found slightly off the wreck on the seabed really tells you that this was outside the ship when it sank. It wasn't something that was tucked away inside. So it really is the last seen and the first found, it's almost the whole story of the sinking and recovery right in one artefact. The paymaster William Frederick Keeler not only survived the Monitor's sinking,

but achieved some fame and fortune when his letters were published. Those who drowned, like James Fenwick, soon became just another statistic in the Civil War's catalogue of the dead. With the 1851 census, I knew finally that I had the right family and I was able to pick up all the pieces through census records. And it turns out that James was actually one of 13 kids. And this case turned out being all about the Amelias. He had not one, but two sisters named Amelia. It was the first one who died young, but there was another Amelia the parents apparently recycled the name, used it again, who led me to his living relatives. There was a second sister named Amelia, and she had a daughter named Amelia and she had a daughter named Amelia. James Fenwick's great-great-niece is not only still alive, but also called Amelia. Hello. Hello, is Amelia Howard in, please? It is. Hi, Amelia. This is a little unusual. My name is Megan Smolenyak, and as you can probably tell, I'm calling you from the United States. And I'm actually calling a bit about your family. I've been trying to track down the family of a sailor by the name of Fenwick. It was shipwrecked? Oh! Yeah. Oh, it's all so interesting, isn't it? This was you and where's your mother? Here. I'd heard about folks, but never about Civil War nor anyone being in the navy. And I knew there was one, I think it would be a brother or an uncle maybe, my mother's uncle really, away far back, and they always said that he was a ship's carpenter. But whether that was right or not, I don't know. But although the details of James Fenwick's life have not been handed down, his surname has. Fenwick was my mother's middle name. And Fenwick was her mother's maiden name. I now have a lot of neighbours that are interested and I know more about Civil War now that I ever did. Now only a DNA match will confirm if James Fenwick is one of the skeletons. Megan is nevertheless satisfied with her research. When I spoke with Amelia over in Scotland she had no clue about this part of her family history,

and just bringing that back to the family, that to me there is a success. So I'm hoping we actually identify one or both of the fellows, but I'm happy if we just give the family stories back. Megan has traced James Fenwicks's descendants across 150 years. Amelia's DNA sample has nevertheless proved frustratingly inconclusive, matching but not definitively the older sailor Monitor Two, and therefore not, as was hoped, the younger man, Monitor One. The forensic team is now developing more accurate ways of testing DNA which will eventually confirm whether James Fenwick is indeed one of the sailors found inside the turret.

The Monitor sank near Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, a place where the memory of those who drowned still lingers. I think about the Monitor sailing by here, and the Monitor sinking on a very cold night not too far from where we are now. And the men who lost their lives on the Monitor in the iron coffin which they themselves recognised could be more dangerous to them than the enemy. These were the men who first felt the world of modern warfare, a world that so characterised the 20th century, with the airplane and the submarine and atomic weapons. Yet even in the 1860s, when the industrial world was still in its infancy, the crew of the Monitor understood that perhaps there isn't danger enough to give us glory, but going to sea in an untried experiment really could be just as courageous and possibly even as heroic as facing the enemy. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2007