Two sailors who died during the Civil War will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery after being lost at sea for 151 years, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced Feb. 12.
“These may very well be the last Navy personnel from the Civil War to be buried at Arlington,” Mabus said in a Navy news release. “It’s important we honor these brave men and all they represent.”
The sailors died aboard the USS Monitor when it sank Dec. 31, 1862, during a storm off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., according to a Navy release. Sixteen total sailors died when the ship went down.
The burial is scheduled for March 8 to commemorate the Monitor’s participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first meeting of two iron-armored warships in battle 151 years ago, marking the end of the wooden-ship era, the release said.
The Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Va., discovered the remains during the summer of 2002 while trying to recover the ship’s gun turret, the release said. The remains were brought to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, though attempts to identify the sailors were unsuccessful.
Representatives from the Navy and NOAA will escort the remains from Hawaii to Arlington, where they will receive full military honors with horse-drawn caissons, said Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauryn Dempsey.
The exact location of the burial site within the cemetery is still to be determined.