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James R Fenwick

Death 31 Dec 1862 (aged 23-24)
At Sea
Burial Body lost at sea, Specifically: Drowned USS Monitor
Memorial ID 87482247 · View Source
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James R. Fenwick (seaman, later quarter gunner) ~ b. c. 1838 in Scotland; 5'5", blue eyes, auburn hair, light complextion; "J.R.F. Dudee tattoo on right forearm; enlisted 7/22/1861 in Boston, MA; received from the Sabine by 3/6/1862, ship's no. 48; arrested 11/7/1862 for fighting w/a fellow crewman; married Mary Ann Duffy while on furlough 10/10/1862 (she pregnant as of 4/14/1863); drowned when the Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, NC on 12/31/1862.

The first USS Sabine was a sailing frigate built by the United States Navy in 1855. The ship was among the first ships to see action in the American Civil War. In 1862, a large portion of the Monitor crew were volunteers from the Sabine.

She was built at the New York Navy Yard. Her keel was laid in 1822, but she was not launched until 3 February 1855. During this period, she underwent various alterations, the most extensive being a lengthening of her hull by twenty feet. Built essentially from Brandywine plans, she was commissioned on 23 August 1858, Capt. Henry A. Adams in command.

USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War[2]. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads. The Monitor fought the ironclad CSS Virginia (the former frigate USS Merrimack) of the Confederate States Navy.

The need for an ironclad warship in the U.S. Navy began when the state of Virginia seceded from the Union and ships at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk were scuttled to prevent them from falling into Confederates hands. The Merrimack was only burnt to her waterline and was successfully raised by the Confederate States Navy (CSN). Her hull, with new upper works added, including an armored casemate, began to be refitted as Virginia. When Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, found out about this, he created a board of three naval officers to review designs for an ironclad. Three ships were accepted, including USS Monitor, designed by the Swedish-born engineer and inventor John Ericsson.

Monitor was innovative in several respects, including the first 360 degree rotating armored gun turret on an operational warship. The hull was completely underwater and was protected by an overhanging armored deck and armored "belt". Her keel was laid on October 25, 1861, and she was launched 118 days later.

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  • Created by: Rubbings
  • Added: 28 Mar 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 87482247
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James R Fenwick (1838–31 Dec 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 87482247, ; Maintained by Rubbings (contributor 47671529) Body lost at sea, who reports a Drowned USS Monitor.