Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Civil War Naval Expert to Discuss the Monitor at Public Lecture Series

(Courtesy of Brass Cannon Brewing)

WILLIAMSBURG — The Cannon Tap Room and Brass Cannon Brewery in Williamsburg will host Lt. Cmdr. Dwight Hughes on July 27 to discuss the USS Monitor as part of its public lecture series on the military, history, politics and science.

“Unlike anything that Ever Floated: The USS Monitor and the Battle of Hampton Roads” will begin at 3:30 p.m. and include a Q&A session. Designed as a hurried response to the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack), as well as the growing prospect of international intervention by powerful British or French seagoing ironclads, the presentation follows Monitor from her inception through the dramatic first clash of ironclads at Hampton Roads.

The USS Monitor was an ingenious but hurried response to both the imminent threat of the Confederate ironclad, CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack), and to the growing prospect of international intervention backed by powerful British or French seagoing ironclads. The United States had no defenses against either menace. The presentation follows Monitor from inception through the dramatic first clash of ironclads at Hampton Roads.

(Courtesy of Brass Cannon Brewing)

Lt. Cmdr. Hughes graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967 with a major in History and Government. He served 27 years as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer on most of the world’s oceans in ships ranging from destroyers to aircraft carriers, as well as river forces in Vietnam. He was awarded a Bronze Star as well as a Purple Heart.

He taught Naval ROTC at the University of Rochester, earning an M.A. in Political Science. He later earned an M.S. in Information Systems Management from USC. In his final sea tour, he planned and conducted convoy exercises with over twenty ships of the Maritime Prepositioned Force, Diego Garcia, Indian Ocean.


Hughes has dedicated his love of the sea and ships and lifetime study of naval history to advancing the understanding of our Civil War naval heritage. He is a contributing author at the Emerging Civil War blog and an author, contributor and editor of several books on Civil War Naval History. He has also presented at numerous Civil War roundtables, historical conferences, and other venues.

The event is free to the public. For more information, email Tap Room Manager Sarah Adams or CEO Matt Webb.

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