Founders off Cape Hatteras
In late December 1862, Monitor was ordered for operations in the south. She left Hampton Roads in tow of USS Rhode Island, bound for Beaufort, N.C. The weather, expected to be good for the voyage, stayed that way into the 30th, however, wind and seas picked up during the afternoon and turned to a gale by evening. ... Shortly before midnight, it was clear that Monitor was in danger. Her steam pressure was failing as rising water drowned the boiler fires. The tow line was cut, the anchor dropped, and distress signals were sent to the Rhode Island. ... Boats managed to remove most of the ironclad's crewmen under extremely difficult conditions, but several men were swept away. Monitor sank about 1:30 am the morning of December 31st.