Saturday, March 9, 2013

1913 - Last Survivor of Monitor

New-York Tribune
March 9 1913

Now Hard at Work in Philadelphia Waterworks

Philadelphia, march 8--On the eve of the fifty-first anniversary of the famous engagement at Hampton Roads between the Monitor and the Merrimac William Durst, of this city, the last survivor of the battle, was hard at work in the Spring Garden Waterworks.

Durst will celebrate the fifty-first anniversary of the battle quietly in his home to-morrow.  This is rather a contrast to the ceremonies of last year, when fifty bluejackets of the 1st Division, Naval Reserve, in charge of a commissioned officer, reported to Durst, and then at his orders swung down Broad street and paraded in his honor.

Durst entered the navy as a coal passer but during the battle he acted as orderly for Lieutenant Worden, carrying messages of command from the little iron pilot house to the turret, where Lieutenant Greene was directing the firing of the guns.

The veteran, who is still active, was asked what he thought of the present vessels of the United States Navy.

"My," was his reply, "they certainly are different from the old kind."

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