The remains of two U.S. Navy sailors, recovered in 2002 from the wreck of the service's first ironclad warship, the USS Monitor, will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, the Navy said Tuesday.
"These may very well be the last Navy personnel from the Civil War to be buried at Arlington," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement. "It's important we honor these brave men and all they represent as we reflect upon the significant role Monitor and her crew had in setting the course for our modern Navy."
The Monitor sank during a storm on New Year's Eve 1862 off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with a loss of 16 sailors.
Monday marks 150 years since the bloodiest day in U.S. history, the Civil War Battle of Antietam in Maryland, which left almost 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead, wounded, missing or captured.
While Union forces suffered a heavier casualty toll – 12, 400 Union to 10, 300 Confederate casualties – and military historians consider the battle a draw, President Abraham Lincoln called it a Union victory and said it showed that the Union army could enforce orders coming out of Washington. Five days later, Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. When it went into effect on January 1, 1863, it freed slaves in the rebellious Confederate states and made the abolition of slavery an official U.S. policy. Read the original Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation from the National Archives here.
"Antietam enabled Lincoln to identify the nation's cause with the cause of liberty for men and women everywhere and at all times, and had it not occurred, it is quite possible that America never would have become the beacon of freedom the world now recognizes," The Baltimore Sun writes in an editorial Monday.
The Battle of Antietam was brutal and up close for the 131,000 troops engaged, 87,000 on the Union side and 45,000 for the Confederacy. In the part of the battlefield known as the Sunken Road, so much blood was spilled that dirt turned to mud, so much so that the road was later given the name Bloody Lane.
Here is a look at some of the stories that CNN plans on covering this week:
Martin Luther King Jr. documents go online
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, one of 10 national holidays in the United States.
Besides marking the day as a federal holiday for the 26th time, January 16, 2012, begins a new age of online accessibility for those wanting to know more about King and his work.
The King Center Imaging Project, which makes 200,000 of the civil rights leader's documents quickly accessible online, goes live Monday. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and his letter from a Birmingham, Alabama, jail are among the documents available.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change in Atlanta and JPMorgan Chase & Co., working in partnership with AT&T Business Solutions and EMC, are responsible for the project.
Taking King at his words
The memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. has sparked controversy, and perhaps this is fitting. He was a controversial man whose humanity – and words – still speak volumes today.
Shuttle retirement home – NASA will announce where space shuttles Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis will spend their retirement years – which could mean millions in tourism revenue. Among the places in the running are Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, New York, Houston, Chicago, Seattle and Dayton, Ohio. Tuesday is the 30th anniversary of the first shuttle launch.
Spaceflight anniversary – Speaking of spaceflight anniversaries, Tuesday marks 50 years since the first time a human entered space. On this date in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took a nearly two-hour ride into space and back aboard the Vostok 1 rocket before he and his capsule parachuted safely back to Earth.
Civil War anniversary – And, lest we forget, Tuesday also marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, which began with Confederate forces' pre-dawn shelling of the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Over the next four years, 600,000 Americans would die and thousands of slaves would go free. But some of the wounds have never healed, as a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll indicates.
Conflict in Libya – The civil war in Libya rages on after rebels seeking to oust leader Moammar Gadhafi rejected an African Union cease-fire proposal. The back-and-forth conflict could lead the country into violent anarchy like Somalia's, Gadhafi's former foreign minister warned in a BBC interview Monday.
Federal budget – In Washington, lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on the budget deal reached last weekend. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama and members of Congress are working on plans for next year's budget, hammering out goals for taxation and spending.
Barry Bonds trial – The jury in former baseball star Barry Bonds' perjury trial enters its third day of deliberations Tuesday. Bonds is accused of lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 about knowingly taking anabolic steroids and getting injections from anyone but his doctors.
Folks in Baltimore, Maryland, could be forgiven for doing a few double-takes at the tall stranger who rode into town Wednesday morning.
A man who looked an awful lot like the guy on the $5 bill arrived by carriage at Camden Station in a re-enactment of a secret transit by President-elect Abraham Lincoln exactly 150 years earlier.
Following his election in November 1860, Lincoln was making his way to Washington for his March 1861 inauguration when he learned of a possible assassination plot.
Kevin Chapman, the college graduate student who led the team that recently unearthed Civil War artifacts at the site of a Confederate prison in Georgia, recalls two visitors who came one day to watch one of the digs.
Doug Carter of Fayetteville, Georgia, and Nina Raeth of North Augusta, South Carolina, traveled in April to Magnolia Springs State Park, unaware of each other and the bond they shared.
Carter brought a "fowling" shotgun that belonged to his great-grandfather, Jesse Taliaferro Carter, who was a Confederate prison guard at Andersonville and Camp Lawton, site of Chapman's work.
Raeth, a great-granddaughter of a Union prisoner who also was at Andersonville and Lawton, came out of curiosity.