Under ideal circumstances, living relatives of both Williams and Bryan could provide DNA reference samples to compare against the remains to make the final assessment, but the obstacle is Williams' name.
The USS Monitor remained at the bottom of the ocean until 10 years ago when recovery efforts succeeded in bringing the ship to the surface. Along with the vessel was a surprise -- a pair of skeletons in the turret. But which of the 16 were they?
Who doesn't love a good history mystery? You don't have to be a Civil War buff to be fascinated with the attempt to identify the two skeletons found in the turret of the USS Monitor when it was raised from the ocean floor a decade ago.
Daniel Moore was one of the 16 sailors who went down with the USS Monitor. A former slave from Virginia, he enlisted in the Navy but would sadly have little time to enjoy his freedom before sacrificing his life in the service of his country.
Thomas Joice (who sometimes went by Joyce) was one of the 16 men who went down with the USS Monitor on Dec. 31, 1862. Some years ago, I researched him for a documentary and have continued to look into his past from time to time.