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The Battle of Hampton Roads: New…

The Battle of Hampton Roads: New Perspectives on the USS Monitor and the… (2006)

by Harold Holzer

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A fairly readable collection of essays which at their best draw heavily on contemporary accounts of how these ships were received, how they fought, and what it was like to serve in them. The single biggest impression I take away from this book is what a difficult man John Ericsson could be; any problem with the "Monitor" and her sister ships was always the fault of the USN.

I'll admit that I'm a bit bemused that there are people who are passionate enough in this day and age to try and claim a tactical victory for CSS "Virginia" and her crew over USS "Monitor." To paraphrase what was said about the German "Kaisermarine" in World War I after the battle of Jutland; the "Virginia" had assaulted her jailers, but she was still in jail. Then again, I'm not a descendent of Catesby ap Jones! ( )
  Shrike58 | Mar 18, 2011 |
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To the brave men and women of the United States Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Without them, there would be no USS Monitor project.
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Preface (by Harold Holzer) -- "The other day, there came...to see the President...a massive, vigorous, fine-looking man" to "show to the President, a model of a strange, altogether new sea-going war monster, devised by another man named Ericsson."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0823224813, Paperback)

On March 8 and 9, 1862, a sea battle off the Virginia coast changed naval warfare forever. It began when the Confederate States Navy's CSS Virginia led a task force to break the Union blockade of Hampton Roads. The Virginia sank the USS Cumberland and forced the frigate Congress to surrender. Damaged by shore batteries, the Virginia retreated, returning the next day to find her way blocked by the newly arrived USS Monitor. The clash of ironclads was underway. After fighting for nine hours, both ships withdrew, neither seriously damaged, with both sides claiming victory. Although the battle may have been a draw and the Monitor sank in a storm later that year, this first encounter between powered, ironclad warships spelled the end of wooden warships-and the dawn of a new navy. This book takes a new look at this historic battle. The ten original essays, written by leading historians, explore every aspect of the battle-from the building of the warships and life aboard these iron coffinsto tactics,strategy, and the debates about who really won the battle of Hampton Roads. Co-published with The Mariners' Museum, home to the USS Monitor Center, this authoritative guide to the military, political, technological, and cultural dimensions of this historic battle also features a portfolio of classic lithographs, drawings, and paintings. Harold Holzer is one of the country's leading experts on the Civil War. His books include Lincoln and Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President and, for Fordham, Lincoln on Democracy (co-edited with Mario M. Cuomo) and The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Complete, Unexpurgated Text. Tim Mulligan's books include Virginia: A History and Guide.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:37 -0400)

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