The Battle of Hampton Roads New Perspectives on the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-01-31
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press

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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 oiron coffinso to 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. The contributors: William C. Davis, Craig Symonds, John Quarstein, David Mindell, Howard Fuller, Mabry Tyson, Joseph Gutierrez, Jeff Johnson,Tim Mulligan, and Harold Holzer.

Author Biography

Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of the nation's leading authorities on Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. He served as co-chairman of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and has written, co-written, or edited 35 books.

TIM MULLIGAN's books include Virginia: A History and Guide.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface xiii
Harold Holzer
Introduction xvii
John Hightower
The Battle of Hampton Roads
William C. Davis
Building the Ironclads
Craig L. Symonds
Iron Horse, Iron Coffin: Life Aboard the USS Monitor
David Mindell
Sink Before Surrender: The Story of the CSS Virginia
John V. Quarstein
Believe Only Half of What You Read about the Battle of Hampton Roads
Mabry Tyson
Victory without Glory? The Battle of Hampton Roads in Art
Harold Holzer
``This Country Now Occupies the Vantage Ground'': Union Monitors vs. the British Navy
Howard J. Fuller
Who Won the Battle of Hampton Roads? A Historians' Debate
John V. Quarstein
Joseph Gutierrez
Discovery and Recovery---The Modern History of the USS Monitor: A Personal Memoir
Jeff Johnston
Portfolio: Highlights from the Monitor Center Collection 171(18)
Afterword: About The Mariners' Museum: The Collections 189(4)
Notes 193(18)
Contributors 211(4)
Index 215

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