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On March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia met in the Battle of Hampton Roads—the first time ironclad vessels would engage each other in combat. For four hours the two ships pummeled one another as thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers and civilians watched from the shorelines. Although the battle ended in a draw, this engagement would change the nature of naval warfare by informing both vessel design and battle tactics. The “wooden walls” of navies around the world suddenly appeared far more vulnerable, and many political and military leaders initiated or accelerated their own ironclad-building programs.

Americans did not initially have much faith in the Monitor. Few believed that this strange little vessel could hold her own against the formidable Confederate ironclad Virginia, which had been built on the bones of the scuttled USS Merrimack in Portsmouth, Virginia. The Virginia, seemingly relentless and unstoppable, had ravaged the U.S. Navy in Hampton Roads on March 8, just before the Monitor arrived. Yet the following day, the “cheesebox on a raft” proved her Union mettle, becoming a national hero in her own right.

For the remainder of the Civil War the Union Navy used dozens of monitor-style vessels on inland waters as well as at sea. But there would always be only one first Monitor, and she became affectionately known to many throughout the nation as “Our Little Monitor.” Her loss off Cape Hatteras on December 31, 1862, was mourned as keenly in the press as the loss of 16 of her men that night.

Using the latest archaeological finds from the USS Monitor Center in Newport News, Virginia, as well as untapped archival material, Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White bring “Our Little Monitor” to life once more in this beautifully illustrated volume. In addition to telling her story from conception in 1861 to sinking in 1862, as well as her recent recovery and ongoing restoration, they explain how fighting in this new “machine” changed the experience of her crew and reveal how the Monitor became “the pet of the people”—a vessel celebrated in prints, tokens, and household bric-a-brac; a marketing tool; and a prominent feature in parades, Sanitary Fairs, and politics.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Tables and Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xvii-xxii
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  1. Chapter 1 The Origins of the CSS Virginia
  2. pp. 3-24
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  1. Chapter 2 "The Navy Department Will Receive Offers...”
  2. pp. 25-36
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  1. Chapter 3 Building the Monitor
  2. pp. 37-62
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  1. Chapter 4 The Battles of Hampton Roads
  2. pp. 63-86
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  1. Chapter 5 "The Pet of the People”: The Monitor in Popular Culture
  2. pp. 87-112
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  1. Chapter 6 Aftermath of Battle
  2. pp. 113-138
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  1. Chapter 7 "The Monitor Is No More”
  2. pp. 139-152
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  1. Chapter 8 Discovery and Recovery
  2. pp. 153-180
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  1. Chapter 9 The U.S. Gun Boat Currituck Escorts the Monitor to Hampton Roads, March 3–9, 1862
  2. pp. 181-186
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  1. Chapter 10 Firsthand Accounts of the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8–10, 1862
  2. pp. 187-192
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  1. Chapter 11 President Lincoln’s Mailbag, March 10–17, 1862
  2. pp. 193-218
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  1. Chapter 12 An Engineer’s View from the Monitor, May 14–June 30, 1862
  2. pp. 219-230
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  1. Chapter 13 Repairing the Monitor: News Reports from October and November 1862
  2. pp. 231-240
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  1. Chapter 14 Two Surgeons Observe the Monitor’s Final Moments: December 30, 1862, to January 11, 1863
  2. pp. 241-246
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  1. Appendix: Specifications of the Merrimack and Virginia Before and After Conversion
  2. pp. 247-248
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 249-272
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  1. Selected Bibliography
  2. pp. 273-278
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 279-284
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781631012648
Related ISBN
9781606353141
MARC Record
OCLC
1009524684
Pages
336
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-09
Language
English
Open Access
No
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