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A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron Over Wood

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Overview

One of history’s greatest naval engagements, the Battle of Hampton Roads, occurred on March 8 and 9, 1862. On the first morning, the Confederate ironclad the CSS Virginia, formerly known as the Merrimack, sank two Union wooden warships, proving the power of the armored vessels over the traditional sailing ships. The next morning, the Virginia engaged the Union ironclad USS Monitor to a draw in a battle that significantly altered naval warfare. It was the first engagement between ironclads and ushered in a new era of warship construction and ordnance. The 25,000 sailors, soldiers and civilians who witnessed the battle knew then what history would soon confirm: wars waged on the waters would never be the same. The seemingly invincible Monitor and Virginia were experimental ships, revolutionary combinations of new and old technology, and their clash on March 9, 1862, was the culmination of over 2,000 years of naval experience. The construction and combat service of ironclads during the Civil War were the first in a cascade of events that influenced the outcome of the war and prompted the development of improved ironclads as well as the creation of new weapons systems, such as torpedoes and submarines, needed to counter modern armored warships. A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron Over Wood documents the dramatic history of Civil War ironclads and reveals how warships like the Monitor and Virginia revolutionized naval warfare. Author John V. Quarstein, an award-winning historian, director of the Virginia War Museum and a historical consultant to the Monitor Center at The Mariner’s Museum, calls upon a breadth of archival resources to present a comprehensive account that explores in depth the impact of ironclads during the Civil War and their colossal effect on naval history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596291188
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 511,433
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, lecturer and author. He served as director of the Virginia War Museum for over thirty years and, after retirement, continues to work as a historian for the city of Newport News. He is in demand as a speaker throughout the nation. Quarstein is the author of fourteen books, including the companion volume to The CSS Virginia, The Monitor Boys. He has produced, narrated and written six PBS documentaries, including the Civil War in Hampton Roads series, which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly. John Quarstein is the recipient of over twenty national and state awards, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999. Besides his lifelong interest in Tidewater Virginia history, Quarstein is an avid duck hunter and decoy collector. He lives on Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, and on his family’s Eastern Shore farm near Chestertown, Maryland.
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Table of Contents


List of Maps     6
Acknowledgements     7
Introduction     9
Oar to Sail     15
Sail to Steam     24
Shot to Shell     42
Wood to Iron     58
The Power of Iron Over Wood     85
Iron Fever     153
Questions of Iron and Time     177
Sink Before Surrender     210
Victory and Vision     222
Ironclad Recovery     255
Union Ironclads     259
Confederate Ironclads     262
Select Bibliography     265
Index     269
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