Iron Coffin: War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor

Iron Coffin: War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor

by David A. Mindell
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1421405202

ISBN-13: 9781421405209

Pub. Date: 01/17/2012

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

The USS Monitor famously battled the CSS Virginia (the armored and refitted USS Merrimack) at Hampton Roads in March 1862. This updated edition of David A. Mindell's classic account of the ironclad warships and the human dimension of modern warfare commemorates the 150th anniversary of this historic encounter.

Mindell explores how

Overview

The USS Monitor famously battled the CSS Virginia (the armored and refitted USS Merrimack) at Hampton Roads in March 1862. This updated edition of David A. Mindell's classic account of the ironclad warships and the human dimension of modern warfare commemorates the 150th anniversary of this historic encounter.

Mindell explores how mariners—fighting "blindly," below the waterline—lived in and coped with the metal monster they called the "iron coffin." He investigates how the ironclad technology, new to war in the nineteenth century, changed not only the tools but also the experience of combat and anticipated today’s world of mechanized, pushbutton warfare.

The writings of William Frederick Keeler, the ship’s paymaster, inform much of this book, as do the experiences of everyman sailor George Geer, who held Keeler in some contempt. Mindell uses their compelling stories, and those of other shipmates, to recreate the thrills and dangers of living and fighting aboard this superweapon.

Recently, pieces of the Monitor wreck have been raised from their watery grave, and with them, information about the ship continues to be discovered. A new epilogue describes the recovery of the Monitor turret and its display at the USS Monitor Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

This sensitive and enthralling history of the USS Monitor ensures that this fateful ship, and the men who served on it, will be remembered for generations to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421405209
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Series:
Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Technology
Edition description:
updated edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
926,192
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Preface 2012 xi

Preface to the First Edition xiii

Introduction A Strange Sort of Warfare 1

Chapter 1 Revising the Revolution, 1815-1861 11

Chapter 2 Building a Ship, Speaking Success 31

Chapter 3 William Keeler's Epistolary Monitor 51

Chapter 4 Life in the Artificial World 61

Chapter 5 The Battle of Hampton Roads 70

Chapter 6 Iron Ship in a Glass Case, April-September 1862 87

Chapter 7 Utilitarians View the Monitor's Fight, 1862-1865 110

Chapter 8 Melville and the Mechanic's War 121

Conclusion Mechanical Faces of Battle 133

Epilogue 149

Notes 155

Bibliographical Essay 179

Index 185

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