Unlike Anything That Ever Floated

The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862

Dwight Sturtevant Hughes

The USS Monitor became an icon of American industrial ingenuity and strength. She redefined the relationship between men and machines in war. But beforehand, many feared she would not float. The CSS Virginia was a paradigm of Confederate strategy and execution—the brainchild of innovative, dedicated, and courageous men, but the victim of hurried de
Date Published :
March 2020
Publisher :
Savas Beatie
Series :
Emerging Civil War Series
Illustration :
10 maps, 150 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781611215250
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$14.95

Overview
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“Ironclad against ironclad, we maneuvered about the bay here and went at each other with mutual fierceness,” reported Chief Engineer Alban Stimers following that momentous engagement between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) in Hampton Roads, Sunday, March 9, 1862.

The day before, the Rebel ram had obliterated two powerful Union warships and was poised to destroy more. That night, the revolutionary—not to say bizarre—Monitor slipped into harbor after hurrying down from New York through fierce gales that almost sank her. These metal monstrosities dueled in the morning, pounding away for hours with little damage to either. Who won is still debated.

One Vermont reporter could hardly find words for Monitor: “It is in fact unlike anything that ever floated on Neptune’s bosom.” The little vessel became an icon of American industrial ingenuity and strength. She redefined the relationship between men and machines in war. But beforehand, many feared she would not float. Captain John L. Worden: “Here was an unknown, untried vessel…an iron coffin-like ship of which the gloomiest predictions were made.”

The CSS Virginia was a paradigm of Confederate strategy and execution—the brainchild of innovative, dedicated, and courageous men, but the victim of hurried design, untested technology, poor planning and coordination, and a dearth of critical resources. Nevertheless, she obsolesced the entire U.S Navy, threatened the strategically vital blockade, and disrupted General McClellan’s plans to take Richmond.

From flaming, bloody decks of sinking ships, to the dim confines of the first rotating armored turret, to the smoky depths of a Rebel gundeck—with shells screaming, clanging, booming, and splashing all around—to the office of a worried president with his cabinet peering down the Potomac for a Rebel monster, this dramatic story unfolds through the accounts of men who lived it in Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862 by Dwight Sturtevant Hughes.

About The Author
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Dwight Sturtevant Hughes writes and speaks on Civil War naval history (www.CivilWarNavyHistory.com). Lieutenant Commander Hughes graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967 and served twenty years aboard warships, on navy staffs, and with river forces in Vietnam. He holds an MA in Political Science and an MS in Information Systems Management. Dwight authored A Confederate Biography: The Cruise of the CSS Shenandoah (Naval Institute Press, 2015) and is a contributing author at the Emerging Civil War blog (www.emergingcivilwar.com).

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