The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union's First Ironclad

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The History Press, 2011 - History - 349 pages
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The United States Navy's first ironclad warship rose to glory during the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, but there's much more to know about the USS Monitor. Historian John Quarstein has painstakingly compiled bits of historical data gathered through years of research to present the first comprehensive picture of the lives of the officers and crew who served faithfully in an iron ship unlike any vessel previously known.

"The Monitor Boys," a moniker the men gave themselves, is a reflection of how these hundred-odd souls were bound together through storms, battles, boredom and disaster. Just living aboard the ironclad took uncommon effort and fortitude. Their perseverance through the heat, stress and un-seaworthiness that defined life on the ship makes the study of those who dared it a worthy endeavor. Many recognized that they were part of history. Moreover, the Monitor Boys were agents in the change of naval warfare.

Following Quarstein's compelling narrative is a detailed chronology as well as appendices including crew member biographies, casualties and statistics and dimensions of the ship. Readers can dive into the world of the Monitor and meet William Flye, George Geer and the rest of the men who risked everything by going to sea in the celebrated "cheesebox on a raft" and became the hope of a nation wracked by war.
 

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Contents

Foreword by Anna Holloway
7
Concept to Construction
23
A Day Late
55
Showdown in Hampton Roads
71
Under a Glass
89
The Great Monster Merrimack Is No More
111
Long Hot Summer
137
Respite and Refit
155
USS Monitor Statistics and Dimensions
257
USS Monitor Officers Assignment Dates
261
USS Monitor Officers and Crew Biographies
263
USS Monitor Purported Crew Members
299
Notes
303
Bibliography
323
Index
333
About the Author
351

Aftermath
179
USS Monitor Chronology
205

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About the author (2011)

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 and has produced, narrated and written six PBS documentaries, including the Civil War in Hampton Roads series, which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly. 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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