Publisher Description

The Monitor and the Merrimac is the Historical Fiction Story. This is the first hand story of what was done and seen and felt on each side in the battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac. The actual experiences on both vessels are pictured, in one case by the commander of the Monitor, then a lieutenant, and the next in rank, Lieutenant Greene, and in the other by Chief Engineer Ramsay of the Merrimac. Clearly such a record of personal experiences has a place by itself in the literature of the subject. It is quite unnecessary to dwell upon the various controversies which this battle has involved. As to the first use of armor, we know that France experimented with floating armored batteries in the Crimean War, and England had armored ships before 1862. As to the invention of the movable turret, which has been a bone of contention, the pages of Colonel Church's Life of John Ericsson and other books are open to the curious. The struggle of Ericsson to obtain official recognition, the raising of money, the hasty equipment of the Monitor, and the restraining orders under which she fought form a story supplementary to the battle, but of peculiar interest. The Monitor was ordered to act on the defensive. It was her mission first to protect the wooden ships. That explains certain misconceptions of her cautious attitude. And the fact that the powder charges for her Dahlgren guns were officially limited to fifteen pounds, although thirty and even fifty pounds were used with safety afterward, invites speculation upon the results if she had fought with a free hand.

Fiction & Literature
15 February
Public Domain