At the outbreak of the Civil War, North and South quickly saw
the need to develop the latest technology in naval warfare, the
ironclad ship. After a year-long scramble to finish first, in a
race filled with intrigue and second guessing, blundering and
genius, the two ships -- the Monitor and the Merrimack -- after a
four-hour battle, ended the three-thousand-year tradition of wooden
men-of-war and ushered in "the reign of iron."
In the first major work on the subject in thirty-five years,
novelist, historian, and tall-ship sailor James L. Nelson,
acclaimed author of the Brethren of the Coast trilogy, brilliantly
recounts the story of these magnificent ships, the men who built
and fought them, and the extraordinary battle that made them
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