Titel: The Monitor Chronicles: One Sailor's Account...
Verlag: Simon & Schuster, New York
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Good
Art des Buches: Used
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Marking the ongoing efforts to recover the 136-year-old wreck of the USS Monitor, The Mariners' Museum presents a lavishly illustrated commemorative volume of the renowned Civil War ironclad's past and present.
The short, fabled life of the USS Monitor began on January 30, 1862, at Green Point, Brooklyn, New York, and ended on December 31 of that same year, when the legendary Civil War ironclad sank in 230 feet of water off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Serving on the Monitor -- where engines and living space lay completely below the waterline and the iron deck rose a scant eighteen inches above it -- was like no other duty in the U.S. Navy.
The Monitor Chronicles brings shipboard experience to life through the words of Civil War sailor George S. Geer, whose never-before-published letters home to his beloved wife, Martha, faithfully chronicle the events of that dramatic year. Like many men of his station, George Geer had joined Abraham Lincoln's navy less to help save the Union than to earn money and learn a reliable trade, so his accounts are unflinchingly honest -- at times colored by the bravado of a man at war, at others tinged with the pathos of a man in danger and far from home.
When, on the morning of March 9, 1862, the Monitor and the CSS Virginia fought the first battle between ironclad warships, Geer recalled, "I often thought of you and the little darlings when the fight was going on and what should become of you should I be killed....But I should have no more such fears as our ship resisted everything they could fire at her as though they were spit balls." Whether he sweated in the searing heat or simply waited while the Monitor danced a strategic minuet with the enemy, his words confirm and amplify the proud legacy of the vessel whose very existence brought an end to the era of wooden warships.
On January 2, 1863, Geer reported, "I am sorry to have to write you that we have lost the Monitor." He survived, but sixteen men were lost in a raging sea that seemed to have claimed the ship for eternity. But the story told in The Monitor Chronicles doesn't end there. The book captures a piece of living history, as men and machines attempt to recover the wreck even as it begins to succumb to the elements after 136 years on the ocean floor. Because The Mariners' Museum serves as the official repository of the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, readers will be treated to spectacular underwater views of the Monitor, as well as to an unprecedented look at the salvage efforts. Although more than a century has passed since the ship itself sailed into history, The Monitor Chronicles provides not only a fresh, uniquely intimate view of the Monitor's fateful year as the world's first iron warship but also a provocative glimpse of her uncertain future.Review:
Though her career was brief, the legendary Civil War ironclad the U.S.S. Monitor helped change the face of naval warfare. The Monitor Chronicles tells the story of the "180 feet of iron"--and some of the great battles of the Civil War--through the eyes of one of her seamen, George Geer.
Geer first stepped aboard the Monitor in February 1862, as a newly minted first-class fireman. Like many Northerners, Geer joined the army less out of a desire to preserve the Union--or free the slaves--than to learn a reliable trade. That said, he performed his duties admirably, earning two promotions in under a year. He also proved an admirable correspondent, sending dozens of letters to his beloved wife, Martha, during the ten and a half months the Monitor was afloat. These letters describe in detail what life was like aboard the ironclad--from poor rations to poor ventilation, and from the excitement of battle to the boredom when the ship remained still. In a letter written aboard a rescue vessel, Geer also described the final hours of the ironclad as she sank in stormy seas on December 30, 1862. Combined with dozens of evocative illustrations, Geer's letters provide historians with a fascinating glimpse inside the Monitor. The Monitor Chronicles also contains information on the fate of the ship in the 140 years since she sank and the ongoing campaign to recover her. Essential reading for Civil War buffs. --Sunny Delaney
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