Cover image for USS New Ironsides in the Civil War / William H. Roberts.
USS New Ironsides in the Civil War / William H. Roberts.
Roberts, William H., 1950-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 188 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
VA65.N49 R63 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Despite being America's first seagoing ironclad vessel and the only one to see combat in the Civil War, writings about the New Ironsides have been eclipsed by those concentrating on monitors according to this retired US Navy commander and historian. His sources include ship construction and operatio

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In September 1861, the US Navy contracted for three ironclad vessels: the Monitor, Galena, and New Ironsides. The first two were the more technologically innovative and have received the most attention. In this comprehensive history of the design, construction, and service of New Ironsides, Roberts seeks to rescue that vessel from its relative obscurity. The result is a carefully researched and highly readable account that does an excellent job of placing the development of the New Ironsides in the context of technological change and showing how the bureaucratic and political wrangling of the era retarded progress. It is perhaps an exaggeration for Roberts to speak of the ship's "bright promise and brilliant career," but New Ironsides did fire more shots and take part in more battles, including attacks on Charleston in 1863 and Fort Fisher in 1864, than any other Civil War ironclad. Roberts demonstrates how a combination of political influence and the publicity of the Monitor's victory at Hampton Roads led the Navy to focus on low-freeboard, shallow-draft vessels like the Monitor and to neglect development of other designs. Such assessments give Roberts's study implications beyond the New Ironsides and its time. All levels. J. C. Bradford; Texas A&M University