The battle between the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (nee Merrimack), at Hampton Roads was neither the beginning nor the end of the story of the ironclad warships in the Civil War. Both the Union and the Confederate navies not only had other ironclad ships in commission at the time of the battle, they already had used them in combat. The months following saw the appearance of squadrons of monitors and casemate ironclads of the general design of the Virginia. It is with the sequels to the Battle of Hampton Roads that this book is primarily concerned.

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