Anna G. Holloway and Jonathan W. WhiteDec 19, 2018
“Our Little Monitor”
The Greatest Invention of the Civil War
Kent State University Press 2018
Jonathan W. White, an associate professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, is the co-author of “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (Kent State University Press, 2018). Ever since their famous naval encounter in 1862, the Monitor and Merrimack (a.k.a., C.S.S. Virginia) have been part of American Civil War lore. In this work White and his co-author, Anna Gibson Holloway, investigate the history of one of the most popular elements of the American Civil War: the Monitor ironclad ship. The ironclads were innovative combat ships, which sat at the waterline and could prove effective against the then-dominant wooden-hulled ships of the world’s navies. Although other nations had designed ironclads, the U.S.S. Monitor’s encounter with the C.S.S. Virginia on March 9, 1862 was the first test of ironclads in combat. In this interview Professor White discusses the design and development of the Monitor, the famous Battle of Hampton Roads, the conditions under which crews served, and the popular memory of the Monitor from the Civil War through today.