The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 157

Book Reviews

steamer, and a schooner, and captured a fifth vessel. The following
day the Virginia again moved into Hampton Roads to complete the
destruction of the Union fleet, only to find the U. S. S. Monitor,
which had been built by the Union expressly to cope with her,
waiting in her path.
This .first drawn battle between two ironclads, together with
the vulnerability of wooden vessels demonstrated on the previous
day, revolutionized naval warfare; but, as Professor Trexler is
careful to point out, an ironclad vessel was no novelty. Many of
them were in existence twenty years before the Virginia and they
had been used successfully in the Crimean War against land
After the battle, in which neither ship was seriously damaged,
the Virginia remained in the James River preventing naval sup-
port of McClellan's army thus forcing him to modify his campaign
against Richmond. Meanwhile, the woeful prediction that the
Virginia would destroy the Union fleet, ascend the Potomac and
destroy the capital, and levy tribute on New York and Boston,
caused a panic in official circles.
When in April, 1862, the advance of McClellan made the Gosport
Navy Yard untenable, the Virginia, incapable of navigating the
open sea or the shallow river to Richmond, was sunk in order to
keep her from falling into Federal hands.
The tale is told in fascinating style without over-exaggerating
its importance, and without the use of nautical language. Fully
documented, the annotations are unfortunately placed in the back
of the volume. Professor Trexler has made an auspicious entrance
into the field of naval history. A complementary account of the
Monitor would be a welcome contribution.
Amarillo Junior College.
The Roots of American Civilization: A History of American
Colonial Life. By Curtis P. Nettels. (New York: F. S.
Crofts & Co., 1938. Pp. xvii, 748. Maps, illustrations.
The writing of a good book is a difficult task. The writing of a
good textbook is perhaps even more difficult. Professor Nettels is


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. ( accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.