Saxon T. Bisbee. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2018. 264 pp. Drawings. Illus. $59.95.
Reviewed by J. M. Caiella
To say that the Confederate ironclad warships are enigmatic is an understatement. They were few in number, with only 21 commissioned (22, if the armored ram Stonewall, which is outside the scope of this work, is included). None, with the exception of the foreign-built Stonewall, made it to sea. They were concentrated in a relatively small area: the waterways and coastal areas of the South. Most were built within sight of the local population, yet little concrete information is known about them. Among the hundreds—if not thousands—of books written about the American Civil War, barely ten are devoted to the South’s iron warships.