March Meeting – John Quarstein

Join us on Tuesday March 13 for our first roundtable meeting of the year.  Our speaker is historian John Quarstein who will discuss the naval battle of Hampton Roads.

Meeting time:  March 13th, 7:30 PM.

Location:   Thomas Balch Library, 208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia.

Topic:  The Battle of the Ironclads – USS Monitor vs. CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads 1862

In the early months of 1862, one of the great naval engagements of all time took place on the waters of Hampton Roads, Virginia.  The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought the first contest between ironclad warships. The outcome of this one great surface engagement would determine who controlled the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the James River.  And whoever controlled the James River would control one of the important avenues to the heartland of the insidious rebellion of the Southern states, the Confederate Capital at Richmond.

The warships themselves were the culmination of a half-century of technological advances to include steam propulsion, the screw propeller, heavy ordnance, improved explosive shells, and of course iron armor.  Join us tonight as our host details this battle, important to both the Civil War and naval history.

About our speaker:
Mr. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, lecturer, and author.  Among his books are “Fort Monroe: The Key to the South”, “A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron over Wood”, and “The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union’s First Ironclad”.  His latest book is “Big Bethel: The First Battle”.  An active preservationist, Quarstein has been involved with numerous projects in the Williamsburg and Newport News area.  He is a board member of Virginia Civil War Trails, Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission Advisory Council, and the Newport News Sesquicentennial Commission.  Quarstein received the National Trust for Historic Preservation President’s Award in 1993, the Civil War Society Preservation Award in 1996, the United Daughters of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Gold Historians Medal in 2009.

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About Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.
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