This analyzes, even more closely than Tin Can On A Shingle by the Whites, the permanent place of the contest between the Monitor and the Merrimac -- and argues the case affirmatively for the latter in confuting the misconceptions and misrepresentations of history to date. It follows the course of the Civil War from both sides; it concentrates more on the Merrimac and its career than on the Monitor; it accords McClellan's master plan its emphasis which the Merrimac displaced; it points out the strategic values against logistic preparations and accomplishments; it characterizes the historic meeting as a ""lazy little battle at close range"" and underlines the Merrimac's place, from its end results (prolonging the war, affecting Northern operations, employed as a tactical instrument). ""Tantamount to an absolute weapon"" the Merrimac here gives credit to the men who conceived, built and engaged her in battle and offers, for the student of this story, a re-evaluation of the men, the incidents, the master and military plans, which demonstrate the ""vital modernity of a phase of the Civil War"". Open to controversy this bases its conclusions on Mahan. En garde!