Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Confederate Secret Service Working On "Coal Torpedoes"

JANUARY 19TH, 1864: Thomas E. Courtenay, working with the Confederate secret service, informed Col. Henry E. Clark that the manufacture of "coal torpedoes" was nearing completion: "The castings have all been completed some time and the coal is so perfect that the most critical eye could not detect it." //// Coal torpedoes were actually powder filled cast bombs, shaped and painted to resemble pieces of coal. They were top be taken into federal naval coal depots from which they would eventually reach and explode boilers on ships. //// Rear Admiral Porter of the Mississippi Squadron was very worried about them and wrote Welles that he had "given orders to commanders of vessels not to be very particular about the treatment of any of the desperadoes if caught-- only summary punishment will be effective." In other words, execute on spot. //// Yet Another Sneaky rebel Thing for Freedom. --Old B-Runner

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