Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

150 Years Ago-- April 12, 1864 More Worries About Torpedo Boats

APRIL 12TH, 1864: Not only were torpedo boats a problem along the Atlantic coast, but also in the Gulf of Mexico. Major General Hurlbut, USA, wrote Secretary Welles regarding Confederate torpedo boat operations in Mobile Bay: "The craft, as described to me, is a propeller about 30 feet long, with engines of great power for her size, and boiler so constructed as to raise steam with great rapidity. //// She shows above the surface only a small smoke outlet and pilot house, both of which can be lowered and covered. //// The plan is to drop down within a short distance of the ship, put out the fires, cover the smoke pipe, and sink the craft to a proper depth, then work the propeller by hand, drop beneath the ship, ascertaining her position by a magnet suspended in the propeller, rise against her bottom, fasten the torpedo by screws, drop their boat away, pass off a sufficient distance, rise to the surface, light their fires and work off." //// Quite astounding that the Union general woul;d have this detailed of a source as to an enemy secret boat. There is no evidence that Hurlbut's vessel ever was in Mobile Bay, but another submersible boat, the Saint Patrick, was constructed by Captain Halligan at Selma, Alabama. This ship was taken to Mobile Bay and unsuccessfully attacked the USS Octorara in early 1865. ////

No comments:

Post a Comment