Fort Fisher

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

USS Eastport Strikes Confederate Torpedo

APRIL 15TH, 1864: The USS Eastport struck a Confederate torpedo in the Red River eight miles below Grand Ecore. The shock of the explosion almost threw the leadsmen forward overboard and Lt. Cmdr. Phelps reported "a particular trembling sensation." //// He immediately ran the Eastport into shoal water. For six days, he and other gunboats attempted to float the ship and finally got it underway. The next five days, the ship ran aground many times and traversed just 60 miles. //// The last time, they were unable to refloat her and Porter ordered Phelps to transfer his men to the USS Fort Hindman and destroy the Eastport. //// Phelps was the last man to leave the ship and detonated 3,000 pounds of gunpowder that shattered the gunboat. The ironclad was completely destroyed. //// The Eastport had been captured from the Confederates while under construction in the Tennessee River following the capture of Fort Henry two years earlier. //// I'll Bet Selfridge Was Glad It Wan't His Ship. --Old B-Runner

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