Fort Fisher

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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ironclad CSS Raleigh Attacks Off Wilmington, Grounds and Is Destroyed

MAY 6TH, 1864:  Early in the evening, the ironclad ram CSS Raleigh, under Flag Officer Lynch, steamed over the bar at New Inlet, NC, and engaged the USS Britannia and Nansemond, forcing them to withdraw temporarily and enabling a blockade-runner to escape.

Captain Sands, senior officer present, commented: "The principal object [of Raleigh's attack], it seems to me...is for her to aid the outgoing and incoming of the runners by driving off the vessels stationed on or near the bar...."

Early in the next morning, the CSS Raleigh renewed the engagement, exchanging fire with the wooden steamers USS Howquah and Nansemond.  Two other steamers, the USS Mount Vernon and Kansas, also opened fire, and at 6 AM, Lynch broke off the action.

Attempting to cross the bar back into the river, the Raleigh grounded and was severely damaged.  Lynch ordered her to be destroyed and his action was later upheld by a court of inquiry.  I understand, the Raleigh's remains are still there.

Thus ended the career of another Confederate ironclad ram, one the Couth was counting so heavily on to break the Union's blockade.

Goodbye CSS Raleig.  --Old B-Runner

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