Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The USS Columbine and Battle of Horse Landing-- Part 2

Union Colonel William H. Noble of the 13th Connecticut was wounded and captured.

The Columbine's rudder was damaged and a steam pipe wrecked so it could no longer be steered and ran aground after 45 minutes of engagement.  Its commander, Acting Ensign Frank Sandburn went ashore and surrendered to Captain John Jackson Dickison.

One landsman and three black seamen jumped overboard, swam to shore and made a five day escape to St. Augustine.  I imagine the blacks really didn't want to be captured by the Confederates.  More than half of the Columbine's crew were wounded and the official records indicate that one was killed.  The surrendered enlisted men were sent to Andersonville and officers to Macon, Georgia.

Dickison burned the Columbine to prevent it from being captured by the USS Ottawa which was operating five miles upstream.  

The capture and destruction of the Columbine was one of the few instances where a Union warship was destroyed by Confederate land forces in Florida.    Also, during the spring of 1864, Confederates also sank four other Union ships in the St. John's River with underwater mines called torpedoes at the time.

--Old B-Runner

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