Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Capture of the USS Water Witch, 150 Years Ago-- Part 1

JUNE 3, 1864:  A Confederate boat expedition of 130 officers and men under the command of Lt. Thomas P. Pelot, CSN, surprised and captured the USS Water Witch, Lt. Cmdr. Austin Pendergrast, in an early morning raid odd Ossabaw Island, Georgia.

In pitch darkness at 2 a.m., Pelot silently led his men to the ship and was within 50 yards when discovered.  Before the Union sailors could man their stations, the Confederates had boarded the ship and a wild hand-to-hand fight ensued.

Rear Admiral Dahlgren noted in his diary: "The fight was hard, but brief."

The Confederates won, but Lt. Pelot and five others were killed and 17 were wounded.  Lt. Joseph Price, CSN, assumed command and said of Pelot: "In his death the country has lost a brave and gallant officer, and society one of her highest ornaments."

--Old B-Runner

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