Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mitchell Wants to Attack, Advised Against It

JUNE 9TH, 1864:  Flag Officer Mitchell, commanding the Confederate James River squadron felt menaced by the advance of Major General Butler's Union troops and by the Union fleet at Trench's Reach and wanted to attack right away.

But on this date, the other officers of his squadron advised against such an operation "under existing circumstances" saying the Union squadron was "a force equal to, if not superior to our own", that it was better supported ashore, that Southern ships were not maneuverable enough for efficient use in the narrow confines of the Reach, and that obstructions would additionally hamper their movements.

They suggested instead, sending fire rafts and floating torpedoes downriver to wreck the Union ships.

--Old B-R'er

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