Fort Fisher

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Capture of the CSS Scorpion on the James River

JANUARY 27, 1865:  After dark, a launch commanded by Acting Ensign Thomas Morgan from the USS Eutaw proceeded up the James River past the obstructions at Trent's Reach and captured the torpedo boat CSS Scorpion.  The boat had run aground during the Confederate attack downriver of the 23rd and 24th of January and had been abandoned after Union mortar fire destroyed the CSS Drewry which was similarly stranded nearby.

Morgan reported: "Finding her hard aground, I immediately proceeded to get her afloat and succeeded in doing so, and repassed the obstructions on my return to the fleet about 10:30 p.m.."

The Scorpion was found to be little damaged by the explosion of the Drewry, contrary to Confederate reports and Chief Engineer Alexander Henderson, who examined her, reported approvingly:  "She has fair speed for a boat of her kind, and is well adapted for the purpose for which she was built."

The Scorpion was reported to be 46 feet in length, 6 feet 3 inches beam, and 3 feet 9 inches in depth.

Sounded like this would have been a good job for Cushing had he been in the area.

--Old B-R'er

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