Fort Fisher

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

Saturday, March 7, 2015

USS Jonquil Damaged By Torpedo at Charleston

MARCH 6TH, 1865:  Even with the city and harbor in Union hands, the Confederates still had ways of damaging Union ships.  On this date, the USS Jonquil was damaged by a torpedo while clearing the Ashley River, near Charleston, of obstructions and frame torpedoes.

The Jonquil had secured three torpedoes while dragging the Ashley River that day.

Acting Ensign Charles H. Hanson reported: "I hooked on to the log which had the fourth one on, but the log came up with the end, not having the torpedo on.  I hoisted it on the bows of the steamer and started for shore.  On shoaling the water,the torpedo being down struck the bottom and exploded directly under and about amidships of the steamer.

"Its force was so great as to raise the boilers 5 inches from their bed and knocked nine men overboard and completely flooded the vessel."

Hanson added that the explosion took place in ten feet of water and "had it been any shoaler the vessel would have been entirely destroyed."

The Jonquil's hull, however, was "not materially damaged" and she resumed dragging operations the next day.

But I Imagine A Lot More Carefully.  --Old B-R'er

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