Fort Fisher

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

A New Photograph of the Union Navy's Bad Boy Commando-- Part 2: Who Is He?

Have you figured out who he was yet?

Only four years earlier he had been expelled from the U.S. Naval Academy during his senior year.  he was described by a superior as having "a talent for buffoonery."

But, with the coming of the war and desperate need for trained officers, he was readmitted.  Fortunate for the Union Navy because he soon showed a real talent for combat and daring.  He led many of a daring raid, especially in the Cape Fear River area.  And then, came the thing he is best remembered for.

In late October he led what was considered to be a suicide mission up the Roanoke River in North Carolina with a mission to sink the powerful Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle.  To do it, he was in a small steam launch and had to worry about being spotted by the guard and sunk.  Bullets were whizzing around him as he stood in the bow of the ship and slammed the torpedo into the side of the Confederate ship.  Bullet holes were in his coat.

Yet, he lived and escaped and the threat sank.

William B. Cushing was now back with the fleet and preparing to attack Fort Fisher.  Rear Admiral Porter can be seen standing behind him.

Cushing had just turned 22.

In the photo, he looked every bit of his young age, with a certain air of cockiness and long hair.

I still think he is deserving of a Medal of Honor like his brother Alonzo Cushing recently received.

The Bane of the South.  Wish We'd Had Him On Our Side.  --Old B-R'er

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