Fort Fisher

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 7, 1862: A Huge Explosion on the Tennessee River

FEBRUARY 7TH, 1862: The USS Conestoga, Lt. S.L. Phelps, forced Confederates on the Tennessee River to abandon and burn steamers Samuel Orr, Appleton Belle and Lynn Boyd to prevent their falling into Union hands.  The Samuel Orr was loaded with torpedoes, "which," Phelps observed, "very soon exploded; the second one was freighted with powder, cannon, shot, grape balls, etc.

"Fearing an explosion from the fired boats (there were two together), I had stopped at a distance of 1,000 yards, but even there our skylights were broken by the concussion; the light upperdeck was raised bodily, the doors forced open, and locks and fastenings everywhere broken.

"The whole river for a half mile around about was completely beaten up by falling fragments and the shower of shot, grape, balls, etc."

Reckon He Should Have Been Watching From 2,000 yards.  --Old B-Runner

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