Today in History:

734 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 734 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

fired in contact with the side of the Ironsides, and not in close proximity to the bow or stern, where there is an enormous mass of timber.

I have just seen the engineer of the David, who expresses great confidence in the boat and in the torpedo, and who desires me to prepare a torpedo of larger size, i. e., a capacity of 100 pounds rifle powder, which will be submerged to a depth of about 8 feet, with which he proposes to renew the attempt.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain of Engineers.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN, Chief of Staff.



Respectfully forwarded to the War Department for its information. I am still of the opinion that the true way to destroy the enemy's iron-clads is to use against them steamers armed with sub-marine torpedoes.

General, Commanding.

Numbers 4. Extract from Journal of Operations in Charleston Harbor, S. C., September 1, 1863-January 21, 1864.

Lieutenant W. T. Glassell, C. S. Navy, in charge of the propeller David (a small submerged steamer), with the following crew: James Hl. Toombs, acting first assistant engineers; Walker Cannon, pilot, and James Sullivan, second fireman, started from the city and proceeded down the main ship-channel, passing through the enemy's fleet of vessels, barges, &c. Arriving abreast of the United States frigate Ironsides at 8.30 p. m., the David stood off and on for thirty minutes waiting for the flood tide.

At 9 p. m., everything being favorable, the vessel was directed toward the Ironsides. When within 50 yards of her they were hailed, and answered by a shot from a double-barel shot-gun in the hands of Lieutenant Glassell, and in two minutes afterward the David struck the Ironsides under the starboard quarter, about 16 feet from the stern post, exploding the torpedo about 6 1\2 feet under the bottom of the Ironsides. The enemy immediately commenced firing rapidly with small-arms, riddling the vessel, but injuring no one. The column of water thrown up by the explosion of the torpedo was so great as to recoil upon the David, put out the fires, and induce the belief that she would sink. The shock also disarranged some of the iron ballast, which, becoming entangled with the machinery, prevented its working.

In the meantime, the enemy had kept up their musketry fire; the crew of the David, with the exception of the pilot, therefore jumped

Page 734 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.