“The expedition was a failure, caused by a defective tube”: USS Memphis eludes CSS David

Last night I posted another entry at the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial site.  That installment discussed a failed attack by the CSS David on the USS Memphis, in the North Edisto River on March 6, 1864.

Please head over the the CWN 150 site for details on that action.

As I mentioned in “my take” on the H.L. Hunley, I find the countermeasures employed by the Federals against the torpedo-craft to be a significant overlooked story.  And at the same time, the weapon employed by the Confederates was ineffective even given the standards of the time period.  In the action of March 6, the spar torpedo device suffered from exposure and didn’t fire when struck.  Otherwise, the Memphis would probably have become another shipwreck in the waters of South Carolina.


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