Torpedoes gave “considerable trouble and anxiety” on Morris Island

Following the successful assault on August 26, 1863 and establishment of the fifth parallel, the Federal troops encountered different sort of weapon employed by the Confederates in defense of Battery Wagner. Major Thomas Brooks recorded this entry in his journal from August 26: On [the fifth parallel] the first torpedoes were found. One exploded, throwingContinue reading “Torpedoes gave “considerable trouble and anxiety” on Morris Island”

The “Devil” or the Ericsson Obstruction Remover, as you prefer

Discussing the ironclad attack of April 7, 1863 yesterday, I mentioned the “raft” carried into battle by the USS Weehawken. Drawings of this device often appear with discussions concerning the Confederate maritime torpedoes. It is often cited as the countermeasure for the Confederate weapon. The raft design came from the genius John Ericsson. The NavyContinue reading “The “Devil” or the Ericsson Obstruction Remover, as you prefer”

150 years ago: Fireworks on the James – capture of the CSS Teaser

One hundred and fifty years ago today (July 4, 1862), Lieutenant Hunter Davidson, commanding the armed tug CSS Teaser, headed down the James River to place torpedoes (mines) and generally reconnoiter the Federal positions near Harrison’s Landing.  Meanwhile, the gunboat USS Maratanza, commanded by Lieutenant T.H. Stevens, was also on a reconnaissance of the riverContinue reading “150 years ago: Fireworks on the James – capture of the CSS Teaser”