Sinking of the U. S. S. Housatonic by the Confederate States submarine torpedo boat H. L. Hunley, off Charleston, S. C., February 17, 1864

Abstract log of the U. S. S. Canandaigua, Captain Green, U. S. Navy, commanding.

            February 17, 1864.—Bearings of vessels at sundown: Wabash, S. ¾; Mary Sanford, N. N. E.; Housatonic, N. N. E. ¾ E.; Paul Jones, N. N. E. At 9:20 p. m. discovered a boat pulling toward us. Hailed her and found her to be from the Housatonic. She reported the Housatonic sunk by a torpedo. Immediately slipped our chain and started for the scene of danger, with the Housatonic’s boat in tow. At the same time sent up three rockets and burned Coston signals No. 82 and soon after burned 82 again. At 9:30 p. m. picked up another boat from the Housatonic, with Captain Pickering on board. At 9:35 arrived at the Housatonic and found her sunk. Lowered all boats, sent them alongside, and rescued the officers and crew, clinging to the rigging. At 10:30 all were brought from the wreck. Brought on board of this ship, belonging to the Housatonic, 21 officers and 137 men. At 11:30 stood toward the Wabash, to the southward and west- ward. Made signal to the Mary Sanford. The tug Daffodil, from inside the bar, communicated with us, Lieutenant-Commander Belknap on board. At 12 communicated with the Wabash and sent on board of her 8 officers and 49 men belonging to the Housatonic.

            February 18.—At 12:40 a. m. Lieutenant-Commander Belknap left the ship and went inside the bar in the tug Daffodil. Clear and moon-light till 3:30 a.m., when the moon went down. At 6 a. m. picked up one of the Housatonic’s launches, sent it inside the bar in tow of the tug. At 7:45 steamed by the Housatonic and at 8 a. m. let go our anchor near our old station in 5 fathoms water, Sumter bearing N. W. ½ W. and Breach Inlet N. N. W.

            February 20.—At 8:15 a.m. came to with the port anchor near the Housatonic’s wreck, in 5 fathoms. Sent boats to the Housatonic to wreck her.

            February 22. At 1 p.m. sent on board the tug Jonquil to take to the John Adams 40 men lately belonging to the Housatonic.


Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion; Series I - Volume 15: South Atlantic Blockading Squadron (October 1, 1863 - September 30, 1864), 1902, U.S. Government Printing Office

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