Has the Day of the Great Navies Passed? (an excerpt)

by Isaac Newton, 

            The next trial with a “David” was more successful. On the night of February 17, 1864, the Housatonic, a splendid sloop of war, carrying a heavy battery, while at anchor on the out- side blockade of Charleston, well out to sea, was attacked and sent to the bottom by one of these pigmy devils. The report says something was discovered in the water “about one hundred yards from and moving toward the ship. It had the appearance of a plank moving in the water. It came directly toward the ship; the time from when it was first seen till it was close alongside being about two minutes. The cable was slipped, engine backed, and all hands called to quarters. About one minute after the ‘David’ was close alongside, the explosion took place, the ship sinking stern first,” and the torpedo boat going down also. In this case the “David’s was supposed to have been sunk by the volume of water which came on board from the explosion of her own torpedo. As a consequence of this first disaster the Admiral suggested to the department “the policy of offering a large reward of prize money for the capture or destruction of a ‘David ‘—not less,” he said, “than $20,000 to $80,000 for each. They are worth more than that to us.”  

Newton, Isaac; “Has the Day of the Great Navies Passed?,” The Galaxy, Volume 24, Issue 3, September 1877, p. 301, New York: Sheldon and Company

Hit Counter visits since 04/22/2004.
Page updated 05/22/2004