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

Letter from Captain Gray, C. S. Army, to Major-General Maury, C. S. Army, regarding the loss of the H. L. Hunley and her crew.



Charleston, S.C., April 29, 1864.

            GENERAL: In answer to a communication of yours, received through headquarters, relative to Lieutenant Dixon and crew I beg leave to state that I was not informed as to the service in which Lieutenant Dixon was engaged or under what orders he was acting. I am informed that he requested Commodore Tucker to furnish him some men, which he did. Their names are as follows, viz: Arnold Becker, C. Simkins, James A. Wicks, F. Collins, and Ridgeway, all of the Navy, and Corporal C. F. Carlsen ,of Captain Wagener’s company of artillery.

            The United States sloop of war was attacked and destroyed on the night of the 17th of February. Since that time no information has been received of either the boat or crew. I am of the opinion that, the torpedoes being placed at the bow of the boat, she went into the hole made in the Housatonic by explosion of torpedoes and did not have sufficient power to back out, consequently sunk with her.

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


Captain in Charge of Torpedoes.

Major-General DABNEY H. MAURY,

                            Mobile, Ala.


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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