Letter from the Secretary of the Navy to Rear-Admiral Dahlgren, U. S. Navy, recommending the use of small steamers supplied with calcium lights as protection against torpedoes.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 24, 1864.

            SIR: In connection with the recent destruction of the Housatonic by a submarine torpedo, the following suggestion has been made to the Department:

            The security of our vessels against similar destroyers would be much enhanced by having some small steamers constantly steaming guard in the vicinity of where the torpedo boats would come out. Each steamer or tug to be supplied with a powerful calcium light, by which the enemy would be discovered and run down. Of a bright, moon light night of course the light would not be needed.

Very respectfully, etc.,


Secretary of the Navy.

Rear-Admiral JOHN A. DAHLGREN,

Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, off Charleston.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion; Series I - Volume 9: North Atlantic Blockading Squadron (May 5, 1863 - May 5, 1864), 1899, U.S. Government Printing Office

Hit Counter visits since 04/22/2004.
Page updated 05/25/2006