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


Order of Rear Admiral Dahlgren, U. S. Navy.

                                 FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,

                      Port Royal Harbor, S. C., February 19, 1864.

   The Housatonic has just been torpedoed by a rebel "David," and sunk almost instantly.

   It was at night and the water smooth.

  The success of this undertaking will, no doubt, lead to similar attempts along the whole line of blockade.

  If vessels on blockade are at anchor they are not safe, particularly in smooth water, without outriggers and hawsers stretched around with rope netting dropped in the water.

  Vessels on inside blockade had better take post outside at night and keep underway, until these preparations are completed.

  All the boats must be on the patrol when the vessel is not in movement.

  The commanders of vessels are required to use their utmost vigilanceónothing less will serve.

  I intend to recommend to the Navy Department the assignment of a large reward as prize money to crews of boats or vessels who shall capture, or beyond doubt destroy, one of these torpedoes.

                                          JOHN A. DAHLGREN,

      Rear-Admiral; Comdg. South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


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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