Submerged Torpedo Boat In Preparation For Attack Upon The Fleet At Mobile.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., April 12, 1864.
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D.C.:
I am informed, and I believe credibly, that a submerged torpedo-boat is in course of preparation for attack upon the fleet at Mobile. The craft is described to me as a propeller, about 30 feet long, with engines of great power for her size, and boiler so constructed as to raise steam with great rapidity. She shows above the surface only a small smoke outlet and pilot-house, both of which can be lowered and covered. The plan is to drop down within a short distance of the ship, put out the fires, cover the smoke-pipe and pilothouse, and sink the craft to a proper depth, then work the propeller by hand, drop beneath the ship, ascertaining her position by a magnet suspended in the propeller, rise against her bottom, attach to it by screws, drop their boat away, pass off a sufficient distance, rise to the surface, light their fires, and work off. The torpedo to contain 40 pounds of powder and work by clock-work.
As near as my informant can give the plan I send you a rude sketch. One of the party has gone north for a magnet and air-pump. I expect to catch him as he comes back. The boat is to be ready by 10th May.
Your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT,
visits since 04/21/2004.
Page updated 05/25/2006