spar-torpedoes for the purpose of attacking in detail the enemy's gunboats resorting to the sounds and harbors along the South Carolina
But the Federals
, having become very watchful, surrounded their steamers at night with nettings and floating booms, to prevent the torpedo boats from coming near enough to do them any injury.
Even in the outer harbor of Charleston
, where the blockaders and their consorts were at anchor, the same precaution was observed in calm weather.
The anchoring of the large torpedoes in position was attended with considerable danger.
While planting them at the mouth of the Cooper
and Ashley rivers
(which form the peninsula of the city of Charleston
), the steamer engaged in that duty being swung around by the returning tide, struck and exploded one of the torpedoes just anchored.
The steamer sank immediately, but, fortunately, the tide being low and the depth of the water not great, no lives were lost.
In 1863-4, Jacksonville, Florida
, having been evacuated by the Confederates
, then too weak to hold it longer, the Federal
gunboats frequently ran up the St. John's river
many miles, committing depredations along its banks.
To stop these proceedings, I sent a party from Charleston
under a staff officer, Captain Pliny Bryan
, to plant torpedoes in the channels of, that stream.
The result was the destruction of several large steamers, and a cessation of all annoyance on the part of others.
In the bay of Charleston
, and adjacent streams, I had planted about one hundred and twenty-five torpedoes, and some fifty more in other parts of my department.
The first torpedoes used in the late war were placed in the James river
, below Richmond
, by General G. R. Raines
, who became afterward chief of the Torpedo Bureau
. Mr. Barbarin
, of New Orleans, placed, also, successfully, a large number of torpedoes in Mobile Bay
and its vicinity.
To show the important results obtained by the use of torpedoes by the Confederates
, and the importance attached now at the North
to that mode of warfare, I will quote here the following remarks from an able article in the last September number of the Galaxy
, entitled, “Has the day of great Navies past?”
The author says:
The real application of submarine warfare dates from the efforts of the Confederates during the. late war. In October, 1862, a “torpedo bureau” was established at Richmond, which made rapid progress in the construction and operations of these weapons until the close of the war in 1865. Seven Union iron-clads, eleven wooden war vessels, and six army transports were destroyed by Southern torpedoes, and many more were seriously damaged.
This destruction occurred, for