previous next

[151]

Shortly after this bold attempt of Captain Carlin, in the summer of 1863, to blow up the New Ironsides, Mr. Theodore Stoney, Dr. Ravenel, and other gentlemen of Charleston, had built a small cigar-shaped boat, which they called the “David.” It had been specially planned and constructed to attack this much-dreaded naval Goliath, the New Ironsides. It was about twenty feet long, with a diameter of five feet at its middle, and was propelled by a small screw worked by a dimunitive engine. As soon as ready for service, I caused it to be fitted with a “Lee spar-torpedo” charged with seventy-five pounds of powder. Commander W. T. Glassel, a brave and enterprising officer of the Confederate States Navy, took charge of it, and about eight o'clock one hazy night, on the ebb tide, with a crew of one engineer, J. H. Tomb; one fireman, James Sullivan; and a pilot, J. W. Cannon; he fearlessly set forth from Charleston on his perilous mission — the destruction of the New Ironsides. I may note that this ironclad steamer threw a great deal more metal, at each broadside, than all the monitors together of the fleet; her fire was delivered with more rapidity and accuracy, and she was the most effective vessel employed in the reduction of Battery Wagner.

The “David” reached the New Ironsides about ten o'clock P. M., striking her with a torpedo about six feet under water, but fortunately for that steamer she received the shock against one of her inner bulk-heads, which saved her from destruction. The water, however, being thrown up in large volume, half-filled her little assailant and extinguished its fires. It then drifted out to sea with the current, under a heavy grape and musketry fire from the much alarmed crew of the New Ironsides. Supposing the “David” disabled, Glassel and his men jumped into the sea to swim ashore; but after remaining in the water about one hour he was picked up by the boat of a Federal transport schooner, whence he was transferred to the guardship “Ottowa,” lying outside of the rest of the fleet. He was ordered at first, by Admiral Dahlgren, to be ironed, and in case of resistance, to be double ironed; but through the intercession of his friend, Captain W. D. Whiting, commanding the Ottawa, he was released on giving his parole not to attempt to escape from the ship. The fireman, Sullivan, had taken refuge on the rudder of the New Ironsides, where he was discovered, put in irons and kept in a dark cell until sent with

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Charleston (South Carolina, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
Ottowa (Ohio, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Sullivan (2)
W. T. Glassel (2)
W. D. Whiting (1)
J. H. Tomb (1)
Theodore Stoney (1)
Ravenel (1)
Francis D. Lee (1)
Dahlgren (1)
Carlin (1)
J. W. Cannon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: