He procured two frail race-boats, and putting Lieutenant James A. Hamilton
in charge of one he took the other.
A dark night found the two fleet boats gliding abreast and about two hundred feet apart down towards the vessels that lay head to an ebb tide.
A pair of torpedoes were sent on their mission; one of the vessels, the smaller, with a crew of about thirty, was blown to atoms.
Excepting the actors in this affair no one knew of it; Captain Elliott
kept his own counsel, and was the more successful for it. After the removal of Colonel Rhett
to another field of service Colonel Stephen Elliott
was placed in charge of Fort Sumter
How he floated masses of ranging timber down the harbor at night and dragged it through the rear ports; how he created a frame and filled it in with debris; how he unpaved the streets of Charleston
, and set the cobble-stones outside of his unique parapet, and how he flung out a new and defiant flag over the “fort within a fort,” is for a gifted pen. Elliott
, the genius of war, lifted the drooping crest of the old fortress, and like Druilius used the enemy's material to defeat him. Anticipating a night attack from the enemy (which afterwards was skilfully planned, and which met with a complete and disastrous overthrow to the Federals
, nearly all of whom were captured or killed) he desired to avert or weaken such an assault by attacking the “Ironsides,” then the rallying centre of the fleet.
Torpedoes at this time were used successfully on the western rivers, and were being discussed in Charleston
wrote to his friend and late brother officer
The original is in the possession of one of Lieutenant Hamilton
The next day saw the laconic Colonel
and his trusted Lieutenant
seated on the boulders counting the chances.
“Which of the vessels ”