Doc. 72. destruction of the Harriet A. Weed.
Harriet A. Weed,” having in tow a schooner, left Jacksonville at about eight o'clock A. M. on Monday, the ninth. When opposite the mouth of Cedar creek, a point halfway between the town and St. John's bar, she ran upon two torpedoes, which exploded simultaneously, resulting in the complete destruction of the vessel. She was literally blown to atoms. The following are the names of the lost: C. L. Bell, Assistant Engineer; William Harding, Thomas Johnson, A. Brown, Stephen Wilkins. The following is a list of the saved: Captain Gaskill, commander of the vessel; Mr. Gaskill, Mate; D. H. Pettingill, Chief-Engineer; Captain J. R. Smith, Thomas Collins, William Morris, Robert Spagg, J. Smith, Frank Collins, Fred. Hamilton, Richard Whittaker, Henry Coldback, D. Jenkins, Jacob Norcott, Jos. Home, A. Brown, Jr., and twenty soldiers of the Third U. S. colored regiment. Of the saved nearly all are more or less injured. Captain Swift states that he was thrown in the air a distance of twenty feet. The “Harriet A. Weed” was used more as a picket-boat than a transport. She carried two guns, both of which were exploded by the concussion. On the same day that the disaster occurred, the river was dragged, and nine torpedoes were picked up. The authorities had information that the rebels were watching for an opportunity to sink torpedoes, for a number of deserters who came into our lines a few days prior to the explosion, stated explicitly what the intention was with regard to torpedoes. The “Harriet A. Weed” makes the third vessel that has been destroyed on the St. John's within a few weeks by means of torpedoes.