Part 4: deeds of heroic courage and self-sacrifice.
The fight with the “Albemarle.”
One of the most remarkable naval conflicts of this or any other war — a single-handed encounter between a delicate river steamer and a most formidable “iron-clad” --occurred on the 5th of May, 1864, in Albemarle sound
, about twenty miles below the mouth of the Roanoke river
On the afternoon of that day, three side-wheel gunboats, the “Mattabesett
,” and “Wyalusing
,” were lying at anchor in the sound, awaiting the appearance of the “Albemarle
,” a most formidable rebel iron-clad ram, whose recent exploits in sinking two of our gunboats, near Plymouth
, rendered the prolonged occupation of the sound by our forces somewhat uncertain and problematical.
To the three vessels above named had been especially assigned the duty of encountering and, if possible, destroying this dreaded iron monster; and, on the afternoon in question, an advance-guard of picket boats, comprising four or five of the smaller vessels of the Union fleet, with the “Miami
,” had been sent up to the mouth of the Roanoke
, with the design of decoying the rebel “ram” from under the protection of the batteries at Plymouth
into the open waters