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[80] stoop and to close it upon them, when the swell of a passing steamer rolled over her, poured into the hatchway, and sank her instantly in deep water. Payne sprang out upon the tug; the two men next him followed; the other six went down with the boat.

After a few days she was raised and again made ready for action, and again Payne and eight Confederate sailors volunteered, and again on the eve of starting, she filled and sank, and Payne alone escaped.

A third time she was raised and taken in hand by McClintock, her owner, and his trained crew.

In Stone River she gave an exhibition of her power to sink and travel at any depth below the surface. Presently she disappeared, and was not seen again till divers found her on the bottom of the river with her nine dead men.

She was again raised and made ready for action, and Lieutenant Dixon, Twenty-first Alabama Regiment, and eight Confederate soldiers got permission to attack the Housatonic, a fine new corvette, just come down to join the fleet off Charleston.

Dixon was a Kentuckian. He was moved by high principle in making this venture. He had taken active part in the construction of this vessel, had caused other men to perish in her by dangers he had not shared, and now bravely demanded this opportunity.

The Housatonic lay close inshore, on soundings.

The torpedo, submerged, reached and struck her, tearing off, as her captain reported, the whole stern of his ship, which sank in three minutes upon a sandy bottom, but without losing a man.

The torpedo disappeared forever. Several years after the war, wreckers were sent down by our Government, in submarine armor, to wreck the Housatonic. They reported the torpedo boat to be lying on the sea's bottom, about one hundred feet from her victim.

The crew had all, no doubt, been concussed, and, as the fishes are, instantly killed by the explosion. Had Dixon raised his boat above the surface before exploding the torpedo, they might have all escaped death or capture.

The records of war contain no act of daring equal to this of brave Dixon and his crew.

After her brief attack upon the Virginia, the Monitor rendered no important service during the war; and while under tow and convoy she went down with part of her crew off Hatteras.

Since her record was made no foreign power has built any vessel like her.


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