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[152] Glassel to New York, to be tried and hung, as reported by Northern newspapers, for using an engine of war not recognized by civilized nations. But the government of the United States has now a torpedo corps, intended specially to study and develop that important branch of the military service. After a captivity of many months in Forts Lafayette and Warren, Glassel and Sullivan were finally exchanged for the captain and a sailor of the Federal steamer “Isaac Smith,” a heavily-armed gunboat which was captured in the Stono river, with its entire crew of one hundred and thirty officers and men, by a surprise I had prepared, with field artillery only, placed in ambuscade along the river bank, and under whose fire the Federal gunners were unable to man and use their powerful guns. Captain Glassel's other two companions, Engineer Tomb and Pilot Cannon, after swimming about for a while, espied the David still afloat, drifting with the current; they betook themselves to it, re-lit the fires from its bull'seye lantern, got up steam and started back for the city; they had to repass through the fleet and they received the fire of several of its monitors and guard-boats, fortunately without injury. With the assistance of the flood tide they returned to their point of departure, at the Atlantic wharf, about midnight, after having performed one of the most daring feats of the war. The New Ironsides never fired another shot after this attack upon her. She remained some time at her anchorage off Morris Island, evidently undergoing repairs; she was then towed to Port Royal, probably to fit her for her voyage to Philadelphia, where she remained until destroyed by fire after the war.

Nearly about the time of the attack upon the New Ironsides by the David, Mr. Horace L. Hunley, formerly of New Orleans, but then living in Mobile, offered me another torpedo-boat of a different description, which had been built with his private means. It was shaped like a fish, made of galvanized iron, was twenty feet long, and at the middle three and a half feet wide by five deep. From its shape it came to be known as the “fish torpedo-boat.” Propelled by a screw worked from the inside by seven or eight men, it was so contrived that it could be submerged and worked under water for several hours, and to this end was provided with a fin on each side, worked also from the interior. By depressing the points of these fins the boat, when in motion, was made to descend,

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W. T. Glassel (3)
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