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Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 32
o equip and command any number of torpedo boats, but it was now too late. I made efforts to do what I could at Charleston, till it became necessary to abandon that city. I then commanded the iron-clad Fredericksburg on James river, until ordered by Admiral Semmes to burn and blow her up when Richmond was evacuated. Leaving Richmond with the admiral, we now organized the First Naval Artillery Brigade, and I was in command of a regiment of sailors when informed that our noble old General, R. E. Lee, had capitulated. Our struggle was ended. All that is now passed, and our duty remains to meet the necessities of the future. After the close of the war I was offered a command and high rank under a foreign flag. I declined the compliment and recommended my gallant old commander, Commodore J. R. Tucker, as one more worthy and competent than myself to fill a high position. In conclusion let me say: I have never regretted that I acted in accordance with what appeared to be my duty
J. W. Cannon (search for this): chapter 32
. James Stuart (alias Sullivan) volunteered to go as fireman, and afterwards the services of J. W. Cannon as pilot were secured. The boat was ballasted so as to float deeply in the water, and all aband exploded. What amount of direct damage the enemy received I will not attempt to say. Pilot Cannon states that the injuries were of so serious a nature that extra steam-pumps were found necessireman had been found hanging on to the rudder-chains of the Ironsides and taken on board. Pilot Cannon states, that not being able to swim, when the fires were extinguished he jumped overboard andors and picket-boats, but escaped them unhurt, and reached Atlantic wharf at 12P. M.--Y. S. t Pilot Cannon states, that after the war, while acting as pilot for the United States fleet, Admiral Dahlgrrevented its execution.-Y. S. I had every reason to believe that the other two, Mr. Toombs and Mr. Cannon, had been shot or drowned, until I heard of their safe arrival in Charleston. I was retain
out fourteen feet ahead of the boat, and six or seven feet below the surface. I had also an armament on deck of four double-barrel shot guns, and as many navy revolvers; also, four cork life-preservers had been thrown on board, and made us feel safe. Having tried the speed of my boat, and found it satisfactory, (six or seven knots an hour,) I got a necessary order from Commodore Tucker to attack the enemy at discretion, and also one from General Beauregard. And. now came an order from Richmond, that I should proceed immediately back to rejoin the North Carolina, at Wilmington. This was too much! I never obeyed that order, but left Commodore Tucker to make my excuses to the Navy Department. The 5th of October, 1863, a little after dark, we left Charleston wharf, and proceeded with the ebb-tide down the harbor. A light north wind was blowing, and the night was slightly hazy, but star-light, and the water was smooth. I desired to make the attack about the turn of the tide
J. H. Toombs (search for this): chapter 32
determined to make a trial. She was yet in an unfinished state. Assistant-Engineer J. H. Toombs volunteered his services, and all the necessary machinery was soond hatchway. I immediately gave orders to reverse the engine and back off. Mr. Toombs informed me then that the fires were put out, and something had become jammedy men I thought our only chance to escape was by swimming, and I think I told Mr. Toombs to cut the water-pipes and let the boat sink. Then taking one of the corksomething in the water he hailed, and heard, to his surprise, a reply from Engineer Toombs. Toombs got aboard, caught up the fires with the light from the lantern, Toombs got aboard, caught up the fires with the light from the lantern, got up steam, and started for the city. They were fired at several times.while passing the Federal monitors and picket-boats, but escaped them unhurt, and reached Atvented its execution.-Y. S. I had every reason to believe that the other two, Mr. Toombs and Mr. Cannon, had been shot or drowned, until I heard of their safe arrival
er made me as comfortable as possible that night with whiskey and blankets, for which I sincerely thanked him. I was handed over next morning to the mercy of Admiral Dahlgren. He ordered me to be transferred to the guard-ship Ottowa, lying outside the rest of the fleet. Upon reaching the quarter-deck of this vessel, 1 was met ancaped them unhurt, and reached Atlantic wharf at 12P. M.--Y. S. t Pilot Cannon states, that after the war, while acting as pilot for the United States fleet, Admiral Dahlgren asserted that such was his intention, and that the attack on the Ironsides prevented its execution.-Y. S. I had every reason to believe that the other two, M them to apprehend far greater difficulties and dangers than really existed should they attempt to enter the harbor with their fleet. tIt may have prevented Admiral Dahlgren from carrying out the intention he is said to have had of going in with twelve iron-clads on the arrival of his double-turreted monitor to destroy the city b
William D. Whiting (search for this): chapter 32
d over next morning to the mercy of Admiral Dahlgren. He ordered me to be transferred to the guard-ship Ottowa, lying outside the rest of the fleet. Upon reaching the quarter-deck of this vessel, 1 was met and recognized by her Commander, William D. Whiting. He was an honorable gentleman and high-toned officer. I was informed that his orders were to have me put in irons, and if obstreperous, in double irons. I smiled, and told him his duty was to obey orders, and mine to adapt myself to circumstances — I could see no occasion to be obstreperous. I think Captain Whiting felt mortified at being obliged thus to treat an old brother officer, whom he knew could only have been actuated by a sense of patriotic duty in making the attack which caused him to fall into his power as a prisonrr of war. At any rate, he proceeded immediately to see the admiral, and upon his return I was released, on giving my parole not to attempt an escape from the vessel. His kindness, and the gentlemanly
James Stuart (search for this): chapter 32
ays, however, Mr. Theodore Stoney informed me that the little cigar boat built at his expense had been brought down by railroad, and that if I could do anything with her he would place her at my disposal. On examination I determined to make a trial. She was yet in an unfinished state. Assistant-Engineer J. H. Toombs volunteered his services, and all the necessary machinery was soon fitted and got in working order, while Major Frank Lee gave me his zealous aid in fitting on a torpedo. James Stuart (alias Sullivan) volunteered to go as fireman, and afterwards the services of J. W. Cannon as pilot were secured. The boat was ballasted so as to float deeply in the water, and all above painted the most invisible color, (bluish.) The torpedo was made of copper, containing about one hundred pounds of rifle powder, and provided with four sensitive tubes of lead, containing explosive mixture; and this was carried by means of a hollow iron shaft projecting about fourteen feet ahead of the b
s Bluff had been fought. I was informed that I must now take a new oath of allegiance or be sent immediately to Fort Warren. I refused to take this oath, on the ground that it was inconsistent with one I had already taken to support the Constitution of the United States. I was kept in Fort Warren about eight months, and then exchanged as a prisoner of war, on the banks of the James river. Being actually placed in the ranks of the Confederate States, I should think that even Mr. President Hayes would now acknowledge that it was my right, if not my duty, to act the part of a belligerent. A lieutenant's commission in the Confederate States navy was conferred on me, with orders to report for duty on the iron-clad Chicora at Charleston. My duties were those of a deck officer, and I had charge of the first division. On the occasion of the attack upon the blockading squadron (making the attack at night), if I could have had any influence, we should not have fired a gun, but trus
October 5th, 1863 AD (search for this): chapter 32
d, and made us feel safe. Having tried the speed of my boat, and found it satisfactory, (six or seven knots an hour,) I got a necessary order from Commodore Tucker to attack the enemy at discretion, and also one from General Beauregard. And. now came an order from Richmond, that I should proceed immediately back to rejoin the North Carolina, at Wilmington. This was too much! I never obeyed that order, but left Commodore Tucker to make my excuses to the Navy Department. The 5th of October, 1863, a little after dark, we left Charleston wharf, and proceeded with the ebb-tide down the harbor. A light north wind was blowing, and the night was slightly hazy, but star-light, and the water was smooth. I desired to make the attack about the turn of the tide, and this ought to have been just after nine o'clock, but the north wind made it run out a little longer. We passed Fort Sumter and beyond the line of picket-boats without being discovered. Silently steaming along just
Navy. [The following interesting paper was sent us through the Secretary of the South Carolina Historical Society. In a note accompanying the paper the author says that while he has written from memory, and without official reports to refer to, he believes he has given the facts in the order of their occurrence.] I had served, I believe faithfully, as a lieutenant in the United States navy, and had returned from China on the United States steamer Hartford to Philadelphia, sometime in 1862, after the battles of Manassas and Ball's Bluff had been fought. I was informed that I must now take a new oath of allegiance or be sent immediately to Fort Warren. I refused to take this oath, on the ground that it was inconsistent with one I had already taken to support the Constitution of the United States. I was kept in Fort Warren about eight months, and then exchanged as a prisoner of war, on the banks of the James river. Being actually placed in the ranks of the Confederate States,
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