War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0733 Chapter XL. ATTEMPT TO BLOW UP U. S. S. NEW IRONSIDES.

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the fireman (James Sullivan) swam off in the direction of the enemy's vessels, each being provided with a life-preserver, and were notre seen afterward. The pilot stuck to the vessel, nd I being overboard at the time and finding that no quarter would be shown, as we had called out that we surrendered, I concluded it was best to make one more effort to save the vessel. Accordingly I returned to her and rebuilt my fires; after some little delay, got up steam enough to move the machinery. The pilot then took the wheel and we steamed up channel, passing once more through the fleet and within 3 fleet of a monitor, being subjected the whole time to one continuous fire of small-arms, the Ironsides firing two 11-inch shot at us.

The pilot (Mr. Cannon) has won for himself a reputation that time cannot efface, and deserves well of his country, s, without his valuable aid, I could not have reached the city.

The conduct of Lieutenant Glassell was as cool and collected as if he had been on an excursion of pleasure, and the hope of all is that he may yet be in safety.

The fireman (James Sullivan) acted in a manner that reflected credit upon himself, having remained at his post until relieved by me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Acting Fist Assistant Engineer, C. S. Navy.

Flag-Officer J. R. TUCKER,

Commanding Naval Forces Afloat, Charleston, S. C.


HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA, Charleston, S. C., October 7, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded for information of War Department. It is probable the failure to blow up the Ironsides is due to the smallness of the charge of the torpedo (70 pounds), considering the thickness of the sides of that vessel, reported at least 5 fleet at the depth where struck; that is, about 6 1\2 feet below the surface of the water. The sides of this vessel are nearly vertical to below that depth.


General, Commanding.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain Francis D. Lee, C. S. Engineer Corps.

CHARLESTON, October 7, 1863.

GENERAL: On making special inquiry of experts as to the probable thickness of timber at that point of the Ironsides struck by the torpedo carried by the little steamer David, I have learned that by comparing the dimension of the Ironsides with our wan rams, the solid material could not have been much short of 20 feet. I do not believe that the charge used (70 pounds of musket powder) could break entirely through such a thickness at such depth; but I do believe that serious damage must have been done.

It is reported that the torpedo-steamer did not feel the explosion and was entirely unharmed by it. There is, therefore, no reason why the charge may not be greatly increased; although at the same time I cannot for one moment the efficiency of the charge used, when