War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0432 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

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was sunk by a torpedo, and that "so rapidly that two acting masters who escaped from the top of the turret stepped off directly into the water. " The time of submersion determines whether shot or torpedo sunk the vessel. We have no evidence that her magazine was penetrated. How otherwise could a shot have occasioned her sinking in half a minute? Captain Whiting's statement will be referred to Lieutenant Barrett for further particulars.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Superintendent.

[THIRD indorsement.]

OCTOBER 24, 1864.

Secretary of Navy, for perusal and remarks (see remarks over).

J. D.

[Fourth indorsement.]


October 26, 1864.

Respectfully returned to the President.

From my own knowledge of the manner and time in which vessels are sunk by shot, as well as from the circumstances under which the Tecumseh went down, I have no doubt she was sunk by a torpedo. Lieutenant-Commander Harrison in his official report of the action of the 5th of August says:

One of the rams was blown up just opposite Fort Morgan by a torpedo, as I think, although it may have been done by the fort.

Though this vessel was deep and could not probably have borne thirty inches of additional immersion without going down, the suddenness of her disappearance cannot be accounted for upon the supposition that she was struck by shot or shell, and it is not denied that she was over the place where torpedoes had been placed.


Secretary of the Navy.

[FIFTY indorsement.]

OCTOBER 27, 1864.

Secretary of War, for his information and future reference.

J. D.


MOBILE, ALA., October 4, 1864.

Major General D. H. MAURY:

DEAR GENERAL: I have the honor respectfully to state that I was on duty at Fort Morgan when the enemy's fleet entered the bay on the morning of August 5 ultimo, and saw the monitor Tecumseh when she went down. I am of the opinion that she sunk before reaching the line of torpedoes. This opinion is entertained by such other of the officers of the fort as witnessed the sinking, and by the pilots (on lookout duty) and privates who had been detailed to assist in planting the torpedoes. I saw distinctly the bottom of the Tecumseh, and could discover no damage to show it was struck by a torpedo. She was sunk