Friday, November 8, 2013

October 5, 1863

October 5, 1863

---On this night, the CSS David, a torpedo boat (semi-submersible vessel), carries out an attack on the USS New Ironsides just at the mouth of Charleston Harbor.  Lt. Cmdr. William Glassell commands the small crew.  Equipped with a 14-foot spar, the David steams toward the New Ironsides and detonates a spar torpedo under its hull, but which does not appreciably damage the Federal armored ship, in spite of  considerable blister in the hull.  A surge from the blast swamps the smokestack and engine.  Since the engines are flooded, some of the crew leap overboard, and Glassell is captured by a Yankee patrol boat.

Schematic drawing of the CSS David

USS New Ironsides bombarding Fort Sumter

---At Chattanooga, Confederate batteries open fire on the Federal works, but few of the projectiles even reach the fortifications.  However, the Rebel guns do command a stretch of the river.  Union troops are building a pontoon bridge which Rosecrans hopes will circumvent the interdiction of their supply route. 

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