Thursday, March 10, 2011

USS Tecumseh

The Tecumseh was a monitor, 2,100 tons, 225 feet long, 43 feet wide, had a crew of 100 officers and men and mounted 2 X 15-inch Dahlgren guns. It was commissioned April 19, 1864 and sank August 5, 1864.

Om the Battle of Mobile Bay, it was the lead monitor and was turning to meet the oncoming ironclad CSS Tennessee, when, at 7:40 am, it struck a Confederate torpedo (mine) and began to heel rapidly. Men scrambled to get off. Commander Tunis A.M. Craven arrived at the foot of the ladder leading to the main deck the same time as the pilot John Collins, stepped back and said "After you, pilot." Collins hurried up the ladder, but the act of courtesy cost Craven his life.

The Tecumseh sank in 25 seconds. As she rolled over, two shells from Fort Morgan struck her unarmored side.

Along with Commander Cravin, 92 others died.

A Sad Loss. --Old B-R'er

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