Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Early Submarine Attack?

From the Civil War Naval Chronology.

October 9, 1861

According to the chronology, this date marked the first documented attempt to sink and enemy ship with a submarine in the Civil War. The target was the USS Minnesota, the location Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The attack failed when the submarine got caught up in some grappling hanging over the Minnesota's jib boom (which its occupants mistook for an anchor cable). The strange vessel escaped.

An October 12th newspaper reported that a Confederate deserter claimed the sub employed an India rubber suction plate to attach to its target and then was to plant a timed bomb on the hull.

I did some research, but never found any other mention of the attack. Of interest, the US Navy currently has a nuclear submarine under construction named the Minnesota.


OTHER EVENTS

October 10, 1861

The USS Daylight, Cmdr. Lockwood, silenced a Confederate battery attacking the American ship John Clark anchored at Lynnhaven Bay, Virginia. This was the ship that started the blockade of Wilmington.

OCTOBER 18th-- The USS Gemsbok, Acting Master Cavendy, captured the brig Ariel off Wilmington with a cargo of salt. (With that cargo, it was probably inbound.)

It's a Sea Thing. --Old B-Runner

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