2nd USCT Infantry Regiment 1st USCT Infantry Regiment 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment 1861 Skirmishes 1862 Skirmishes 1863 Skirmishes 1864 Skirmishes 1865 Skirmishes Alternate Battle Names 3rd Regiment Alabama Infantry 1861-04-12 Battle of Fort Sumter 1861-04-15 Evacuation of Fort Sumter 1861-04-19 Riots in Baltimore 1861-05-07 Gloucester Point 1861-05-10 Camp Jackson 1861-05-10 Riots in St. Louis 1861-05-18 Sewell’s Point 1861-05-29 Aquia Creek 1861-06-01 Fairfax Court House I 1861-06-01 Arlington Mills 1861-06-03 Philippi 1861-06-05 Pig Point 1861-06-10 Big Bethel 1861-06-15 Hooe’s Ferry 1861-06-17 Vienna 1861-06-17 Boonville 1861-06-19 Cole Camp 1861-06-27 Mathias Point 1861-07-02 Hoke’s Run 1861-07-05 Carthage 1861-07-05 Neosho 1861-07-08 Laurel Hill 1861-07-11 Rich Mountain 1861-07-12 Barboursville 1861-07-13 Corrick’s Ford 1861-07-17 Scary Creek 1861-07-17 Bunker Hill 1861-07-18 Blackburn’s Ford 1861-07-21 Manassas I 1861-07-22 Forsyth 1861-07-25 Mesilla I 1861-07-27 Fort Fillmore 1861-07-28 Sinking of the Petrel 1861-08 Siege of Tubac 1861-08 Cooke’s Canyon 1861-08 Battle of the Florida Mountains 1861-08-02 Dug Springs 1861-08-03 Curran Post Office 1861-08-05 Athens 1861-08-07 Hampton 1861-08-10 Wilson’s Creek 1861-08-10 Potosi 1861-08-19 Charleston 1861-08-25 Mason’s Hill 1861-08-26 Kessler’s Cross Lanes 1861-08-28 Hatteras Inlet Batteries 1861-08-31 Munson’s Hill 1861-09-02 Dry Wood Creek 1861-09-02 Gallinas Massacre 1861-09-08 Placito 1861-09-10 Carnifex Ferry 1861-09-11 Lewinsville 1861-09-12 Cheat Mountain 1861-09-12 Lexington I 1861-09-17 Liberty 1861-09-19 Barbourville 1861-09-21 Fredericktown I 1861-09-24 Canada Alamosa 1861-09-27 Pinos Altos 1861-10-03 Greenbrier River 1861-10-05 Cockle Creek 1861-10-09 Santa Rosa Island 1861-10-12 Battle of the Head of Passes 1861-10-21 Ball’s Bluff 1861-10-21 Camp Wildcat 1861-10-21 Fredericktown II 1861-10-23 Big Sandy Expedition 1861-10-25 Springfield I 1861-11-03 Port Royal 1861-11-07 Belmont 1861-11-08 Ivy Mountain 1861-11-19 Round Mountain 1861-11-20 Skirmish at Brownsville 1861-11-20 Hunter’s Mills 1861-12-04 Bog Wallow Ambush 1861-12-09 Chusto-Talasah 1861-12-13 Camp Allegheny 1861-12-17 Rowlett’s Station 1861-12-19 Skirmish at Blackwater Creek 1861-12-20 Dranesville 1861-12-26 Chustenahlah 1861-12-28 Mount Zion Church 1861-12-28 Sacramento 1862-01-01 Crook’s 1862 Expedition 1862-01-03 Cockpit Point 1862-01-05 Hancock 1862-01-08 Roan’s Tan Yard 1862-01-10 Middle Creek 1862-01-11 Lucas Bend 1862-01-19 Mill Springs

1863-10-05 Attack on USS New Ironsides

South Carolina

Start: 1863-10-05

ResultsCSA Battle Flag small

Photo Gallery

Introduction

The attack on USS New Ironsides in October 1863 was one of the first successful torpedo boat engagements in history. Confederate forces in Charleston, South Carolina deployed the newly built semi-submersible CSS David to attach a spar torpedo to the hull of USS New Ironsides. Though the attack is regarded as a rebel victory, the Union ship was saved from serious damage.

Order of Battle

Battle

Because it was a great impediment to Confederate commerce and warfare, there was no choice but to try to lift the Union blockade in any way possible. CSS David was one of the South’s secret weapons. Similar to the submarine H.L. Hunley, the boat was designed to destroy enemy ships by stealthily sneaking up to their sides and placing an explosive on their hulls. The David was only fifty feet long with a beam of six feet and a draft of five feet. Her crew consisted of just four officers and men. She was under the command of Lieutenant William T. Glassell during her three year career. On the night of 5 October, at about 8:00 am, the torpedo boat headed out from the pier toward the fourteen gun ironclad USS New Ironsides, which was considered the most formidable warship in the navy. She had also survived a failed torpedo boat attack in August 1863. An hour later the rebels were approaching the ironclad when lookouts spotted them fifty yards away, just before they attached the torpedo. The Union commander Captain Stephen C. Rowan reported the following:

“At 9 p.m. discovered a very peculiar looking steamer which at first appeared like a boat standing toward our starboard beam from seaward; hailed her rapidly four times, and she making no reply, fired into her with musketry; she returned fire, dangerously wounding Ensign C.W. Howard in charge of the deck the steamer struck us near No. 6 port, starboard side, exploding a large torpedo, shaking the vessel and throwing up an immense column of water, part of which fell on our decks.”

When the water fell back, some of it went down the David’s smokestack and put out the fire in her engine. The explosion ripped a large fissure in the ironclad’s starboard quarter and her crew had to quickly repair the hole but the ship remained leaky. Damage was also inflicted to the ship’s armory bulkhead and some storerooms, but casualties were light. There were two wounded, one of whom later died, and a third man who suffered from “confusions”. CSS David was heavily damaged, enough for her commander to order his men to abandon ship. Ensign C. W. Cannon could not swim so he remained aboard and after the others left, they tried to swim for nearby Morris Island under fire. It was at this time, Assistant Engineer J. H. Tomb decided to go back to the torpedo boat where he restarted the fire and sailed away. The remaining two Confederates, including Lieutenant Glassel, surrendered to the men of New Ironsides after evacuating the David. New Ironsides was apparently not in threat of sinking and the damage proved to be mostly superficial. She returned to blockade duty after taking a short time in Philadelphia to make repairs. CSS David was repaired as well and she eventually made attacks on USS Memphis and USS Wabash. Several torpedo boats of the David class were captured at the end of the war. The David may have been among them.

Casualties

Total Killed Wounded Missing Captured
USA Battle Flag 1 1
CSA Battle Flag small 2
Combined Forces

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_USS_New_Ironsides

2016 civilwartroops.org ©