Today in History:

786 Series I Volume XXXIX-II Serial 78 - Allatoona Part II

Page 786 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.

line of spiling opposite the water battery at Fort Morgan. This left an open channel of about 500 yards between our east line and the shore. The enemy evidently, by observing blockade steamers running in (one having done so after daylight that morning), were well informed of this open space in the channel free from torpedoes, as they steamed in through it from 200 to 300 yards farther to the eastward than vessels usually do in coming in front the outer bay. Had their object not been to avoid them they certainly would not have exposed themselves to the fire of Fort Morgan at such short range, when by keeping farther to the west-ward, with the same depth of water, they would have avoided the short range of its guns and necessarily the accuracy of its gunners.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant, in Charge of Torpedoes.

[First indorsement.]

Richmond, Va.

Respectfully submitted.


Brigadier-General, Superintendent Torpedo Bureau.

[Second indorsement.]

General Bragg, for attention.

Torpedoes to be fired by electricity would not have interfered with the use of the channel by our ships. This should be looked to at the entrance to Wilmington and Charleston. Officers not fit for field service from temporary disability and officers on the invalid list may be usefully employed under the orders of General Rains. The latter class would be preferable, as much special instruction is requisite.

J. D.

[THIRD indorsement.]

Mobile, Ala., September 26, 1864.

I ordered a space on the line of torpedoes to be left open for the Tennessee and other ships to pass in and out. This space was marked by a buoy 160 yards from the Fort Morgan shore. A ship passing between seven 10-inch columbiads, three 8-inch guns, two 8-inch blakely rifles, two 7-inch Brooke rifles, some six 4. 10-inch rifles, several 32-pounders, and the rifle fire of the sharpshooters. No vessel yet built could pass through the channel in daylight. The enemy gave it a wide berth on the 5th August. From the best information I can procure, none of their ships passed within 800 yards of Fort Morgan. All of them passed over the torpedoes. The Tecumseh is believed by General Page to have been sunk by his fire. She is claimed by some to have been sunk by a Singer torpedo; by Lieutenant Barrett, in this paper, to have been sunk by one of General Rains' torpedoes. It is probable that the rapid and changing currents in the deep channel off Morgan, and other causes operating there, had carried away many of the torpedoes and injured others. Captain Bennett, of the Gaines, thinks the Tecumseh sunk 400 or 500 yards from shore; that the rest of the fleet passed 500

Page 786 KY., SW. VA., TENN., MISS., ALA., AND N. GA. Chapter LI.