This Week in the Civil War - #948
During the evening of Thursday, October 27, 1864, U.S. Navy Lieutenant William B. Cushing led a naval raid against the CSS Albemarle which controlled the Roanoke River and approaches to Plymouth, North Carolina. In a steam launch outfitted with a fourteen foot spar with attached torpedo, Cushing’s steamer approached the Confederate docks at Plymouth, only to discover that Albemarle was protected by floating log booms. Cushing ordered the log booms be rammed; covered with slime from being in the water for an extended time, the log booms were easily penetrated, with the steamer’s torpedo exploded point blank against the Albemarle, sinking her immediately. Blown into the water by the torpedo’s explosion, Cushing avoided capture and eventually returned to his command. For his exploit Lieutenant Cushing was proclaimed a Union national hero.