Tuesday Jan. 14 1862
HOWLING HATTERAS HURRICANE HORRIFIES HUNDREDS
Gen. Ambrose Burnside was supposed to be leading an invasion force
of nearly 100 ships to Hatteras Inlet, N.C. Instead he was spending
his time on continuous rescue missions as the ships of his fleet
were torn by fierce winds and storm. Many were being driven onto
shoals and sandbars as their anchor lines were dragged or broke
entirely. Burnside was seen on one tugboat personally leading a
rescue party to the “City of New York” which was loaded with stores;
he was willing to let the stores go but wanted to rescue the crew.
All of this chaos was going on within the relative shelter of the
inlet; many of the ships of the mission had not made it even that
far, could not attempt the entrance as long as the wind blew, and
were at the mercy of the storm on the open ocean. As this was taking
place in the dead of winter the storm was probably not a hurricane
in the technical sense, but few cared to debate the finer points of
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1863
COUTHOUY’S CONFOUNDED COLUMBIA CATASTROPHE
A year later, and high seas and high winds again pounded the
coastline of North Carolina. Today these forces combined to bring
low the USS Columbia. Part of the Hatteras patrol, Lt. Joseph P.
Couthouy’s command ran aground. Despite the desperate attempts of
her crew to free her, it proved impossible. They set her afire and
then faced another problem: getting to shore without drowning.
Amazingly, they succeeded in this and were overjoyed to have escaped
with their lives. That turned out to be all they survived with: they
were forced to surrender to the Confederates three days later.
Thursday, Jan. 14, 1864
SHERRILL SECURES SALT SABOTEURS
Following in the footsteps of W.R. Browne and the USS “Restless”,
Acting Master Sherrill and his USS Roebuck took over the task of
terrorizing the salt suppliers of South Florida, or at least making
life miserable for the parties transporting the valuable
preservative. On this day, patrolling in Jupiter Inlet, Sherrill
used small boats to pursue the British sloop “Young Racer”. This
vessel, tragically for her captain, crew and owners, lived up to
neither half of her name, and was overhauled in a short time. Before
she could be captured, though, she was set on fire by her crew.
Overloaded with salt, she sank rapidly.
Saturday, Jan. 14, 1865
FORT FISHER FIGHTING FURIOUS
The combined land and sea attack on Ft. Fisher entered its second
day, with Navy gunboats firing at a rate of 100 shells per minute.
Confederate defenders suffered 300 dead, and were unable to bury
them due to the severity of the shrapnel. In fact, the fire was so
intense that only one gun on the landward side of the fort was still
operational, all the others having been dismounted by shellfire.
While the Navy handled that part of the operation, the Army
protected its rear against possible attack by Braxton Bragg, and
prepared to move forward against the fort.
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