Monday, May 12, 2014

March 19, 1864 (Wednesday): Mine Warfare

Grand Ecore (Upper Left)

Shreveport, March 19, 1864.
Major General R. TAYLOR,
Commanding, &c.:
    GENERAL: I have directed an officer of the Missouri, with thirty torpedoes and a crew of men selected for the purpose, to proceed down the river and obstruct it with torpedoes at some point below Grand Ecore. I will direct the officer to report to you should he find you below, otherwise to report to Captain McCloskey, who is at Grand Ecore, upon consultation with whom he will fix a point at which the torpedoes are to be placed. If practicable I would suggest their being used below Cotile, otherwise the vicinity of the falls below Grand Ecore might be selected. As soon as the torpedoes are placed in position the boat and crew will return to Shreveport. Arrangements should be made by pickets and couriers so that the party on the boat can be notified in time of the passage over the falls of the enemy's gun-boats or the advance of a party of the enemy. I send down by the boat a signal corps under Sergeant Landry, who will assist in notifying the officer in charge of the torpedo-boat of the movements of the enemy. When they get through with this duty they are ordered to report to you.
    I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

    Lieutenant-General, Commanding.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 34, Part 1, Page 499.

The Missouri was a rare ironclad, never engaging in combat.  It spent its time as a transport and, as described here, carrier of torpedoes (mines) to be used on the Red River to slow Banks' transports.

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