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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Torpedo

 

(ScStr: t. 150; l. 70'; b. 16'; dph. 6'6"; a. 1 gun or 2 20-pdr.)

 

Torpedo, a screw steamer, was placed under the command of Lt. H. Davidson, CSN, and attached to the squadron of Flag Officer S. Barron, CSN. She served only in the James River as a torpedo boat tender.

 

Early in July 1863 she was stripped of her guns and made a flag-of-truce boat by Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States, who hoped to bear a written communication from Jefferson Davis to Abraham Lincoln. Stephens' request to carry the message to Washington on the Torpedo was refused.

 

She was cited as being in charge of James River submarine batteries in November 1863.

 

Torpedo's guns were remounted and she participated in the James River operations, including the attempted passage of the obstructions in Trent's Reach, 23-24 January 1865.

 

Torpedo was partially burned and sunk on 3 April 1865 to prevent her capture by the Union forces who entered Richmond. She was raised and sent to Norfolk Navy Yard in May 1865.