Commodore Barney

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“The war in Virginia. Explosion of a torpedo under the Commodore Barney, on James River, August 4th, 1863. A reconnoissance was made up James River, on the 4th of August, 1863, by the gunboats Commodore Barney, Sangamon and Cohasset, nearly up to Drury’s Bluff. General H. M. Naglee, commander of the Seventh Army Corps, was on board the John Faron and obtained much important information. Near Aiken’s Landing they were annoyed by sharpshooters, but when within six miles of Fort Darling a torpedo exploded under the bow of the Commodore Barney. It must have been of immense force, as the steamer was lifted ten feet out of the water, and swept by a jet of water which was hurled fifty feet in the air, and then fell with deluging effect on the deck, carrying thirty men overboard. These were all saved except two, but the Barney was too much disabled to proceed, and, being taken in tow, the fleet dropped down. At Turkey Island they were joined by the General Jasap and compelled to run the gantlet of a severe artillery fire from the shore. Our sketch of the accident to the Barney may seem an exaggeration, but is attested by persons who were present as being literally and really accurate."— Frank Leslie, 1896


Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War (New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)


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