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The Hunley called the "FISH"
Confederate Navy Research Center, Mobile,
Monument Unveiled on Capitol Hill,
Montgomery, Alabama, with Impressive Ceremony, December 7, 1897.
From the Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser, Dec. 8, 1897
Reprinted in the Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol.
26, Page 215.
Instructive and Eloquent Speeches by Prominent Men.
Southland Moans for its Heroes. Reverence and Patriotism Guiding Spirits of the
Splendid Oration by Ex-Governor Thomas O. Jones, with
Inspiring Addresses by Colonel W. J. Sanford, Colonel J. W. A. Sanford, Captain
Ben. H. Screws, and Hon. Hilary A. Herbert.
HON. H. A. HERBERT'S SPEECH.
Ladies and Gentlemen and Ladies of the Memoria1
I thank you, ladies, for the opportunity given to me, a
Confederate soldier, to say a few words for the Confederate sailor.
................In another branch of naval warfare
the genius of Confederate naval officers was similarly conspicuous.
They developed the use of the torpedo to an extent never before dreamed of.
More than forty United States vessels were badly injured or totally
destroyed by this weapon.
There is no better illustration of Confederate devotion
and daring than the history of the "Fish," a little submarine
torpedo boat, that was built at Mobile. There, in the first experiment, the
little craft failed to rise and buried her crew of eight in the waters. The
"Fish" was raised and taken to Charleston. Another crew of nine went
down with her and only one escaped. There were volunteers again, and the third
crew went down, only three escaping. Still there were volunteers, a fourth time
the little boat went down and failed to rise. Still another crew volunteered and
all were drowned. Out of five crews of eight men each, all but four men had been
lost, but the spirit of the Confederates was not yet daunted.
Lieutenant George E. Dixon, of the 21st Alabama
Infantry, begged to be allowed to take out the "Fish" to attack
the iron-clad Housatonic that lay off Charleston harbor. Beauregard consented,
but only on condition that the boat should not go under water. The conditions
were accepted; the Housatonic was destroyed, but Dixon and all his brave crew
went down to rise no more.
When wrecks in Charleston harbor were being destroyed,
after the close of the civil war, near the Housatonic lay the "Fish."
In it were the skeletons of Dixon and his six companions, every man at his post.
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