October 27 This day during the American Civil War

October 27, 1864 – in Plymouth, North Carolina – On the Poanoke River, Lt. William B. Cushing commanded an expedition to find and destroy the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle, commanded by Lt. Alexander P. Warley. Cushing did not want to destroy the ironclad if he had a chance to capture it. He outfitted two 32ft. steam picket boats with a 12lb. howitzer in the bow of each and a 14ft. spar torpedoe. On October 24, one of the 2 boats made it to the designated area while the second one got lost enroute. On October 27, under the cover of darkness, Cushing and 7 volunteers moved out in their picket boat in a rainstorm. They sailed over 8 miles from Albemarle Sound to Plymouth. When they neared the Albemarle, a Confederate spotted them and opened fire. Cushing soon lowered the torpedoe and fired it into the Albemarle, striking it squarely in the hull. This immediately disabled the Albemarle as it began to sink. The Albemarle went down in a few moments. This action made Cushing an instant hero up North.


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