This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History
-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game,
Raiders on the High Seas.
April 9, 1864 – CSS Squib vs. USS Minnesota: Tiny Confederate Torpedo Boat Attacks Giant Union Frigate
Historical Event: Under the cover of darkness on
April 9, 1864, six Rebel sailors under
the command of Lt. Hunter Davidson quietly steamed their tiny little torpedo
launch out into Hampton Roads to strike one of the largest and mightiest
men-o-war in the Union fleet: the great USS Minnesota. The aptly named CSS
Squib carried but a single spar-mounted torpedo, while the Yankee
warship mounted 47 guns of many calibers.
The small armored launch struck home, caused something of a panic aboard
the great steam frigate, and got away – no mean feat in the middle of a Union
squadron. The USS Minnesota also
survived, suffering more embarrassment than damage.
USS Minnesota was one of the largest of the pre-war frigates. She was the flagship of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, sank or captured 22 blockade runners and added her guns to the bombardments of
. In March 1862 she fought heroically against
Virginia when the iron monster made its first foray. Despite being driven aground, the USS
Minnesota kept on fighting, with her gunners firing over 500 rounds at
the Rebel ironclad during that two-day battle.
Game Connection: Union frigates play many roles in Rebel Raiders on the High Seas. Like USS Minnesota, they bombard Confederate port batteries, intercept blockade runners and even hunt down the raiders for whom the game is named. The Confederates have many weapons at their disposal to try to break the blockade, among them the
Squib’s cousin, CSS
David, which appears in the game as CSN Card 63. Her target, USS
New Ironsides, is also in the game, as a counter and as USN Card 26.