Saturday, March 17, 2012
The naval flotilla under Foote attempted to reduce the batteries on Island Number 10 with a bombardment starting 150 years ago today, March 17th, 1862. He had seven gunboats and and 11 mortar boats, carrying one 13 inch mortar each. High hopes were placed in these boats, but they were failures. Their long range fire inflicted no casualties and caused no damage to the fort. Foote declared that he would not risk running the powerful batteries of the fort, as he was convinced they would blow his ships to shreds. Another way would have to be found to bypass Island Number 10.