The sloop of war U.S.S. Housatonic was launched September 11,1862. It weighed 1240 tons. The ship was 207 feet long and had a 38 foot beam. The ship was propelled by 2 main boilers. It carried 1 auxiliary boiler incase the main ones went out. The ship's cylinders generated about 1150 horsepower.
The U.S.S. Housatonic arrived in Charleston,SC on September 19,1862. When it arrived, it joined the South Atlantic blockade. The ship remained on duty off Charleston harbor and changed into an unchanging daily routine.
The lookout spotted something approaching the ship. He thought it was a log or other harmless object. Suddenly the object changed its course. The lookout was scared half to death. Then the lookout calmed himself. He told himself , "There's nothing to be afraid of." Just then the Confederate submarine H.L. HUNLEY rammed its spar-mounted torpedo into the side of the hull. The ship was doomed. The Housatonic's death warrant was given out on February 17,1864.