Secrets of the Civil War

Season 1 Episode 1

Most Daring Missions of the Civil War

Aired Unknown Apr 16, 2009 on A&E
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Episode Summary

Most Daring Missions of the Civil War
This special explores Civil War naval history, specifically the exploits of the war's greatest naval hero, Lieutenant William B. Cushing. The high point of his daring career was the attack on the Confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle at Plymouth, North Carolina. On a cold, rainy night in late October 1864, Cushing and a group of volunteers used a tiny steam launch and spar torpedo in a surprise attack. Their virtual suicide mission succeeded and the warship was destroyed. Of the 13 men in the launch, Cushing was the only one to successfully escape from the rebel-held river where the attack took place. The others were drowned, shot, or captured. From Naval Academy wash-out to flamboyant warrior, this is the story of the celebrated hero's bold raid that freed the Roanoke of the obstacle that had prevented Union forces from advancing in to eastern North Carolina.moreless

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