United States Revenue Cutter Service
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by an act of Congress on 4 August 1790 as the Revenue-Marine upon the recommendation of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to serve as an armed customs enforcement service. As time passed, the service gained missions either voluntarily or by legislation, including those of a military nature, it was referred to as the Revenue-Marine until 31 July 1894, when it was renamed the Revenue Cutter Service. The Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the U. S. Department of the Treasury. On 28 January 1915, the service was merged by an act of Congress with the United States Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard. After the American Revolutionary War the new United States was struggling to stay afloat financially. National income was needed, the government determined that a great deal of this income would come from tariffs on imports; because of rampant smuggling, the need was immediate for strong enforcement of tariff laws.
On 4 August 1790, the United States Congress, urged on by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, created the Revenue-Marine renamed the Revenue Cutter Service by act of 31 July 1894. A cutter vessel is a small or medium-sized boat or sailing ship, built for speed and with a shallow draught. While some larger cutters had two or three masts, many cutters had only one, located more centrally on the ship than was typical of larger vessels. In modern times, any naval ship built for speed and agility is still referred to as a cutter. Under the enabling legislation that authorized the Revenue-Marine, the "System of Cutters", consisting of ten vessels were ordered and constructed. Two cutters were to be assigned to "the coasts of New Hampshire. On 21 March 1791 the first seven masters were commissioned by President George Washington. Among those commissioned were Hopley Yeaton and John Foster Williams of Massachusetts, Jonathan Maltbie of Connecticut, Patrick Dennis of New York, James Montgomery of Pennsylvania, Simon Gross of Maryland, Richard Taylor of Virginia.
William Cooke of North Carolina was commissioned on 25 April 1791, Robert Cochrane of South Carolina on 8 May 1791, 20 May 1791 John Howell of Georgia. Each cutter was constructed. Washington suggested to Hamilton that it would be advantageous to have each master supervise the construction of his own cutter. Hamilton's cost restrictions proved unrealistic for three of the new cutters, Massachusetts cost US$2,050, Scammel cost US$1,255, General Green cost over US$1,500; the same legislation that established the ten original cutters provided for the complement and pay scales of the crew of each vessel. Each vessel was provided with a master with pay set at $30 per month and three mates at $20, $16, $14, respectively. In addition each cutter was allowed four mariners at $8 apiece and two boys at $4. Between 1790 and 1798, the Revenue-Marine was the only armed maritime service of the United States, as the Navy had been disbanded; each cutter master was answerable to and received his sailing orders directly from the Collector of Customs of the port to which his ship was assigned.
All crew pay, requests for supplies, arrangements for repairs to the cutter, mission-specific tasking came directly from the port's Customs House. After the Slave Trade Act of 1794 was enacted, the Revenue-Marine began intercepting slave ships illegally importing slaves into the United States; this was the case from 1791 to 1871, except for the period 1843-49, when oversight was vested in the Revenue Marine Division of the Treasury Department. Standing orders for individual cutters were stated in general terms, allowing captains to exercise their discretion and judgment to the fullest. Captains had far-reaching authority "to seize vessels and goods in the cases in which they are liable to seizure for breaches of the Revenue laws" and to send inspection parties aboard vessels in port to ensure that cargo intended for export did not violate revenue laws, yet despite this considerable authority, Alexander Hamilton, in his first letter of instruction to the captains, had directed that they "will always keep in mind that their countrymen are freemen, and, as such, are impatient of everything that bears the least mark of a domineering spirit....
They will endeavor to overcome difficulties, if any are experienced, by a cool and temperate perseverance in their duty – by address and moderation, rather than by vehemence or violence." During the Quasi-War with France from 1798 to 1801, the U. S. Navy was formed and the Revenue-Marine fought alongside the Navy, capturing or assisting in the capture of 20 French ships. Ten of these were captured by the USRC Pickering. Revenue cutters were assigned to enforce the unpopular Embargo Act of 1807, which outlawed nearly all European trade and export, through American ports; the Act was enforced until it was repealed in 1808. In wartime, the Revenue Marine was placed under the command of the U. S. Navy, the cutters themselves were placed into military service. USRC Jefferson made the first American capture of an enemy ship in the War of 1812, the brig Patriot, in June 1812. On 3 August 1812, the boats of the British frigates Maidstone and Spartan captured the 6-gun revenue cutter Commodore
A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission known as a letter of marque, empowers the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners and crew. A percentage share went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was once common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors. In practice the legality and status of privateers has been vague. Depending on the specific government and the time period, letters of marque might be issued hastily and/or the privateers might take actions beyond what was authorized by the letters.
The privateers themselves were simply pirates who would take advantage of wars between nations to gain semi-legal status for their enterprises. By the end of the 19th century the practice of issuing letters of marque had fallen out of favor because of the chaos it caused and its role in inadvertently encouraging piracy. A privateer is similar to a mercenary except that, whereas a mercenary group receives a set fee for services and has a formal reporting structure within the entity that hires them, a privateer acts independently with no compensation unless the enemy's property is captured; the letter of marque of a privateer would limit activity to one particular ship, specified officers. The owners or captain would be required to post a performance bond. In the United Kingdom, letters of marque were revoked for various offences; some crews were treated as harshly as naval crews of the time, while others followed the comparatively relaxed rules of merchant ships. Some crews were made up of professional merchant seamen, others of pirates and convicts.
Some privateers ended up becoming pirates, not just in the eyes of their enemies but of their own nations. William Kidd, for instance, began as a legitimate British privateer but was hanged for piracy. While privateers such as Kidd were commissioned to hunt pirates, privateering itself was blamed for piracy. Privateering commissions were easy to obtain during wartime but when the war ended and privateers were recalled, many refused to give up the lucrative business and turned to piracy. Colonial officials exacerbated the problem by issuing commissions to known pirates, giving them legitimacy in exchange for a share of the profits or open bribes; the French Governor of Petit-Goave gave buccaneer Francois Grogniet blank privateering commissions, which Grogniet traded to Edward Davis for a spare ship so the two could continue raiding Spanish cities under a guise of legitimacy. New York Governors Jacob Leisler and Benjamin Fletcher were removed from office in part for their dealings with pirates such as Thomas Tew, to whom Fletcher had granted commissions to sail against the French, but who ignored his commission to raid Mughal shipping in the Red Sea instead.
Kidd himself committed piracy during his privateering voyage and was tried and executed upon his return. Boston minister Cotton Mather lamented after the execution of pirate John Quelch: "Yea, Since the Privateering Stroke, so degenerates into the Piratical. Privateers who were considered legitimate by their governments include: Francis Drake Pieter van der Does Amaro Pargo Hayreddin Barbarossa Robert Surcouf Lars Gathenhielm Entrepreneurs converted many different types of vessels into privateers, including obsolete warships and refitted merchant ships; the investors would arm the vessels and recruit large crews, much larger than a merchantman or a naval vessel would carry, in order to crew the prizes they captured. Privateers cruised independently, but it was not unknown for them to form squadrons, or to co-operate with the regular navy. A number of privateers were part of the English fleet that opposed the Spanish Armada in 1588. Privateers avoided encounters with warships, as such encounters would be at best unprofitable.
Still, such encounters did occur. For instance, in 1815 Chasseur encountered HMS St Lawrence, herself a former American privateer, mistaking her for a merchantman until too late; the United States used mixed squadrons of privateers in the American Revolutionary War. Following the French Revolution, French privateers became a menace to British and American shipping in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean, resulting in the Quasi-War, a brief conflict between France and the United States, fought at sea, to the Royal Navy's procuring Bermuda sloops to combat the French privateers; the practice dated to at least the 13th century but the word itself was coined sometime in the mid-17th century. England, the United Kingdom, used privateers to great effect and suffered much from other nations' privateering. During the 15th century, "piracy became an increasing problem and merchant communities such as Bristol began to resort to self-hel
Capture of New Orleans
The capture of New Orleans during the American Civil War was an important event for the Union. Having fought past Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Union was unopposed in its capture of the city itself, spared the destruction suffered by many other Southern cities. However, the controversial and confrontational administration of the city by its U. S. Army military governor caused lasting resentment; this capture of the largest Confederate city was a major turning point and an incident of international importance. The history of New Orleans contrasts with the histories of other cities that became part of the Confederate States of America; because it was founded by the French and owned by Spain for a time, New Orleans had a more cosmopolitan culture and diverse population. Only 13 percent of the 1810 population was Anglo-American; the census population of that time was made up of French speaking refugees from the Haitian Revolution, the French and Indian War, French and Spanish Creoles along with some smuggled slaves.
New Orleans benefited more by the Industrial Revolution, international trade, geographical position. Its position by the mouth of the Mississippi River, which drained an important part of the United States, made New Orleans one of the most significant transportation centers in the early United States before the establishment of railroad and road systems. Of particular significance were the inventions of the steamboat and the cotton gin. Before the steamboat, keelboat men bringing cargo downriver would break up their boats for lumber in New Orleans and travel overland back to Ohio or Illinois to repeat the process. Steamboats had enough power to move upstream against the current of the Mississippi, making two-way trade possible between New Orleans and the cities in the interior river network. With the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, which expanded international trade, the development of the cotton gin, cotton became a valuable export product, adding to the volume of cargo moved through the city.
A formative event in the early history of New Orleans was the Battle of New Orleans. This battle, fought during the War of 1812, enhanced the political career of Andrew Jackson, along with Martin Van Buren, in turn founded the Democratic Party. Jackson began a new political movement now known as the Jacksonian democracy; this new direction in American politics had a profound influence on the development of New Orleans and the American Southwest. One of these developments was the construction of Fort Jackson, Louisiana, a star fort suggested by and named after Jackson; this fortress was bar the Mississippi Delta from invasion. The presidents of the Jacksonian democracy supported the concept of manifest destiny expanding acquisition of territory in the American Southwest and the support of international trade along with the spread of slavery; this powerful political movement produced sectional tension between the northern and southern halves of the United States, resulting in the creation of the Whig Party to oppose the new Democratic Party.
As the political rivalry between the Jacksonian Democrats and the Whigs intensified, the Republican Party was founded, to counter the spread of slavery into states produced by territorial conquests of the Jacksonian Democrats. The victory of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican presidential candidate, in the election of 1860, resulted in the secession crisis and the American Civil War. By the year 1860, the City of New Orleans was in a position of unprecedented economic and political power; the Mexican–American War, along with the annexation of Texas, had made New Orleans more of a springboard for expansion. The California Gold Rush contributed another share to local wealth; the electrical telegraph arrived in New Orleans in 1848, the completion of the New Orleans and Great Northern Railroad from New Orleans to Canton, a distance of over 200 miles, added another dimension to local transportation. The combination of all these factors resulted in an increase in the price of prime field hands of 21 per cent in 1848, further increases as the value of trade grew through the 1850s.
By 1860 New Orleans was one of the greatest ports in the world, with 33 different steamship lines and trade worth 500 million dollars passing through the city. As far as population, the city not only outnumbered any other city in the South, it was larger than the four next-largest Southern cities combined, with an estimated population of 168,675; the election of Lincoln in 1860 inspired one of the most ardent secessionists in Louisiana, its governor, Thomas Overton Moore, who had taken office on January 23, 1860. Governor Moore interdicted an effort to make New Orleans a “free city”, or neutral area in the conflict. A solid Democrat, Moore organized an effective and discreet movement that voted Louisiana out of the Union in a secession convention that represented only 5 per cent of the citizens of Louisiana. Moore ordered the Louisiana militia to seize the Federal arsenal at Baton Rouge, the Federal forts; these military moves were ordered on January 1861, before the secession convention. With military companies forming all over Louisiana, the convention itself was anti-climactic, voting Louisiana out of the Union 113 to 17.
The outbreak of hostilities in the area of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, led to the story of New Orleans in the Civil War. The Union's strategy was devised by Winfield Scott, whose "Anaconda Plan" called for the division of the Confederacy
Battle of Fort McAllister (1863)
The First Battle of Fort McAllister was a series of naval attacks that took place from January 27 to March 3, 1863, in Bryan County, during the American Civil War. The commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron Rear Adm. Samuel F. Du Pont decided to test operation of new monitors against Fort McAllister before conducting a major naval operation against Charleston, South Carolina. Fort McAllister was a small earthen fort located along Genesis Point and armed with several heavy cannon to defend the Great Ogeechee River approach south of Savannah, Georgia, it was expanded by adding more guns and bombproofs. Obstructions and torpedoes completed the riverine defenses. In July 1862 the blockade runner Nashville ran up the river to escape blockaders, would remain trapped. Learning that the Nashville was lying near the fort, Adm. Du Pont ordered Commander Charles Steedman to make a "reconnaissance in force" and to destroy the fort if possible. At this time the garrison was commanded by Capt. Alfred L. Hartridge of Co. A.
1st Georgia Volunteer Infantry, the "DeKalb Riflemen." The main battery consisted of one 42-pounder smoothbore. On July 29, Steedman led the wooden gunboats USS Paul Jones, Unadilla and Madgie against the work in a 90-minute long-range exchange. Steedman withdrew. An 8" Columbiad was added to the fort in August and the garrison was replaced with the Emmett Rifles and the Republican Blues. Under Cdr. John L. Davis the Federal gunboats USS Wissahickon and Dawn and a mortar schooner engaged the fort for several hours on November 19; the fort did not reply to the initial long-range bombardment and waited until the warships ascended the river to the guns' effective range. When the lead vessels reached 3,000 yards the garrison opened fire and scored a hit, holing the Wissahickon below the waterline; the Federals withdrew. Damage to the fort was minor and repaired and only three men were wounded in the fortifications. Adm. Du Pont dispatched an ironclad in an attempt to capture the fort, sink the Nashville and burn the Atlantic and Gulf railway bridge farther up the river.
This would provide the first test of the new Passaic class of ironclad monitor armed with the massive new 15" Dahlgren cannon, at the time the heaviest cannon mounted on a warship. The single turret of the new class contained one 11" Dahlgren in addition to the 15". On January 27, 1863 the monitor USS Montauk, three gunboats, a mortar schooner again engaged the fort. Commander John L. Worden of the Montauk shelled the fort for five hours at a range of 1,500-1,800 yards and tearing up the parapets, but causing no lasting damage or casualties. Thirteen hits scored by the fort's artillery did little beside denting the monitor's plate and sink a small launch; the defenders repaired the damaged earthworks during the night. On February 1, Worden tried again to silence the fort; the prior night Federal scouts had removed several mines from the channel so that the vessels could more approach. The Montauk spent another five hours bombarding at only 600 yards distance; the garrison commander, Maj. John B.
Gallie, was killed and seven were wounded. Major George Wayne Anderson was placed in Command of the fort following the death of Major Gallie; the monitor was struck by the turret jammed for a time. Following this engagement, the river defenses would be augmented with the placement of nine "Rains torpedoes" in the channel near where the Montauk had engaged the fort. Unable to run the Federal blockade, the Nashville had been sold and converted into an armed commerce raider under Capt. Thomas H. Baker, it was renamed the Rattlesnake and on February 27 Baker attempted to make the open sea during rainy weather, but was deterred by a blockader. Returning, the raider ran aground on a bend upriver from the fort but still visible to the blockaders; the next morning Worden anchored the Montauk about 1,200 yards from the fort, about equidistant to the Rattlesnake stuck in the river bend. The monitor began firing on the stranded ship and the fort fired on the ironclad in an attempt to distract the Union vessel.
After only a few minutes the Montauk sent its fifth shot into the raider's hull. This and subsequent shells produced a fire and explosions which destroyed the ship; the Montauk had fired fourteen rounds in all. As the Montauk withdrew down the river, it struck a torpedo. Quick action by the commander and pilot steered the vessel onto a mud bank as the tide receded, sealing the leak until repairs could be effected. Following temporary patching, the rising tide refloated the boat; the Montauk was sent to Port Royal for permanent repairs. After the early engagements with the fort, Adm. Du Pont recognized that a single monitor turret lacked the rate of fire to force the capitulation of the earthen battery, he therefore ordered three ironclads—USS Patapsco and Nahant—to test their guns and mechanical appliances and practice artillery firing by attacking the fort. The Montauk was to be held in reserve as its 15" gun had fired a large number of rounds and its durability was unknown at the time. Capt. Percival Drayton of the Passaic would command this expedition.
Anticipating an attack, the malleable fort was again expanded. The fort consisted of a "32-pounder rifle", a 10" Columbiad, an 8" Columbiad, a 42-pounder smoothbore, three 32-pounder smoothbores, 10" mortar in a connected work. Additionally, several sharpshooters were placed
Battle of Elizabeth City
The Battle of Elizabeth City of the American Civil War was fought in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Roanoke Island. It took place on 10 February 1862, on the Pasquotank River near North Carolina; the participants were vessels of the U. S. Navy's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, opposed by vessels of the Confederate Navy's Mosquito Fleet; the battle was a part of the campaign in North Carolina, led by Major General Ambrose E. Burnside and known as the Burnside Expedition; the result was a Union victory, with Elizabeth City and its nearby waters in their possession, the Confederate fleet captured, sunk, or dispersed. At the outset of the American Civil War, the Union sought to implement its Anaconda Plan to isolate and defeat the Confederacy; the crucial first step was to blockade the Confederate coast to prevent access to Europe. The Union sought to use its naval advantage to advance the rest of the Anaconda Plan by cutting parts of the Confederacy off from one another. Elizabeth City lies near the mouth of the Pasquotank River, where it flows into Albemarle Sound from the north.
North of the city is the Dismal Swamp Canal. To the east is the southern segment of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, separated from the Pasquotank River by only a narrow neck of land. Much of the food and forage delivered from North Carolina to southeastern Virginia was transported along these two canals. In particular, Virginia depended upon continued access to the canals for its subsistence. So long as the North Carolina Sounds remained in Confederate hands, Norfolk could be well supplied despite the blockading efforts of the Union Navy at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay; that changed, however, in early February 1862. In a battle fought on 7–8 February, the joint operation of a Union Army division under Major General Ambrose E. Burnside and a naval flotilla under Flag Officer Louis M. Goldsborough captured Roanoke Island, a position in Croatan Sound that had shielded the sounds from Federal encroachment. Earlier, Union ships trying to enforce the blockade on the canals would have had to enter Pamlico Sound through Hatteras Inlet pass several Confederate batteries on Roanoke Island before they could get into Albemarle Sound.
With the elimination of the batteries, all that stood in the way of the Union Navy was the Mosquito Fleet of the Confederate States Navy. The first shots of the Burnside Expedition were fired on 7 February 1862, in the Battle of Roanoke Island. On that first day of the two-day battle, a force of 19 Union gunboats bombarded, rather inconclusively, four Rebel forts facing Croatan Sound and eight ships of the Confederate States Navy; the Federal ships were parts of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, commanded by Flag Officer Goldsborough. The Confederate vessels were drawn from a unit led by Flag Officer William F. Lynch, termed the Mosquito Fleet, intended to serve on Albemarle Sound and nearby waters. Two vessels of the Mosquito Fleet were not present: CSS Appomattox had been sent away to Edenton for supplies and did not return in time for the battle, schooner CSS Black Warrior was left out because she lacked the mobility that steam power gave the rest of the fleet; the gunnery duel lasted from noon until sunset.
The only significant casualty among the fleets was the loss of CSS Curlew, holed at the waterline and beached to avoid sinking. One other ship was damaged, but not by enemy action: CSS Forrest damaged her screw by running on a submerged obstacle, was thereafter unable to move under her own power; the remainder of the Mosquito Fleet suffered only minimal damage. They had to retire at the end of the day, with Forrest in tow because they had nearly run out of ammunition. Flag Officer Lynch took his fleet to Elizabeth City, to repair Forrest. Failing to find ammunition to replenish his magazines, he sent Commander Thomas T. Hunter, former captain of CSS Curlew, to Norfolk, he sent CSS Raleigh up the Dismal Swamp Canal for the same purpose. Hunter returned with enough to resupply only two ships. Raleigh, was not able to return in time. No further changes of status affected the Mosquito Fleet. On the eve of battle, Lynch had at his disposal six ships in the water, each with only enough shot and powder to be able to fire ten times.
His flagship, Sea Bird, carrying two guns, was a converted sidewheel steamer. Three of his other vessels were former tugs: Appomattox and Ellis, each with two guns, Beaufort, with only one. Fanny, with two guns, had been a transport vessel used by the United States Army until she was captured by Confederate forces near Cape Hatteras; the last vessel, CSS Black Warrior, a schooner, pressed into service only four days before the battle, was armed with two 32-pounder guns. In addition to the eleven guns of his fleet, Lynch counted on the four guns of the Cobb's Point battery for support; the surrender of Roanoke Island on 8 February included all the Rebel forts that had faced on Croatan Sound, so they would no longer be able to prevent passage of Union ships from Pamlico into Albemarle Sound. Flag Officer Goldsborough therefore ordered his gunboats to pursue the Mosquito Fleet and destroy it. Although none of his vessels had been hit in the bombardment of the preceding day, some were damaged enough that he decided not to include them in his order.
Fourteen ships remained and they carried
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour. Mines can be laid in many ways: by purpose-built minelayers, refitted ships, submarines, or aircraft—and by dropping them into a harbour by hand, they can be inexpensive: some variants can cost as little as US$2000, though more sophisticated mines can cost millions of dollars, be equipped with several kinds of sensors, deliver a warhead by rocket or torpedo. Their flexibility and cost-effectiveness make mines attractive to the less powerful belligerent in asymmetric warfare; the cost of producing and laying a mine is between 0.5% and 10% of the cost of removing it, it can take up to 200 times as long to clear a minefield as to lay it. Parts of some World War II naval minefields still exist because they are too extensive and expensive to clear.
It is possible for some of these 1940s-era mines to remain dangerous for many years to come. Mines have been employed as offensive or defensive weapons in rivers, estuaries and oceans, but they can be used as tools of psychological warfare. Offensive mines are placed in enemy waters, outside harbours and across important shipping routes with the aim of sinking both merchant and military vessels. Defensive minefields safeguard key stretches of coast from enemy ships and submarines, forcing them into more defended areas, or keeping them away from sensitive ones. Minefields designed for psychological effect are placed on trade routes and are used to stop shipping from reaching an enemy nation, they are spread thinly, to create an impression of minefields existing across large areas. A single mine inserted strategically on a shipping route can stop maritime movements for days while the entire area is swept. International law requires nations to declare when they mine an area, to make it easier for civil shipping to avoid the mines.
The warnings do not have to be specific. Precursors to naval mines were first invented by Chinese innovators of Imperial China and were described in thorough detail by the early Ming dynasty artillery officer Jiao Yu, in his 14th century military treatise known as the Huolongjing. Chinese records tell of naval explosives in the 16th century, used to fight against Japanese pirates; this kind of naval mine was loaded in a wooden box, sealed with putty. General Qi Jiguang made several timed, to harass Japanese pirate ships; the Tiangong Kaiwu treatise, written by Song Yingxing in 1637 AD, describes naval mines with a rip cord pulled by hidden ambushers located on the nearby shore who rotated a steel wheellock flint mechanism to produce sparks and ignite the fuse of the naval mine. Although this is the rotating steel wheellock's first use in naval mines, Jiao Yu had described their use for land mines back in the 14th century; the first plan for a sea mine in the West was by Ralph Rabbards, who presented his design to Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1574.
The Dutch inventor Cornelius Drebbel was employed in the Office of Ordnance by King Charles I of England to make weapons, including a "floating petard" which proved a failure. Weapons of this type were tried by the English at the Siege of La Rochelle in 1627. American David Bushnell developed the first American naval mine for use against the British in the American War of Independence, it was a watertight keg filled with gunpowder, floated toward the enemy, detonated by a sparking mechanism if it struck a ship. It was used on the Delaware River as a drift mine. In 1812 Russian engineer Pavel Shilling exploded an underwater mine using an electrical circuit. In 1842 Samuel Colt used an electric detonator to destroy a moving vessel to demonstrate an underwater mine of his own design to the United States Navy and President John Tyler. However, opposition from former President John Quincy Adams scuttled the project as "not fair and honest warfare." In 1854, during the unsuccessful attempt of the Anglo-French fleet to seize the Kronstadt fortress, British steamships HMS Merlin, HMS Vulture and HMS Firefly suffered damage due to the underwater explosions of Russian naval mines.
Russian naval specialists set more than 1500 naval mines, or infernal machines, designed by Moritz von Jacobi and by Immanuel Nobel, in the Gulf of Finland during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. The mining of Vulcan led to the world's first minesweeping operation. During the next 72 hours, 33 mines were swept; the Jacobi mine was designed by German-born, Russian engineer Jacobi, in 1853. The mine was tied to the sea bottom by an anchor. A cable connected it to a galvanic cell which powered it from the shore, the power of its explosive charge was equal to 14 kilograms of black powder. In the summer of 1853, the production of the mine was approved by the Committee for Mines of the Ministry of War of the Russian Empire. In 1854, 60 Jacobi mines were laid in the vicinity of the Forts Pavel and Alexander, to deter the British Baltic Fleet from attacking them, it phased out its direct competitor the Nobel mine on the insistence of Admiral Fyodor Litke. The Nobel mines were bought from Swedish industrialist Immanuel Nobel who had entered into collusion with Russian head of navy Alexander Sergeyevich Menshikov.
Despite their high cost t