Rear Adm. Samuel F. Du Pont [US] ordered three ironclads, Patapsco, Passaic, and Nahant, to test their guns and mechanical appliances and practice artillery firing by attacking Fort McAllister, then a small three-gun earthwork battery.
On March 3, 1863, the three ironclads conducted an eight-hour bombardment. The bombardment did not destroy the battery but did some damage, while the three ironclads received some scratches and dents. The tests were helpful for knowledge and experience gained, but the fort did not fall, showing that the ironclads' firepower could not destroy an earthen fort.
Result(s): Confederate victory
Location: Bryan County
Campaign: Naval Attacks on Fort McAllister (1863)
Date(s): March 3, 1863
Principal Commanders: Capt. P. Drayton, U.S.N. [US]; Capt. George A. Anderson [CS]
Forces Engaged: Union Navy Flotilla [US]; Fort McAllister Garrison [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Unknown
The bombardment of Fort McAllister by the U.S. Navy monitors Passaic , Patapsco and Nahant . The engraving is based on a sketch by "an eye-witness" on board USS Montauk , which is in the right center foreground. In the left foreground, firing on the fort, are the mortar schooners C.P. Williams , Norfolk Packet and Para . Among other U.S. Navy ships involved were gunboats Wissahickon , Seneca and Dawn and tug Dandelion .