Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Introduction

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pp. 1-7

Of the various torpedo corps and secret service companies organized and deployed by the Confederate government during the American Civil War, none was more energetic, ingenious, or successful than the group headed by Texan Edgar Collins Singer. With an assailable coastline of thirty-five hundred miles and numerous waterways leading deep into the...

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1. Formation and Deployment

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pp. 8-37

The windswept coast of southern Texas, where Edgar C. Singer and several future members of his Secret Service Corps were then stationed during the Civil War, was about as far removed from Richmond, Virginia, and the war in the east as one could get yet still be within the borders of the Confederacy. Texas, unlike other states in the Union, had been...

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2. First Torpedo Strike and Launching the Hunley

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pp. 38-60

The late spring and early summer of 1863 was a chaotic time for both the struggling Confederacy and the newly inducted, and untested, members of the Singer Secret Service Corps. While Edgar Singer’s operatives were busily fabricating their submarine H. L. Hunley and setting up torpedo manufacturing facilities in Mobile and Yazoo City, the Confederate armies...

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3. Richmond Invests in the Corps

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pp. 61-98

While Captain Singer and several assistants attended meetings in Richmond and arranged facilities in which to manufacture their recently patented contact mine, Horace Hunley and Lt. George Dixon prepared to redeploy the group’s submarine in South Carolina. While the unpleasant task of cleansing the interior of the submarine was taking place at...

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4. Losing the Hunley

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pp. 99-133

As the first faint rays of sunlight slowly appeared over the Atlantic’s cold horizon on the morning of February 18, shivering pickets tossed the last few pieces of driftwood on dying embers and continued to scan the gray waves offshore for any sign of Lieutenant Dixon and the submarine boat under his...

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5. Operations throughout the Confederacy

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pp. 134-164

In early 1863, one of the founders of the Confederate Secret Service, Bernard Janis Sage, submitted a proposal to the Confederate Congress that outlined in part the establishment of “Bands of Destructionists” throughout the South: “Such bands would work . . . every variety of torpedo, and modes of working them defensively and offensively, submarine...

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6. Taking the Fight to the Enemy

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pp. 165-184

While the ragged soldiers of the Mobile garrison retreated inland with hopes of linking up with what remained of Gen. Richard Taylor’s army, a similar evacuation was taking place in war-ravaged Virginia. In late March, at about the same time that Union forces were planning a combined assault on Spanish Fort, Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia...

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Conclusion

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pp. 185-192

In 1865, the secretary of the US Navy, Gideon Welles, reported to Congress that the navy had lost more ships during the war from Confederate torpedoes than from all other causes combined.1 The chief of the Confederate army’s “Torpedo Bureau,” Gen. Gabriel Rains, claimed after the war that the operatives under his command (including the men assigned...

Notes

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pp. 193-226

Bibliography

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pp. 227-240

Index

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pp. 241-250

Image Plates

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Back Cover

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