|U.S.S. Tulip- Though this photo is most likely of the Tulip's sister ship the Fuchia as no know photos of the Tulip exist.|
The Tulip was not initially intended to serve in saltwater and the crew had to constantly clean off salt deposits and scaling from its boilers. Despite the cleaning efforts, the boiler was damaged. The order was given to Captain Smith not to fire up the damaged starboard boiler. Unfortunately, Capt. Smith was too concerned about the Confederate snipers and canons on the shores of the Potomac and he disobeyed orders and fired up the ailing boiler. When it blew, the Captain, the pilot (and my great-great-great grandfather) James Jackson, the Master's Mate and the Quartermaster were located on the bridge directly above the boiler when it exploded. It was said that they were "blown to atoms". All that was left of the Captain was his hat. The explosion killed 49 men and was heard miles away. Eight bodies were recovered and buried along the shore of St Inigoes Creek.
|Artist's rendition of the explosion. Part of the memorial.|