|Sketch by Rear Admiral Henry Walke of Cairo hitting the mine. The image is incorrect in the|
respect that the mine exploded on Cairo's port side and not the starboard.
|A sketch of one of the torpedoes/mines/"infernal machines,"|
discovered by Ensign Fentress' mine clearing team.
Part "C" contained the charge and Part "D" and "E" were
contact wires that set it off.
The mine sweeping operation began early the next morning with Marmora and Signal leading the way. At 11 a.m., watches aboard Marmora spotted a mine and proceed to render it inert. After that, the story line becomes muddy. Ensign Walter Fentress of Maromora later reported that his team was in the process of clearing the mine when he "heard an explosion from the Cairo, and on looking up I saw her anchor thrown up several feet into the air."
|Contemporary sketch of Cairo's |
sailors sitting on the remains
of their ship.
Selfridge claimed that he believed that any part of the river Marmora passed through must have had no mines. Thus, he ordered Cairo forward from the rear of the squadron's formation (against Walke's standing orders). In his autobiography, What Finer Tradition, Selfridge only briefly mentions the incident.
No charges or court-marital were ever filed against Selfridge. In fact, Selfridge continued to have Porter's confidence and found Selfridge another ship to command (which he later ran aground). The remains of Cairo can be seen in an outdoor exhibit as part of the National Park Service's Vicksburg National Military Park.
|National Park Service photo of Cairo's remains|