Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A raft loaded with combustibles, set on fire, and directed against an enemy's ship or fleet.
“A fire-raft, pushed by the ram Manassas against the flag-ship (the Hartford), set it on fire, and at the same instant it ran aground; but by the prompt and disciplined exertions of the men the flame was extinguished in a few minutes and the ship got afloat, never ceasing its fire upon the enemy.”
“Besides the forts there was the _Louisiana_ floating battery that helped to swell the storm of shot and shell; and down the river came a fire-raft gallantly towed by a tug.”
“At a moment when she slightly grounded a huge fire-raft, fully ablaze, was pushed against her by a rebel tug, and the flames caught in the paint on her side, and mounted into her rigging.”
“Confederate vessels anchored above them were busily engaged in getting ready a fire-raft which was to float down the river, and make havoc among the vessels of the Union fleet.”
“The flagship "Hartford" was met by a tug which pushed a huge burning fire-raft against her sides.”
“As a last resort, the flying enemy sent down a huge fire-raft, in the hope of burning some of the Union vessels; but this was stopped by the piers of a railroad bridge, and, burning that, effectually cut off Newbern's communication with the world.”
“Presently, from an officer who had been captured as he was setting free a fire-raft upon the river to run among the boats of our fleet, I heard that Doltaire had been confined in the Intendance from a wound given by a stupid sentry.”
“A vast fire-raft was constructed, composed of some seventy schooners, boats, and rafts, chained together, and loaded with combustibles and explosives.”
“The fire-raft is described as being 100 fathoms in length, and its appearance, as it came drifting on the current, a mass of roaring fire, discharging every instant a shower of missiles, was terrifying.”
“Soon after passing the obstructions, and when about to sheer in toward Fort Jackson, upon which was to be concentrated her own battery and that of her two formidable followers, a fire-raft was observed coming down the river in such a way as to make contact probable if the course were not changed.”
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