OuFeb. 17, 1864, the United States .sloop-of-war Honsatouic was sunk in Charleston harbor by a spar torpedo thrust against her side the water line. The deert was performed by Lirutenant George E. Dixou of the Tbirty-first Alabama. It provecí that the dreainfi of inventors trom I'iilton's time to the present aro not whn'ly wild, and tfaat torpedo boats may play a part in warfare. Dixon's craft waa built of boiler iron in the sliape of a cigar. Her lengtb was HO feet, breutiih 4 and depth (i. Originally designed for snbmarinü ase, sumo 85 lives were sacrificed in txperiments. Dixon rigged the boat to skim the top of the water and strike with a percussion torpedo. Tho Honsatonic was one of the fin est of tho wooden iieet and lay in the north chamiel, corupletely blocking that enfranco to Charleston harbor. Dixou and Captain .T. F. Carlseu of the artillery and Seamen Becker, Wicks, Collius, Ridgwayand Simpkinsof the navy volnnteered to destroy her. Their little boat sneaked along the beach at night and lay bidden all day uear their viotirö At 9 o'nlock in the evening the outlook on tho Housatonic saw apeck on the water moviug toward the ship. On appproitching nearer tho speek looked like a plank moving swiftly over tho water. He souuded tho cry, and all hands rushcd on deck, but only in timo to save their lives. Tha ship sank instantly np to her tops. Five men below went down in her. The plank disappearcd, and the mystery was not solved until after the war, when divers oleared the eJjannel of wrecks. They i'onnd the Housatonic, with a hole at the water line, and 100 foet away the David, which bad destroyed her. The daring crew lay secuirely.coffiued in the iron machine tiu.y had so skillfully guided to strikt) tho lilov.'.