Told through the letters of
William T. Glassell,
To his beloved Miley.
Glassell is a decorated and commissioned officer in the US Navy from
Virginia. While overseas, he is consistently plagued with questions
about his loyalty: at the succession of the south, then of Virginia,
and finally at the start of the war.
steadfast in his commitment to the Navy, until he is requested to
sign a separate oath of allegiance, only for officers of southern
birth. To this he refuses and writes his resignation. He is then
arrested by Lt. Dahlgren and sent to a political prison on an island
in Boston Harbor at Christmas time.
exchanged after eight months in prison, sent to Charleston in South
Carolina, where he proves his worth as he destroys five Union
vessels in one sea battle. But the Goliath of the Union, the USS New
Ironsides, is brought in to take Charleston.
Dahlgren cannon fires an 11 inch cannonball five miles with
accuracy and along with the cannon comes it’s maker, Admiral
Dahlgren -- Glassell’s former nemesis.
Glassell then takes command of the only weapon that can stop it --
the 50-foot long, steam-powered CSS David submarine. Steaming out,
five miles at sea, he approaches the 95-yard long Goliath, the
impenetrable USS Ironsides.