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On This Day: October 27

1863 - (Civil War) The 20th Wisconsin Infantry Heads into Texas

The 20th Wisconsin Infantry was among Union forces that began an expedition from New Orleans to the Rio Grande.

1864 - Waukesha Soldier Sinks Confederate Ship

On this date William Cushing led an expedition to sink the Confederate ram, the Albermarle, which had imposed a blockade near Plymouth, North Carolina and had been sinking Union ships. Cushing's plan was extremely dangerous and only he and one other soldier escaped drowning or capture. Cushing pulled very close to the Confederate ironclad and exploded a torpedo under it while under heavy fire. Cushing's crew abandonded ship as it began to sink. The Albemarle also sunk. Cushing received a "letter of thanks" from Congress and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. He died in 1874 due to ill health and is buried in the Naval Cemetery at Annapolis, Maryland. [Source: Badger Saints and Sinners by Fred L. Holmes, p.274-285]