The biggest man-made explosion in history was planned for the demise of the ship Louisiana, set adrift with 215 tons of fused powder in an effort to destroy Fort Fisher, near Wilmington, North Carolina. The scheme, conceived by General Benjamin Butler, failed because of poor fuses, and the H-Bomb of the civil war became a dud.
When Federal forces finally took Fort Fisher, a Confederate prisoner, queried as to the effect of the big blast, said, “It was horrible. Woke up every man in the fort.”
The ship actually went up, piecemeal, on a sand bar at some distance from the fort, casing no damage.