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vident that some great movement was in contemplation, which prudence demanded should be watched by a strong force. Accordingly Jackson was sent to Winchester with his old brigade, three thousand strong, and one battery of four pieces. He had not been in chief command many days ere his restless spirit began to appear, and he seemed bent on mischief — if he could not beat the enemy, he was determined to annoy them. As Washington was blockaded on the Lower Potomac by our batteries at Cockpit Point and other places, they still received large supplies by the Baltimore and Ohio Canal, which runs parallel with the Potomac from Washington, and branches off on the Upper Potomac to Wheeling. If the dams could be destroyed up the river, Jackson conceived that it would sorely perplex the enemy to supply their large army around Washington. Accordingly the General marched his force to the Potomac, and amid the cold and snows of this region had his men waist-deep in the river, endeavoring
f excellent guns from the enemy, of all which the Parrott is my favorite, being much lighter, more durable, stronger at the breech, of longer range, and safer to handle. The Parrott gun, you know, was invented by a Georgian, and patented before the war began; the enemy have extensively patronized the weapon. But of all guns, I most admire Whitworth's English breech-loading pieces. We had several of them during our blockade of the Lower Potomac in the winter months of 1861 and 1862, at Cockpit Point,. and other places, and their accuracy was amazing, while the unnecessary, unsightly, dangerous, and detestable ramrod business was entirely discarded, and the rapidity of fire greatly increased. It requires no great amount of scientific knowledge to see that the rammer and ramrod are totally behind the age, and should be discouraged and disused. All that is required of a good gun can be realized by breech-loading, and, from experience, I can do more with such a weapon than any other.