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[455]

We doubt whether the military use of the candles we instance has ever before been made:

At the siege of Knoxville, the enemy attempted to storm before daylight one of the forts-we have forgotten the name, but it was the one before which the wires which so conveniently tripped up the enemy were arranged. In this fort was stationed Lieutenant Charles Herzog, of the Signal Corps, and as a part of his equipment, he was furnished with twenty or thirty Roman candles, containing about twelve balls each. When used as signals, the candles are fired vertically, and the balls are visible at a great distance.

The lieutenant knew of this use of his candles, but it needed the inspiration of battle to develop the other. He had it. Before dawn, one day, the pickets were driven in, and the enemy were swarming after them. They came on over a crest about eight hundred yards distant, and our great guns opened, but the aim was wild — there was need of light. Light there must be, or the heavy masses thronging up to the work would sweep its parapet, and the day was lost. Then came the inspiration. At the first alarm the faithful officer had sent his signal-balls whirling into the air, announcing the alarm to every distant station. With the gleam of its balls an idea gleamed upon him. His action, as it, was instant. Putting his match to another candle, he aimed it fairly over the heads of the enemy. and as they came closing up, the sparkling balls, hanging over them, revealed to Johnny Reb not only that there was to be no surprise of that fort, but that his own dark ways were to be lighted. The experiment was a success.

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