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[107] such as Bailey, Benson, and Grebble, who, in the brilliant display of their skill, were removed from the theatre of fame when honor was fast gathering about them, while there still remained Hunt, Barry, and some others, in the enjoyment of distinguished reputations.

The light artillery of the United States before the Mexican war was held in but small estimation, but the brilliant service of the batteries of Magruder, Bragg and Duncan during that war raised it to a high degree of popularity, and subsequently, through the influence of the military academy at West Point and the artillery schools at Old Point and Leavenworth, the Federal and Confederate artillery of America acquired a character that was unsurpassed by the artillery of any other nation. In the time of Bonaparte, France took the lead in the improvements of artillery, and during the gigantic wars that convulsed Europe in the reign of Napoleon the First the field artillery of France acquired an excellence that admitted of but little improvement for the succeeding fifty years. After the restoration of peace in Europe many of the leading nations made preparations for the cultivation of the science of war, but the decade from 1850 to 1860 was reserved to produce the most marked improvements in all kinds of artillery. The Crimean war was followed by numerous inventions for modeling and constructing the various implements of war. Among the field artillery of France appeared the twelve-pounder Napoleon gun, and about the same time the Lancaster gun made its appearance in England. The superiority of the Napoleon consists in its power to admit of the indiscriminate use of shell and solid shot, with an increase of metal insufficient to diminish its mobility. The Lancaster gun is constructed with the view of imparting a rotary motion to its projectile, in order to produce accuracy of fire with increased range. Although this gun was practically unsuccessful, it lead to the introduction of the rifle cannon, from which immense range and much accuracy was obtained. While the improvements in cannon were in progress, their destructive power was greatly increased by the inventions of various kinds of explosive projectiles. While Europe was engaged in improving and inventing engines of war, America has not been behind in contributing her portion, especially in the improvement of naval and sea-coast guns, of which the Columbia, the Dalghren, the Brooke and Rodman guns are unsurpassed for destructiveness.

Magruder was not a tyrannical schoolmaster, but allowed the officers under his command to dispose of their leisure time as suited

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