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[287] of the war under the orders of the Secretary of the Navy only, and never heard of any of General Rains' work, but in two instances.

Once, when told that he had placed a self-acting ‘torpedo’ in the river, I immediately complained to the Minister of the impropriety of this act, as it would close the river to our vessels and seriously affect the management of my electrical submarine defences. By authority of the Minister I had the ‘torpedo’ dragged for and removed.

The second instance was toward the close of the war, when some of these self-acting torpedoes of General Rains were again placed in the James river, and the Confederate steamer Shultz went down the river loaded with Federal prisoners to be exchanged at ‘City Point.’ Fortunately for the South there was not another pretext for the cry of murder and assassination against it. The Shultz passed the Rains torpedo going down and delivered the prisoners safely, but when returning she struck it and was destroyed.

During the years that I commanded the electrical submarine defences not a friendly skin was broken to my knowledge, and it must be remembered that I had to experiment and bring the system to perfection. I never met or communicated with General Rains or any one attached to his ‘submarine defences’ during the war or since.

If your memory still fails you, there are four well-known officers living who can testify to the exactness of all I have here written, viz: Captains W. H. Parker, J. Pembroke Jones, John M. Brooke, and J. Taylor Wood.

I have therefore to request that as an act of simple justice you will answer this letter and correct the mistakes referred to.

Very truly and respectfully yours,

Sir—Yours of the 5th December (in duplicate) has been received and opens with a call on me to do you justice. If you were surprised at not finding in my book your name mentioned in connection with torpedoes, I was certainly not less so at your arraignment of me as having done you an injustice by the omission.

If you will refer to the preface of the book you will see in the first

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