previous next

[288] paragraph the announcement of the purpose for which it was written; and on the seventh page the reason for numerous omissions of events entitled to consideration, as well as the expression of the hope that such omissions would be more than supplied by the reports and contributions of the actors in those events.

The motive which impelled me to an unwonted labor, that of writing a book, was from historical data to vindicate the cause of the Southern people, and to show that their conduct was worthy of their cause; a brief narration of military, naval, and civil affairs was annexed; but the reader was notified that I did not attempt to give an accurate account of all the important transactions of the war. Your letter indicates that you feel aggrieved because of General G. J. Rains being alone mentioned in connection with torpedoes. You infer that it will hereafter be supposed he was awarded the whole credit for that means of defence. I do not see that the text justifies such a conclusion, for on the page to which you refer me—207, Vol. 2—I wrote of torpedoes as a means known but undeveloped, adding: ‘It remained for the skill and ingenuity of our officers to bring the use of this terrible instrument to a perfection.’

At a date long before this perfection had been attained General Rains is named incidentally with the order putting him in charge of submarine defences and the first rudely constructed torpedo at ‘Drewry's Bluff.’

He had previously been distinguished by first using sub-terra shells with sensitive primers. See page 97, Vol. 2.

On page 102, Vol. 2, you may see to what I attributed the repulse of the enemy's fleet at Drewry's Bluff, and that the enemy, like myself, thought it was our artillerists and riflemen who disabled and drove off the fleet.

It seems to me that the remark ‘the secret of all his (Rains') future success consisted in the sensitive primer,’ is by no means a denial that success was obtained by other persons employing different methods. The description of the simple torpedoes employed by him was evidently not intended to apply to the large mines with electrical batteries of others, or to the various forms of torpedo vessels.

To our embarrassed condition I thought and think the small percussion torpedoes were best adapted, because an electric station, unless adequately protected, was liable to capture by a boat's crew, which would render the mine useless, and also because the mine with its battery was expensive, and had on an important occasion proved a failure.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Drewry's Bluff (Virginia, United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
G. J. Rains (3)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: