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[371] into rubber cloth was used in the manufacture of infantry accoutrements, and was found especially useful in making belts for machinery. Models of inventions were frequently sent to the arsenal, of which large numbers were valueless, and those good in theory could not be tried for want of skilled machinists and ordnance supplies. I remember on one occasion—the last year of the war—that a large number of Spencer breech-loading rifles, the result of a capture, were turned over to the arsenal, and though greatly desired by the troops, could not be issued for want of ammunition. In the effort to make the cartridges for the Spencer rifles, in the first place tools had to be devised, with which to make the tools used for making the cartridges. Hence the surrender of Richmond came before the cartridges were made.

A plan was proposed at the arsenal to increase the accuracy and range and thus render available and more efficient the smoothbore muskets in possession of the Confederacy.

The plan proposed was theoretically correct, and is worth mentioning, inasmuch as very late in the war the identical plan was sent to President Davis from Canada, as a scientific gift of great value.

This was sent by him to the War Department, and hence found its way to the arsenal, where the drawings were regarded with interest, since they corresponded exactly with those made at the arsenal years previously.

The idea was to fire an elongated compound projectile, made of lead and hard wood, or papier mache, with spear-point shaped head and shaft of lead — the shaft portion to be enclosed in a hollow sabot of wood or hard papier mache.

On firing, the lighter material, moving first, would press outwards the arrow head, and thus destroy windage, and the flight of the trajectory would be as an arrow, without rotating on the shorter axis, inasmuch as the centre of inertia of the projectile would be in advance of the centre of resistance of the air. At least that was the theory of the compound projectile, devised for the old smooth-bore musket.

An attempt was made to use on the field round concussion shell from the howitzers as mortars. In this concussion shell a friction primer, properly wrapped, acted as a fuse, its head terminated in a bullet, which rested on the shoulder of the brass fuse that screwed into the shell, leaving an unfilled hollow space about the bullet. When the round shell struck any point, except that exactly in rear of the prolongation of the wire, put in the axis of the bore by using a sabot, the momentum of the bullet would draw the friction primer

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