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[302]

Tells story of flying machine of Confederacy. From Richmond, Va., news leader, September 22, 1909.

Was designated by Richmond inventor and partly built, scheme was to drop explosives from air into Washington—Destroyed by Gale.


Inspired by recent pictures and articles published in The News Leader regarding the flying machine being built by George Bebout, of this city, the following letter has been received, which throws light upon a little known incident of the Confederate war:

The notice of the aeroplane of Mr. Bebout given in a late issue of your paper reminds me of the trite saying that there is nothing new under the sun. At the same time we hope that Mr. Bebout will not feel badly under the circumstances when he is informed that he is not the first projector of a flying machine in Richmond.

During the war between the States a machine was commenced which was to take President Davis and his cabinet, together with some ordnance officers, to the upper air of Washington.

The officers were to be supplied with an abundance of large hand grenades, and when these argonauts of the air were at a point immediately over the top of the White House, perchance during a session of Lincoln's cabinet, combustibles, as if aerolites, were to be dropped.

It would then proceed to the upper air in the neighborhood of the capital during a session of congress and compel incontinent adjournment. Needless to write that if the mortars in Washington could not have been successfully trained upon this new power in the air, before the executive and legislative branches had been killed or demoralized, the North would have petitioned for peace.


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