Porter's Great torpedo.
--The New York World
, in an editorial on Porter
's torpedo, gives the following excellent hit at the unhappy trick, so "gunpowders and pranky," which failed to blow down Fort Fisher
"Early in the Anglo-Chinese
war the English
were amused by the Chinese army, which met them with the sound of gongs, the braying of trumpets, and a corps of gymnasts, who performed all sorts of acrobatic feats, dressed in hideous costumes.
For a time the object of these remarkable exhibitions was not apparent to the European
army, and it was supposed to be a custom of the Celestial
observed by them in all their battles — probably in the nature of an invocation to their deities.
After the battle, however, they captured the general orders of the mandarin chief, and found that the "Children of the Sun
" were ordered to sound their abominable gongs and blow their trumpets when the "barbarians"approached, and were promised that the effect would be so terrifying to the English
that they would all fall down from fear; and then the order stated that their 'breeches were so tight that they never could get up again, and might be easily captured."
"The torpedo at Wilmington
evidently was designed on the same principle, and, no doubt, was intended to produce the result which the Chinese promised themselves from the dreadful noise of their gongs; but, unfortunately, the Secretary of the Navy
did not consider that the rebels are generally without breeches, and, consequently, that they could get up again easily after the fright they experienced at the noise of the explosion; hence the failure.
The only way that the Secretary
can make his new invention work is, to supply the rebels with tight breeches, so that when they fall from fear they can be caught before they are able to recover their feet."