The reason Why.
--A great many comments have been made upon the defective firing of our batteries at Vicksburg
when the enemy's gunboats passed down some two weeks ago, and both officers and men in the batteries have been pretty severely injured therefore.
The following letter from Vicksburg
explains the cause of this inefficient firing, and as the defects spoken of have probably been remedied before this time, there can be no harm in giving this letter to the public:
"The passage by our batteries of the Yankee
fleet on Thursday night developed a fact which I think ought to be made known, that it may be properly remedied.
It being the first scene of the kind ever witnessed by me, I felt some surprise that the firing from our batteries was more slow and irregular than I had expected, and on yesterday, being in company with the commanders of two of our most serviceable guns, I mentioned the fact, when I was told by them that it was not the result of inefficiency in the working of the guns, but in deficient friction tubes furnished by the Ordnance Department; one of the officers having assured me that he used thirty-eight, and only fired fourteen shots, the other, that he used about sixty for about the same number.
Have the Ordnance Department no means of testing these tubes before furnishing them to the batteries?"