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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/334

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

[From the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch, February 14, 20, 1904.]


Despite the Study of this Method of Warfare, More was
Accomplished by the Confederate States of America
than has been Accomplished for Many
Years Since.

Colonel Richard L. Maury, a son of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, has written for the Times-Dispatch an extremely interesting article on the invention and use of torpedoes, in which his father was the pioneer, and to the perfection of which he, himself, and other brave naval officers of the Confederacy devoted themselves with all the abandon which a devotion to a cause for the cause's sake can evoke. The interest caused by the destruction of Russian vessels by means of torpedoes gives increased interest to the article which is printed in full below:

The wonderful achievements of Japan, with her ironclad rams and torpedoes, should be specially interesting to your readers, because of the fact that these mighty engines of modern war, as successful appliances, had their origin in Virginia, were designed in Richmond and were first successfully used in the waters of James river. With them continually developed and improved by the fertile brain of her many clever officers, and by them operated with a daring and self-sacrifice never equalled, the Confederate navy totally revolutionized naval warfare, and, though barren of resources, of shops, machinery and experienced mechanics fully to avail of the many improvements and inventions they made, yet with her novel system of torpedoes accomplished more in her several years than with all the great advancement of scientific knowledge, improvements in mechanical construction and familiarity with electrical force during subsequent years, other nations have been able since to do.

In 1865 the Secretary of the United States navy reported to Congress that the navy had lost more ships during the war from Confed-