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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/341

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The First Marine Torpedoes.

cessfully employed but two or three times during the Confederate war" shows great ignorance.

They were successfully employed every hour of every day in every river and harbor in the South from the time Captain Maury first placed them in James River (1861) until the end of the war, in that their presence, successfully kept the Federal fleet from entering our many undefended rivers and harbors from Virginia to Texas. It suggested that a torpedo which successfully keeps away many ships is far more successfully used than if it had been successfully exploded and destroyed one.

But such was by no means the only successful use of Confederate torpedoes, for they were also successfully employed in the actual destruction of more (Federal) ships than all nations combined have since been able to effect in all the forty years since passed, and with all their improved modern facilities, knowledge and appliances.

Admiral Bradford, U. S. N., gives a list of thirty-four United States vessels destroyed or injured by Confederate torpedoes.

Lieutenant Scharf, C. S. N. gives a list of forty. General Rains, C. S. A., says that the number was fifty-eight. No matter which is correct, for the smallest number of the United States admiral is more than sufficient to refute the "two or three" of the Tribune's writer, and what will he say to the statement of the United States Secretary of the Navy in his report to Congress in 1865, "that the navy had lost more vessels from Confederate torpedoes than from all other causes combined?"

Richard L. Maury,
Colonel 24 Virginia Infantry, Pickett's Division.