Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 24.djvu/296
288 Southern Historical Society Papers.
paragraph the announcement of the purpose for which it was writ- ten; and on the seventh page the reason for numerous omissions of events entitled to consideration, as well as the expression of the hope that such omissions would be more than supplied by the reports and contributions of the actors in those events.
The motive which impelled me to an unwonted labor, that of writ- ing a book, was from historical data to vindicate the cause of the Southern people, and to show that their conduct was worthy of their cause; a brief narration of military, naval, and civil affairs was an- nexed ; but the reader was notified that I did not attempt to give an accurate account of all the important transactions of the war. Your letter indicates that you feel aggrieved because of General G. J. Rains being alone mentioned in connection with torpedoes. You infer that it will hereafter be supposed he was awarded the whol*i credit for that means of defence. I do not see that the text justifies such a conclusion, for on the page to which you refer me 207 2 I wrote of torpedoes as a means known but undeveloped, adding: " It remained for the skill and ingenuity of our officers to briiv. use of this terrible instrument to a perfection."
At a date long before this perfection had been attained General Rains is named incidentally with the order putting him in charge of submarine defences and the first rudely constructed torpedo c t! "Drewry's Bluff."
He had previously been distinguished by first using 'sub-ti na shells with sensitive primers. See page 97, Vol. 2.
On page 102, Vol. 2, you may see to-what I attributed'the repulse of the enemy's fleet at Drewry's Bluff, and that the enemy", lik* my- self, thought it was our artillerists and riflemen who disabled and drove off the fleet.
It seems to me that the remark "the secret of all his (Rains') future success consisted in the sensitive primer," is by no means a denial that success was obtained by other persons emplovin^ different methods. The description of the simple torpedoes emp. ' ed by him was evidently not intended to apply to the large mines with electrical batteries of others, or to the various forms of tor;.
To our embarrassed condition I thought and think the small per- cussion torpedoes were best adapted, because an electric station, unless adequately protected, was liable to capture bv a boat's crew, which would render the mine useless, and also lu MM the mine with its battery was expensive, and had on an important occasion proved a failure.