Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/16

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

it to set up a claim without having a knowledge of the facts? And those too who having that dangerous "little knowledge" may constantly employ it, as they have already done, until public opinion accepts it as its guide.

I cannot conclude without a few words more in reference to my ever kind and lamented friend Captain Maury. He went from the South to England, where he continued to make experiments in electricity applicable to torpedo warfare, and discovered a most ingenious method of arranging and testing torpedo mines, which I believe is his patent, and was shown me by him in the winter of 1864 and '65.

The fact that there was no practical result from his experiments the few months he carried them on in the South, is due simply to the want of time to organize his forces and collect material, though his experiments served to mark some of the shoals on the way, if not the channel to success. But even had he remained to develop the system, and given it the greater impress of his genius, no success in consequence could have added much to the world-wide fame he had already acquired.

To the Hon. S. R. Mallory, who always believed in the success of the undertaking from the first, and ever gave me a firm and kind support, and materially aided me with his advice; to Captain Jno. M. Brooke, then Chief of the Naval Bureau of Ordnance, and to my electrician, R. O. Crowley, I am in a great measure indebted for the success which I here claim entitles me to be known as having made the first successful application of electrical torpedoes, or submarine mines in time of war, and as a system of defence.

Hunter Davidson.


The Relative Strength of the Armies of Generals Lee and Grant.

[The relative strength of the Federal and Confederate armies is a matter of great importance, and its proper solution is surrounded by obvious difficulties. Even our own people are in profound ignorance of the great odds against which we fought, while Northern writers have persistently misrepresented the facts. We feel, therefore, that we will be doing valuable service in publishing in our Papers the following letter of General Early to the London Standard in reply to General Badeau, General Grant's staff officer and biographer.]


To a people overpowered and crushed in a struggle for their