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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

November-December 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, November 12, 1861.

The James’s Rifled Cannon.

J. W. Martin, Lieutenant commanding Sec. Battery K, Ninth Regiment, N. Y. S. M., in his official report of the engagement at Harper’s Ferry and Bolivar, Va., on the 16th inst., says:

The latter (the James’s), however, in this as well as other actions at Pritchard’s Mill, Berlin, and Point of Rocks, at which I have used them, and the results of which I have reported to your heretofore, worked very badly. Of the five shells that I threw at the enemy on Loudon, two failed to explode, and as an instance of what great deviation is caused by the lead flying off from the shell, which is always the case with this projectile, I need only remark that with the same elevation on shell struck half way up the mountain-the other clear over it. The leaden band would sometimes leave the projectile whole, and at others would fly off small pieces--in one case not ten feet from the gun. You will at once see how little reliance can be placed on those shot and shell.

We notice that eighty-four of these guns have been ordered for the Illinois troops.

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