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214

AMERICAN ORDNANCE.

[SECT. VIII.

the river navy.

Final strength of ing the contest. It reached at last more than a hundred steamers, all of them fully, and many of them powerfully armed.

The account of the creation of the Navy and Army contained in this and the preceding chapter may perhaps be appropriately closed by some statements in relation to the changes which took place in cannon.

American naval artillerists have preferred a heavy smashing shot to a smaller and swifter one.

Armament of En

Up to 1860 the eight-inch gun was regarded in the English navy as the heaviest and most pow glish and Ameri- erful that could be safely used on board a ship. It has been already remarked (p. 205) that, in the war of 1812, American ships were much more powerfully armed than English ones of nominally the same rate. This principle was steadily kept in view, and experiments continually made under the direction of the government, until, in 1856, frigates were armed with nine, ten, and eleven inch shell guns. Some of these were of the form known as Columbiads; they gren, and Parrott were, however, gradually displaced by those invented by Dahlgren. During the war, both in the land and sea services, the Parrott gun was largely used. It consists of a casting bored out and rifled, and then strengthened by a band of wrought iron shrunk on the breech. These rifles have been made up to the size of a 300-pounder.

Columbiad, Dahl

guns.

Peculiarities of American naval artillery.

The Rodman gun.

The Rodman gun, which has successfully attained a bore of twenty inches, is cast upon peculiar principles. There is a core of iron in the centre of the mould, and a stream of water is introduced from a hydrant into that core. The metal, being poured into the mould, is thus cooled from the interior to the exterior. The water is introduced to the bottom of the

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CHAP. XLV.]

215

core through a pipe going down its centre, and flows off at the top. The process goes on during the pouring in and cooling of the metal. The guns made by this method are much stronger than if made by the method of solid casting.

AMERICAN ORDNANCE.

The twenty-inch gun is fired with a charge of 200 pounds of powder; its shot weighs 1100 pounds. Its range, at 25 degrees of elevation, is more than four and a half miles.

The Navy Department possessed, in March, 1861, 2468 heavy guns. Of these many were seized at the Norfolk navy yard, and most of the remainder were on board ships scattered in distant seas. Mr. Boynton, to whose work already quoted I am indebted for many of these facts, affirms that the Navy Department had at its disposal little more than fifty really efficient guns when the conflict began.

Number of guns at
the beginning of
the war.

In November, 1863, the number was 2811, of the most Number at the end approved modern patterns. About 800 of them were nine-inch and eleven-inch Dahlgrens, 700 were heavy rifles, and 36 were of fifteen inches.

of 1963.

SECTION IX.

PRELUDE TO THE GREAT CAMPAIGNS.

CHAPTER XLVI.

TRANSACTIONS, CIVIL AND MILITARY, IN KENTUCKY.

Introductory remarks to this section.

The Confederates intended to use the Border States as a barrier to screen themselves from the attacks of the government. Their partisans in those states endeavored to assume a position of ostensible neutrality.

The Governor of Kentucky, in opposition to its Legislature, attempted to carry the state over to the Confederacy.

It was found impossible to maintain neutrality. Kentucky was invaded both by Confederate and national troops; by the former a blockade of the Mississippi was established at Columbus.

SEVERAL events took place in the year 1861 which, Minor military af- though they can not be regarded in a mili fairs of 1861. tary point of view as important, or as influencing, except indirectly, the course of the war, demand, nevertheless, a passing notice. They occurred at a period of great public depression in the North, and of excitement in the South, and hence assumed a prominence which did not truly belong to them. Among them may be mentioned the operations in Missouri, those in Northwestern Virginia, the affair at Bethel, the tragedy at Ball's Bluff. Doubtless they were all illustrated with many signal instances of military skill and daring on subordinate char- each side, and yet they must be regarded as unessential parts of the grand and bloody drama about to be enacted. They were incidents, or merely personal encounters. In the brilliancy of the

Their correct and

acter.

CHAP. XLVI.]

217

great events by which they were followed, these little ones become almost invisible.

During 1861 the government had not a just conception of the form which the war must necessarily assume in order to obtain decisive results. Political considerations completely outweighed the military. This was no more than might have been expected. The cabinet had been drawn from civil life. It had not yet rejected the fallacy that the military must always be subordinate to the political idea. Appalling disasters occurred before it fully perceived how frequently that maxim has to be reversed.

Relation of political and military ideas.

MINOR WAR MOVEMENTS.

If it became necessary to assure the Unionists of Missouri, or those of Northwestern Virginia, or to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, or to threaten Norfolk, expeditions were arranged for each purpose, and a great army frittered away. The battle of Bull Run was fought with less than 30,000 men, when there would have been no difficulty in bringing into action 60,000. The cabinet had yet to learn that a great victory won at a decisive point satisfies a thousand distant political demands-it had yet to see the Mississippi opened by operations, not in its stream, but far in its rear-it had yet to see Charleston, after resisting the most powerful direct attacks, fall helplessly by the march of an army a hundred miles distant in the interior.

By degrees the correct ideas of professional military men forced their way, and affairs which, to the eye of inexperience, seemed of signal moment, dwarfed to their true proportions, and stood in their proper attitude of insignificance.

In the three chapters of this section, I shall briefly reGrouping of these late the more interesting of these military affairs and the political movements connect

minor affairs.

Early war movements incorrect.

218

[SECT. IX.

ed with them, considering them under the titles of transactions in Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia respectively. Their disconnected character and their subordinate relation to the great and decisive campaigns will be recognized without difficulty. They form, in reality, only a prelude to the true war.

The Border States consist of the most northerly tier of slave states. They are Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware. Though per haps not correctly, Tennessee is often numbered among them.

The Border States.

products,

The agricultural products of these states are such as Their agricultural belong to a temperate climate. The easterly ones produce breadstuffs and tobacco; the westerly have, in addition, hemp and live-stock. The value of slave labor is by no means so great in them as in the Gulf States, but in most of them negroes could be raised for sale very profitably. This gave them an identity of interest with the cotton-growing regions at the South.

and their population.

follows:

THE BORDER STATES.

From the census of 1860 it appears that the population of the Border States was as

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position.

They stretch from beyond the Mississippi to the AtTheir geographical lantic, forming a great bulwark, protecting the cotton region from the contact of the North, and are nearly divided asunder by the Free State Illinois, which, toward the south, being bounded by the

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