| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
 Some very cruel work was done during the war with
torpedoes. When Richmond was evacuated, the troops
were sent into the city with orders to move very carefully
for it was reported that the streets had been filled with
torpedoes. You can easily imagine what the explosion of one
of these under foot would do. Fortunately, however, when
the Confederates had put these torpedoes into the ground,
they had marked the location of them all with little red
flags, that they themselves might know where not to step.
In the rush and hurry of leaving the city, these flags had
been entirely forgotten. It was very fortunate for the
Union soldiers that they had been left standing there,
warning them as well as the Confederates where not to step.
Torpedoes were put in the harbors, too. Did you ever see
a three-tined prong attached to a torpedo in the water?
The prong is fastened to the torpedo in such a way that
when a vessel comes sailing along, it would strike against
those little hooks. That would move the lever connected
with the trigger of the pistol within, and a fearful explosion
would be the result. Thousands of brave men's lives have
been lost in this cruel way; and if it is a good thing to kill
off thousands of men and blow them in pieces, then
torpedoes are, I suppose, a very good thing. They are spoken
of as one of the improvements of modern warfare. What
do you think, boys?
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics