Hemingford herald. (Hemingford, Box Butte County, Neb.) 1895-190?, May 27, 1898, Image 3

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The secretary of the navy recently
uent a message to the men of the fleet,
says Pnrk Benjamin In tlie Independ
ent, encouraging them to emulate the
example of Admiral Farrngut, since
which time several Journals have re
ferred to Farragut's famous ascent of
the rigging of the Hartford during the
passage of the forts at Mobile as u
proceeding which might with advantage
be copied by the commanders of our
present ships. The truth Is that for
anyone to expose himself to an open
deck In an action between battleships
or cruisers Is almost certain destruc
tion, and In all vessels In which the
plating of the superstructure Is not
sufficient to keep out machine-gun pro
jectiles the loss of life will probably be
greater than has ever happened before
In naval conflicts. Some vessels,
though by no means all, are provided
with armor; but It Is not true, as Is
generally supposed, that the armor Is
there nrlmnrllv lo shield the men. Its
function Is to protect the guns, the1
motive power and sulllclent or tlie
compartments Into which the ship Is
divided to keep her nlloat, even IT nil
the others are Injured.
In our last war the forts at Mobile
and New Orleans used grape and can
ister shot with much effect at very
close range. At long range, shells and
the flying splinters of wooden vessels
were the principal agents of wholesale
destruction. Hut now the huge shells
will begin tb come on board from the
high-power guns when the contending
vessels are nearly three miles apart.
The largest guns, twelve and thlrteen
Inch caliber, can be loaded and tired
almost once every three minutes. At
a little less than two miles' distance
the five and six-Inch rapid-firing guns
will begin to pour In their projectiles,
and these weapons can be loaded and
fired at the rate of from seven to fifteen
aimed shots per minute. Then come
the slx-poundei guns, delivering forty
shots per minute, the one-pounders,
throwing a shot per minute.the machine
one-pounders (Maxim Nordenfeldt),
two hundred shots per minute, and so
on up to the Gatllngs, fed automatic,
ally by electric motors and projecting
bullets at the rate of 3,000 per minute.
A man might brave a storm of grape
and bullets with a chance of escape:
but the battle of the Valu river showed
that under the quirk-fire hall of the
Japanese ships the slaughter on the
Chinese ships was so frightful that the
Chinese with all their stolid contempi
for death could hardly be kept at
their posts. So fierce was the storm of
teel around the attacked vessels that
the sea was literally lashed into foam
by It.
Of course, there Is no place on board
a warship in action which Is ever rea
sonably safe. The marines stationed
In the military tops are likely to be
cwept out by quick-fire hall, and the
coal passers down In the bunkers or the
engineers In the tangle of steam ma
chinery are In as Imminent danger of
death through Injuries to the boilers
and the scalding of escaping steam.
Of all on board the man who stands
In the greatest peril is the captain. In
the battleships and cruisers his position
Is in a cylindrical box of steel placed
Just under the bridge, well forward,
which is called the conning tower. The
armor of It is thick enough, ordlnar
tv tn i-oalat tlio nonet rntlnn of heavv
projectiles. It contains the speaking
tubes ana electrical wires wnereuy nu
communicates with the guns, engines
and helm, and sometimes apparatus
whereby he Is enabled to fire the guns
nimseii niter tney are una ujjuh me
nemy. His field of vision is limited to
what he can see through a little hori
zontal silt on about the level of his
eye. In point of frightful responsibility
no situation In the world can compare
with that which Is occupied by the man
who stands In that tower and directs
the movement of his ship. After the
conflict once begins the din about him
will be something Infernal. Upon him
trated, and upon the exterior of that
the fire of the enemy will be concen
steel drum In which he Is shut up there
will be a continuous hall of Iron and
steel. Shells will burst everywhere
around it, and to that babel will be
added the roar of the force blast under
the engines, the tremendous reports of
the heavy guns, and the din of the
quick-fire and machine guns In chorus.
In such circumstances as this, aided by
uch knowledge as he can get by look
ing out through the little peephole In
front of him, as well as the smoke will
let him, the captain must control the
tremendous forces under his command,
and his declslcn3 are matters of sec
onds. Nobody now believes that a captain
who finds his vision through the slits
of the tower cut off by smoke will stay
thus shut up. It is extremely doubtful
if It will be physically possible for him
to remain there nfter the shells begin
to hammer its sides and burst against
it; and, In any event, the Intense anxi
ety to see and know clearly what the
enemy is dcing will Inevitably lead
him to take his chances in the open.
Conning tower or no conning tower, his
duty Is to place himself at whatever
point he can manage his ship to the
best advantage, and this he will cer
tainly do. Lord Charles Beresford.
with grim humor, has suggested that
the captain's safest place Is not in but
behind his conning tower, "because
then he has two thicknesses of steel
between himself and the enemy, don't
you see?" But while conning tower
armor may resist penetration, it is oy
no means certain that the whole struc
ture will not be swept away by the
first heavy projectile which squarely
As for the admiral, there Is nowadays
no rigging for him to ascend, and he
would be promptly blown out of It If
there were. In fact, after a fleet en
gagement has begun, there Is no place
for him at all. He has no business In
the conning tower, no business at the
guns. He cannot very consistently go
below, and he cannot stay on deck. It
has been proposed to build a separate
armored tower for him, or to take him
off the flagship and put him on a small,
swift vessel, so that he could choose
his position and conveniently give his
orders by signals. The dllilculty with
this would be that the enemy would
concentrate his fire on that tower or
shin, with the certainty of sinking the
latter and rendering the former unin
habitable. The problem, therefoie, Is
still unsolved.
Against the effect of n torpedo. If It
gets to the hull, there Is no safeguard.
The heaviest battle ship is Just as
vulnerable as the lightest gunboat. The
best that can be hoped is that the
destruction will be limited to few com
partments, so that those remaining In
tact will be sutllclent to keep the ship
afloat. But this only puts off the evil
hour. As the vessel becomes water
logged, her speed falls off und her
maneuvering capacity is reduced, so
that the enemy may then pick his po
sition of advantage and shatter her
with his guns or administer n coupe
de grace with another torpedo.
Altogether, the prospects of one's
coming out of n naval engagement tin.
wounded stand a poorer chance than
was the case In the old wooden ships.
How the surgeons are to get at them,
with the vessel divided Into n honey
comb of compartments with no direct
Interconnection where they can be con
veyed directly from the guns without
traversing doors and passages Intri
cate and many, Is difficult to under
stand. Those who happen to be stn
ttoned In the battleships directly over
the torpedo or handling rooms mny per
haps be lowered at once to surpenus
there placed; but what Is to become of
the rest In more distant positions Is not
All of this goes to show the great ad
vantage of the almost perfect dtsclpllno
and drill now prevailing In the navy.
Indeed, it never has been so completely
recognized as It Is at the present day
thnt the best protection for n war
ship's crew Is their own lighting ca
pacity. No armor is so efllclent as ce
lerity of action and good gunnery. That
ship will win. and Incidentally save the
greater numbei of lives of Its men,
which first plants an effective projectile
in a vltnl part of the enemy. The sen
fight will not be gained by the ship
which withstands the most pounding,
but by the ship which pounds hardest
and quickest, nnd so destroys or Im
pairs her antagonist's pounding capa
city. It Is that swift attack and supe
rior markmnnshlp which, above all
else, characterize the crews of the war.
ships of the United Stales, and It Is In
Just this that the Spaniards are most
The submarine mine has only one use
namely, that of coast defense. In this
respect It Is superior to all the battle
ships In the world. Where the battle- ;
ship leaves off, because It cannot run
In shallow water, the submarine mine
begins, i
Submarine mining began with the
Germans, who began using It with
great effect In the Franco-Prussian war
and kept the French fleet from bom
barding the forts. In those days, how
ever, only the crudest of submarine
mines were Invented, nnd they did not
nlways explode. They had to be plant
ed In great numbers and experts were
satisfied If one out of six responded.
The submarine mine to the lay reader
means only an explosive and to even
tlie average close reader the submarine
mine Is a ball of high explosive so ar-
ranged that when a vessel sails over!
it an explosion will take place and the
vessel be destroyed.
Such a mine Is, however, far too
crude for the use of the navy. It would
be very dangerous to locate mines In
this loose, uncertain fnshlo: and It Is
safe to say that not one ot these con-,
tact mines now exists, outside of a few
small ports.
To explain the use of mines, It Is nec
essary to distinguish between the dlf-,
ferent kinds of mines. There are three,
namely, the "contact," the "observa
tion" and the "ground mine." The ob- ,
servatlon mine and the ground mine
are the ones most In use, nnd of these
two the ground mine Is used more than
the other.
The contact mine Is a simple little ar
rangement by which a ball of dyna
mite Is lowered to a point about eight
feet below the surface of the water. It
which rests on the bottom of the ocean.
The ball of dynamites has several
points which on being touched are
driven Into the center of the ball and
an explosion takes place.
As will be seen, this must be greatly
affected by the tides. At times the ball
will be a great distance below the sur
face of the water; again it will be near
the surface. All will depend upon the
To do damage to the bottom of an
Ironclad, the explosion must take place
at least eight feet below the water line,
and the submarine mine must be locat
ed so that It will strike the Ironclad
six feet under water. This, with the
ever-changing tide, Is such a difficult
matter that the contact mine Is almost
useless except when the tide Is at cer
tain heights.
Another bad point about the simple
contact mine Is that It gets uncontroll
able. The Iron sinker, no matter how
heavy It might be, Is apt to become
knocked around by the waves, and the
mine gets floated out to sea, ready to
do damage to friend as well as to foe.
The mine which Is more generally
used is the observation mine. This Is
in three parts. To an observer who can
be permitted a glimpse underneath the
surface of the water the observation
mine consists of three balls. One three
feet below the water, another eight feet
below the water and the third lying on
the bed of the ocean. These three are
Joined together by a cable. The top one
is the observatory. This consists of a
globe with two points upon It. On being
touched these points sink Into the globe
and complete a circuit. This circuit
communicates with a station on the
shore. As the points are driven Into
the top globe a bell, Is rung at the sta
tion and the engineer In charge real
izes that a ship Is passing over the
mine. He looks out to see If It be a
friend or foe. If It Is a foe he touches
a button and completes the circuit
which discharges the mine. The explo
sive lies In the middle bulb, or the one
which Is about eight feet below the up
per bulb.
In case a friendly ship has passed
over the little observatory bulb the
engineer does not touch the button and
no explosion takes plnce. These are ex
tremely safe mines and are Inexpensive.
They can be planted In any harbor
without danger to merchant ships.
The big ground mine Is the one upon
which we rely for coast defense. This
mine consists of a very large bulb of
high explosive. It lies on or near the
bottom of the ocean directly In the
channel over which the ships pass. It
is connected with the shore by two
circuits. These circuits pass Into sta
tions which are widely separated. They
often lie upon opposite sides of the river
so that the officers In charge of the
stations which controls the submarine
mine are separated by a broad expanse
of water.
In order to explode one of the ground
mines there must be simultaneous ac
tion on the part of the engineers In
their stations on opposite sides of the
river. They must both act at once or
the mine will not explode. The man
ner In which this done can best be
explained by nn Illustration. Engineer
A. on the west side of the river. Is seat
ed In a little room. He is provided with
a telescope which sights the harbor. En
gineer B Is on the other side of the
river He Is seated In a small room nnd
is also provided with a telescope which
overlooks the sea. Both engineers are
connected by electric circuits with the
submarine mine which lies In the mid
dle of the harbor. The telescopps are
remarkable ones that nre made by
I government electricians In the govern
ment electrical works. They have no
other work to do thnn to assist In the
explosion of the mine
When n hostile ship Is sighted both
engineers turn their telescopes upon It.
As It draws near both of them keep It
In sight, swinging their telescopes ns
the ship approaches. When It gcti
directly over the mine the telescopes
are focused simultaneously upon It and
the mechanism of the telescopos Is so
nrinuged thnt they complete the circuit
of explosion nnd the mine goes off. This
Is odne without any touch of the button
nnd without any effort whatever upon
the part of the engineer. He has only
to center his telescope upon the ship
and to watch It ns It slowly comes up
the harbor.
When the explosion takes place, the
ship Is supposed to be blown Into atoms
and the work of the engineer Is done
until such time ns nnother mine can be
This very elaborate mechanism was
provided In order to save valuable
ground mines from being destroyed
prematurely. These mines. In their
mechanism nnd const met Ion, cost the
government $5,000 each and were they
to be prematurely destroyed It would bo
a great loss to the government.
It wttB feared that In the excitement
of sighting n warship the engineer
might touch the button by accident or
might mnke a mistake In the location
of tlie ship, therefor the twin telescopes,
each with their nutomatlc circuits were
nrranged on opposite ports, and with
grent success. This bus not been tried
upon a warship as yet, but Its experi
ments have been so highly satisfactory
that there is no doubt of Its successful
working nt the critical moment.
It Is estimated that It needs a pres
sure of 12,000 pounds per square Inch to
blow a hole through the bottom of a
modern warship. This Is an Immense
power, and while It worked In the case
of the Maine It might not do as well
with a ship In motion. The Mnlne lay
nt anchor In Havana hnrbor and was
an easy prey to the mine, which was
unodubtedly raised until It almost
touched Its bottom. But with a ship In
motion on a tcsslng sen It will be diffi
cult to lay the mine against her and
therefore much of the power might be
In case of the loss of power, engineers
estimate that the explosion would dam
age the ship's mechanism very seriously
and the mere force of the explosion
would cause Its engines Inside to ex.
plode nnd the ship would blow Itself
up. If no explosion were to take place
the boilers nt leost would bo damaged
and the whole ship thrown out of work
ing order. Gun cotton, dynamite and
explosive gelntlne are the high explo
sives used at present with submarine
In every port of the United States
there Is a carefully devised system of
mines, and In case of the Instant de
structlon of n mine nil the forts are
equipped with storehouses, and there
Is every preparation to restore them at
n moment's notice.
There was considerable consternation
caused In naval circles two weeks ago
when It was learned thnt the submutino
mines nt Fort Wasdworth had been cut,
presumably by a Spanish spy. Nnvnl
olllcers, however, restored these mines
so quickly that the secretary of the
nevy gave himself no uneasiness about
There la great activity In the mule
market of St. Louis and Kansas City,
Mo., Memphis, Tenn., nnd Louisville,
Ky., consequent upon the fact that the
government Is buying up every avail
able mule of standard weight and pro
portion for use In the army of Cuban
The army mule won hl3 place In his
tory during the civil war. A great gen
eral said that In war soldiers were nec
essary, but that mules were Indispen
sable. The qualities which make the mule
more serviceable In battle than the
horse are his hardiness, his equanimity
and his Judgment. This Inst article has
been named Etupldlty. That is a libel.
The mule Is conservative, but well
balanced. He never loses his head. He
does not get excited. Even when he Is
Indulging In a runaway he keeps cool
and steers clear of danger, where a
horse would plunge blindly Into It.
The horse Is the mule's superior on
the battlefield only for purposes of
flight, and as there Is going to he no
fleeing on this side of the line In Cuba
the mule's lack of speed will not In
terfere with his usefulness.
Dr. Edward N. Farrell, the govern
ment mule expert at St. Louis, says
that for army purposes mules are di
vided Into four classes. There are
wheel mules, swing mules, lead mules
and pack mules. The wheel mule is the
largest, and is so called because he is
hitched nearest the wagon. He Is the
king of army mules.
"He Is the long-legged, big-eared,
short-buckled animal that Is supposed
to hunch himself up and pull like blazes
when the wagon gets stuck. This Is
merely a supposition, however. Maybe
he will do all these commendable things
and maybe he wont. It depends entirely
on how his last meal agreed with him
and whether he Is In the right humor.
The mule disposition Is uncertain, nnd
Uncle Sam's nnlmals are no different
from any others In this respect. In ad
dition to being 16 hands high, the
'wheeler' must weigh nt least 1.200
pounds. When he throws that weight
of bone, muscle and stubbornness Into
any cause, be It good or bad, some
thing is sure to come.
"The 'swing mule' Is the middleman
in a slx-anlmal team. He Is the chap
that takes up all the slack left by the
'wheeler.' He must be 15 hands high
and must weigh about 1.030 pounds. So
far as his other peculiarities are con
cerned, he Is much like the 'wheeler,'
only worse, because a shade smaller.
"The 'lead mule' Is the anlmnl that
pulls along to suit himself ahead of all
the rest. He Is a chunky, 15-hand an
imal, and weighs about 950 pounds.
"Last, but not least, Is the 'pack
mule,' a blocky animal. 15 hands high,
and weighing an even 1,000 pounds. The
pack mule Is supposed to carry a load
larger than himself. I don't think It
has ever been definitely nscertnlned
Just how much he can carry. At any
rate, the 'packer always feels Justified
in strapping on his back all that can
be piled on. The average price of the
army mule a week ago was $31. but the
price is steadily advancing wider the
Some few years ago a well known
gambler of this city went to one of the
pilnclpal churches one Sundny. and was
seated by the usher In the pew of an
old and conservative New Yorker, who
came In later, and, on finding the gam
bler seated In his pew, handed him his
card, on the back of which he had writ,
ten. "This Is my pow." The gambler"
returned the card, having written on It
"A pretty d d poor pew."
"If," mused the suburbanite, who had
been rending the poem beginning:
"O, for a lodge In some vast wilder
ness "
"If Cowper were alive today he would
have a hard time ducglng the folks
who nre anxious to dlspos of suburban
residences at a sacrifice. "
-- - - - -
So much In. aginary stuff has been clr
t Minted nbout Tuba by valiant war vor-
spoudeuts who remained nt snf tatuci
from the Islnnd, that one hardly kn ws
where to draw the line between fact
and fiction, and doubtless, whllo some
times being fcoled by clever fulsehojds,
we hnve discredited strange things
which actually occurred. At first no
body really believed that there were
women In the Cuban army, though the
newspapers printed romantic tnles of
their exploits. The truth Is that from
the outset fen ale soldiers have played
no unlinportnnt part In the struggle for
Independence. General Wcyler admitted
their dangerous zeal when he first us
fu med conininnd In Cuba. In an Inter
view with nn American corespondent
he said: "Yes, we captured a woman
yesterday. She was white, too, and
good looking. Most of thene Amazons
ate colored. This one wus diosscd !n
men's clothes, nstrlde a powerful horse
and wielding her mnchete like the devil
Th'se women soldiers nre fiercer than
men. they tide and fight like furies.
Where Is she now? In Morro Castle, oi
couise. What will be done with her?
Well" nnd a charnetetlstlc shrug, ac
companied by a gleam In the cruel eyo
which boded no good to the captive,
finished the sentence.
Maceo, the mulatto Insurgent leader,
had more than 100 female soldiers
(mostly colored) In his company. Gomez
nlso had u gcod many, nnd so hns Cal
Izto Alvarez, the chltf from the eastern
district of San Jago de Cuba. The ma
jority abandoned small farms and
plantations to follow tho fortunes of
their husbands, and though all carry
machetes and revolvers, their chief
duty Is to gather up and succor the
wounded that fall In battle. Many of
them are wives und mothers women
of dignity und eduction not conrse and
shameless Airnzons such as the Span
ish authorities have described. As a
race, the Cuban women are the most
true-henrted, simple nnd domestic In
the civilized world, devoted to their
homes and ink ring their husbnuds and
children. They are at dent patriots too,
and have shown themselves strongs
than their lctds In nd versify and more
serene in martyrdom. But their cheeks
glow pale at the thought of Innumer
able crimes committed upon their sex
In this and other Cuban wars. The
first went to the field with their hits
bands and fathers for the sake of pro
tection. While misrule prevailed
through the Islnnd Spanish soldiers
and murderous banditti Infesting the
hlghwnys, looting plantations and per
pelrntlng nil mnnner of atrocities no
woman was safe at home without her
natural protector. In come cases gentle
Indies were transformed Into avenging
furies, seeing their loved ones butch
ered. Afterward they fought shoulder
to shoulder with the men, led dnrlng
raids and applied the torch In a thou
sand places; and many of them now
sleep In unmarked graves. Many
women, not "trained" or Red Cross
nurses, are caring for the sick and
wounded in Insurgent camps. Children
hnve been born upon the battle field,
i whose mothers did not fonr death so
much as the horrors that might await
them at home.
i Mrs. Kate Mnstorson, who, by the
way, has written some most graphic
pictures of JIfe In Cuba, spenks of
woman's part In this war as follows:
"From this beautiful summer land
one cry goes up which is heard over
the din of battle and the clash of
arms. It Is the wall of the desolnte
women. They nre mourning for their
loved ones and their tenrs are falling
upon new-made graves nil over the
Islnnd. Their soft eyes have looked
upon ghastly bonfires In which the
bodies of their bnbles have been the
fuel which fed the flames. Their cry
Is more eloquent than all the ruin nnd
desolation In this fair land of graves.
Like Easter lilies, bent and stalnd
with patriot blood like the roses,
trampled in the earth and drenched
with mire, are the hearts of these
poor women. Many of them hnve lost
all they possess through this war not
only husbands, sons nnd daughters,
relatives nnd friends, but their plan
tations nave been burned nnd their
fortunes swept nway. They are willing
to give everything to Cuba glad to
see their sugar cane go up In smoke
since thereby Its revenue will be lost
to Spain. Some of them sold their
Jewels when nil their money was gone.
In order lo send medicine nnd lint to
the rebels. In every Cuban home a
sum Is set aside out of each day's
household money to send to the Held."
There have been traitors In Cuba
but they were never women. As a rule
they are better conspirators than their
fathers nnd brothers, because they
know the value of silence. They are
tireless nnd successful In their efforts
to get food nnd medicine to the rebels,
and word from one scattered band to
another. Delicate senorltns, renred In
southern seclusion, dressed In boys'
clothes, steal out nt night to the nenr
by haunts of lovers or brothers, In the
"long grass," as the Insurgent camps
are called. They secrete food In false
pockets, hide letters, whose envelopes
have been dipped In Ink, In their abund
ant black hair; carry medicine In their
scent bottles nnd umbrella handles,
cloth for clothes or bandages In the
lining of their garments. One girl, the
only daughter of n once wenlthy family,
has many times cnrrled dynamite to
the woods in eggshells deftly put to
gether. Disguised as a vender, she
has had many thrilling experiences.
Her narrowest escape was when a
SpanlBh soldier stole the bnsket of
supposed eggs and prepared to cook
them by the wayside. Nothing saved
her then but a sudden call from head
quarters which the soldier dared not
There Is no end to the well-authenticated
stories that are told In this line.
Here are a few of them: The very first
Insurgent band of the present war had
Its romance. It started In Matanzas
province, and Its chief was Antonio
Lopez Coloma. In February of 1895,
while his party was hiding In the
woods, near the Ignaclo mill, his
fiancee, Senorlta Amapara Obre, ran
nway from home and Joined him, de
termlned to share his fortunes, what-
ever they might be. Tho party was
soon captured, and the lovers shut up
In the old San Severlno castle at Ma
tanzas, but at opposite ends of the
fortress. The girl was soon released,
but Coloma remnlned some months In
durance vile, and was then transferred
to the Morro, In Havana. Miss Obre
followed, and they were married In
Before Vehultas village was garri
soned some arms belonging to n local
company of volunteers were gathered
In a certain house. The rebel chief,
Estebnn Tamayo, hearing of this, wont
with fifty followers to the residence of
the captain of the Spanish volunteers
and demanded that the arms be given
up to him. No resistance was made,
and Tamayo and his men were soon
provided with guns und cartridges,
only to discover that they had been
rendered useless. Disappointment made
the rebels furious. The Spanish cap.
tain was quickly qourt martlaled, or-
I dered to be shot forthwith, and the
customary number of men was detailed
- -
to carry out the sentence At the crit
ical moment, when the victim stood
looking Into the muzzles of the rifles
aimed at his brenst. a young woman
sprang between, nnd fnclng the rebels,
crlrdr "He will not die before you have
killed n Cuban woman." This bravo
act of devotion so plensed the execu
tioners that they lowered their guns
and left without cnrrylng out the sen
tence. Among the enrly dramatic Incidents
of the war was a mnrrlogc ceremony
performed nt dawn In the mountains of
Puerto Principe. Don Rohenu, n hnnd
some, well. educated young man, heir
to n large estate, was one of the flrt
to enlist with Gomez ns n private. He
has fought bravely nnd been advanced
stop by step, till he Is now major of n
regiment recruited by himself from his
own neighborhood, composed entirely
of his personal friends, who nre nil
llnely-hred young men. Rohenu was In
lovo with a young girl who lived In a
suinll village near his father's estate.
She was In humbler clrcumstnnces than
he, nnd the ilglil rules of Cuban eti
quette kept them apart. But when the
young major first marched through the
town with his splendid company of
men their horses' bridles Were braided
with rHibons, and they wore palm
wreaths twined around their hats In
her honor.
They passed the girl's homo nnd
saluted her ns she stood on the bnl
cony with her mother. Rohenu went
In nnd nsked the pnrcnts If he might
marry their daughter, and tnke her
with htm, us he feared some harm
might befall her In his absence. But
the old folk would not consent, and
finally the young lover yielded tvi their
wishes nnd marched sadly nwny. Two
days later, when he had gone many
miles, the girl dnshed to Ills side
mounted on n horse. She had run nwny
from home to Join her sweetheart.
That night Rohenu sent n guard of two
men with an extra horso nnd empty
saddte, to the house of the nunrest
priest. The terrified padre, expecting
to be killed despite the assurance of
his escort, mounted nnd rode with
them, muttering ave marlan nil the
way. They i cached the hills where the
regiment wns halted Just before day
light; nnd ns dnwn broke from the
east the ylung people were married.
They aro now at Santa Clara, where
Major Robeau hns command of 400
men, operating with Sernphlno Sanchez
nnd his hnnd of 4,000.
When Dnminn Ilornnndez wns sent,
a political exile, to the Isle of Pines
his wife nccompnnletl him that she
might liberate him at the first oppor
tunity. One day. when ho was work
ing with the other prisoners cutting
wood, she engaged the guard, with
whom she had previously made herself
tamlllar, In friendly conversation,
Taking his gun, on pretense of ex
amining It, she suddenly lenped back
ward and pointing It nt his head
threatened him with Instnnt death It
ho moved. Then her husbnnd and his
comrndcB tied the unfortunate man
nnd fled to the conBt. There they com.
pelled the cnptnln of the schooner
Mnrgrltn to sail for Zapata, which
they reached In safety and later they
made thler way to the revolutionary
forces, where Mrs. Hernandez acts bb
Another notnble womnn Is the wife
of Dr. Hernandez of San Cristobal.
She Is young and beautiful, and now In
the Held with her husband, taking an
active part in the fighting. She had
only been mnrrled a year when her
husbnnd was called upon to orgnnlzo
a band of men. He came to his young
wife, who wns nbout to become a
mother, nnd told her that he would do
Just as she had willed, for he felt thnt
his life belonged to her. She an
swered that she wished him to go to
the wnr. In n week he had raised a
band of 500 men and ns they mnrched
out of town they snluted Mrs. Hernnn.
dez. passing her house nnd shouting
"VIvn the Queen of Cuba!" When the
baby was a few days old the Spnnlnrds
took possession of the town. One or
the lleutcnnnts rode Into the Hernandez
parlor on hoseback nnd subjected the
young mother to threats and Insults.
That night she got n horse nnd with
the child In her arms went to Join her
husband, riding many miles through
the Cuban hills until she found him.
"There Is no kind of n naval vessel
that could be conscientiously recom
mended In time of war as a sanitari
um," drawled Captain Schley one day
to me In his Inlmltnble way. "But of
all the various craft, big and little,
thnt constitute n modern fleet there Is
none so thoroughly undesirable to the
searcher after a safe and easy berth
as a torpedo boat."
The man on the torpedo bont has
three-sixteenths of nn Inch of steel be
tween him nnd the sea that Is hungrily
watching Its chnnce to swallow him.
The boat could be cut In two with n
can opener. Not only would Its walls
give way like tissue paper before the
lire of great guns, rapid-fire guns nnd
mnchlne guns, but they would not re
sist a bullet from a hand rifle, or even
n good sized revolver.
On an ordinary vessel there Is some
chance of getting behind something
that might concelvnbly turn a projec
tile. The crew of a torpedo boat Is
practically In the open air. Any shot
that strikes the open craft will search
It from end to end like nn X ray.
Torpedo boats are divided Into three
classes. The third class now Is consid
ered obsolete. They were small enough
to be cnrrled aboard a ship, for they
were thlrty-tonners, the second class
boats were about sixty-five tons. They
were Intended for harbor service only,
and were not seagoing.
The flrst-clnss boats are sea-going
craft, but are Intended to operate from
a base, for the coal and water storage
capacity Is limited. This precludes a
torpedo boat from .cruising more than
seventy-five to eighty miles from Its
base of supplies. This Is the kind now
relied upon In the navy.
First class beats vary In tonnage from
115 to 175 tons, In length from 140 to
190 feet, and In draught from five to
eight feet. They nre perfectly sea
worthy and can ride out the heaviest
gales. The armament consists of three
to four elghteen-lnch Whitehead torpe
does and three or four one-pounder ma
chine guns. In addition there Is a re
volver and two or three rifles for each
of the twenty-two to thirty men, the
rifles supplied with sword bayonets to
repel boarders
The biggest kind of modern destroyer
hns a length of 220 feet, with a beam
of 2GV feet. The horse power Is about
G.500. driving the boat at a speed of
thirty-one knots or more. The engines
nre triple-expansion, with water tube
boilers. They carry from seven, to a
hundred tons of coal, and at a speed
of eight or nine knots can keep the sea
for a week; so they are Independent of
coaling In a voyuge of botween 1,300
and 1,500 miles, They carry a crew of
about three or four officers and about
forty men. The engines, as you can
see, are all out of proportion to the
craft they drive.
Tho torpedo flotilla In the war flt
lying off Key West Is a little fleet tt
Itself, commanded by Lieutenant Com
mander W. W Kimball. It consists of
the Foote. Lieutenant W. L. Roger
commanding. Ensign R. H Jackson; tho
Pushing, l.lputrnunt A. Cleaves com
manding, Ensign F. P. Baldwin; tho
ICrlcsKon. Lieutenant R. N. Usher com
manding, Passed Assistant Engineer O.
W. Knesler, Ensign U A. Bostwlrk;
the Window, Lieutenant J B. Bernndeu
commanding, the Porter, Lieutenant J.
C. Fremont commanding. Assistant
SurReon 1. V. Olllls; the Uupont. Lteu
tetinnt S. S. Wood commanding, Ensign
F. 11. Clarke, Jr.
The dishing Is one of the best known
of the torpedo boats In the navy. It
has tho longest cruising record, nnd la
known nil the way from Galveston to
Ilnth, Me. Its engines of 1.820 horse
power, can drive It twenty-lhiee knots
(n knot Is 1 1-10 miles) nn hour, To
do this Its twin screws, ench 2 feet 2
Inches In dlntroter with a pilch of 8 feet
( Inches, must make 450 revolutions a
minute. Each of Its cnglneB has five
cylinders, Increasing In diameter from
1H4 Inches for the hlgh-presxure cylin
der to 22 Inches for low-pressure oyl
Inder, with n stroke of 15 Inches. Each
of the two wnter-tuhe hollers has 950
tubes. Stenm Is used nt a pressure to
the square Inch (100 pounds Is a good
pressure on nn ordlnnry holler) and tho
boilers develop 1,820 horse-power.
In dividing such a craft up Internally
usually the shnrp knife-edge how Is
shut off six or tight feet abaft the
stem from the icmnlnder of the boat by
the collision bulkhond, THs division Is
made, first, because nothing could bo
stowed nway In so nnrrow n place so far
forward, and second, to Insure the safe
ty of the boat In case her bows get
stove. TO stave In the bows of a tor
pedo boat Is really quite as easy ns fall
ing off u log, for the boat In all her
pnrts Is made as light us possible. Tho
skin plating Is of the thinnest steel,
the frames nre of light weight, tho
longitudinals nre mere strips of metal.
So thin nnd frail Is the construction of
the boat that If she bumps or runs Into
anything she will be bent out of her
shape, nnd should her bow strike any
hard object like a floating spar or tho
spllo or a dock It would be turned bnck
upon Itself and twisted nil out of shapo.
In much the snme wny as a stiff plcco
of paper would be nfter being crumpled
In the hand.
The mission of the torpedo boat Is to
get close to n warship, lire Its shot
Into the weakest shot and sink tho
ship. Lying low and going nt a great
rate of speed It Is supposed to act llko
a little David killing his Goliath. It
runs up to him. strikes him, strikes
him ngaln and again, nnd then either
fnlls or sees the enemy go down.
No greater heroism Ib required than
this for any tnsk of modern times.
The crow Is a picked one. Fat men
aro not wanted aboard torpedo boats,
nor men who tower head and shoulders
above tho average crowd. Space Is so
valuablo on one of these little marina
sprinters that the cook sleeps In tho
pantry nnd the men hnve to go ashore
to salute their olllcers. All dress in
overalls like laborers and look moro
like bricklayers than marines.
It Is always considered Important In
wnrfare to bring the men Into action in
good physical condition, well fed, com
fortable and with plenty of sleep. Ser
vice on a torpedo boat Is destructive
to all these requirements. The torrlflo
vibration of tho paper-shelled hull,
plunging through the water as, tho
speed of an express train, unsettles tho
strongest stomnch. It Is Impossible to
eat or sleep with comfort In fact, la
the British naval maneuvers the favor
ite menu for the officers of torpedo
boats has been confined to egg-nog.
Tlie service, even In peaceful exercis
es, is so arduous that the crews have to
be changed nt Intervals of a few days.
There Is a warship on the horizon. It
has to be destroyed. Who can do It ex
cept the torpedol
The cnptaln looks at hla ploked crew.
"Ready boys!" means ready for death.
Talk of desperation In the charge of
the Light Brigade there were hundreds
or survivors at that charge, but here Is
u dash from which nobody' expects to
return nllve, nnd In which the only
hope of the men who mnke It Is that
they may hold out long enough to brlns
their enemy down with them.
Quiet groups stand by tho rapid-fire
guns. Suddenly n search-light Hashes on
the horizon. It sweeps the sen from side
to side, and at Inst It touches the tor
pedo hoot ond remains fastened upon It
while every man Is outlined In merci
less shnrpness. It Is the searchlight of
the enemy. The pent-up steam crowds
Into the cylinders under the lash of the
forced draught nnd the boat plunges
along the path of light on Its race of
death. There are two miles to cover
berore it will come In striking distance,
and nlrendy the splaphes of pattering
shots In the wnter tell that the enemy's
secondary battery Is finding the range.
The nerves of every man on board
are keyed up tense ns harp strings. The
eyes of the lookouts peer fiercely
through tho blackness In which, with
nil lights out. the hostile battleship lies
ready to pour destruction on anything
thnt approaches.
The method of attack must now bo
considered. There are two ways, one
Is to stenm up to about COO yards bows
on, stop, flre, and then back straight
out. The other is to steam up, turn
around, firing froTn the deck tubes whllo
turning and steam back at fullest speed.
The advantage Is that the least surface
of the boat Is offered as a target to her
In the second case the objection is
that, while turning, the entire side of
the boat is at the mercy of the enemy's
guns, and the boat's stern with steer
ing gear, etc., is exposed to damage
while runnlnir away. The advantage In
this last method rests In the opportunity
of firing the nfter torpedo tubes ana in
the shorter time the boat is under fire
In the danger space. Like lightning
the captain must decide.
The man behind the gun is the more
important than the gun itself or the
ship that carries It.
He has developed his skill until ho
can put four shots out of five, into a
large target at 2,000 yards; but will his
training serve him now, or will "buck
fever" shake his nerve and destroy his
aim? Yesterday his record In practice
might have been absolute perfection,
and nobody outside his ship would have
thought anything of it. Today tho
world Is waiting to hear of his work,
and two nations nre hanging In feverish
dread on the result.
Will the responsibility unnerve or be
wilder him? It all depends on the stuff
the man behind the gun Is made of.
The hall of projectiles from the bat
tleship's machine guns is doing its
work. The torpedo boat Is riddled; tho
water Is pouring through a dozen leaks;
dead and dying men are lying all about
the decks; the speed Is falling off. But
still the shots have missed the torpe
does, the premature explosion of one of
which would leave not a relic of the
craft or its crew; still there nre men
enough, standing grimly by the tubes,
to do their work, and the boat stag
gers onwar dto its prey. At last the mo
ment has come. Eight hundred yards.
The helm goes hard over, the boat be
gins to swing around, and from two of
nor tubes go speeding messengers of de.
structlon. The enemy's battleship goes
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