water around it after it had been inserted. The cavity of the shell thus charged is kept filled with water, the metallic tube inserted, and its tightness insured by means of a washer of lead, quite thin, and the use of white lead in screwing in the screw-stopper to which the metallic tube is attached. In this form the shells were presented. The metallic tube was then filled with rifle-powder, poured in through the hole through the brass screw-plug bored to receive the time-fuse. The fuse was thereupon inserted and the wheel fire, as in ordinary cases, from a 12-pounder howitzer. The first shell was fired at a considerable elevation, exploding at a distance of perhaps 300 yards from the muzzle of the piece and evolving a burning cloud of phosphorus probably not less that 30 or 40 feet in diameter, from which particles of ignited phosphorus descended, reaching the ground, and for some moments continuing in a state of ignition.
The other shells were fired with second-fuses, and were exploded at one time a clump of green pines, the leaves of which were considerably scorched, although dripping with rain-drops from the recent shower; at others, above the grass covering the plain, also in a green and wet condition.
In each case there was a similar evolution of a large cloud of burning phosphorus, while the large particles, falling to the ground, in some instances fired the grass and twigs to a certain extent, the combustion continuing for several moments after the explosion of the shell.
But for the saturated condition of everything, the conflagration would doubtless have been general, especially wherever the particles of ignited phosphorus could have come in contact with any substance which would have afforded food for flame.
The test to which these shells were subjected was unusually severe, in consequence of the recent rain and the green condition of the grass and shrubbery covering the surface of the ground above which the shells were exploded.
I am of opinion that these shells will prove very useful for firing camps, thickets, and cover-houses, if well employed within them.
There can be no question of the fact that they would exert a most demoralizing influence upon bodies of infantry and cavalry. No troops could withstand the terrible influences of these shells bursting in their midst, and evolving not only this mass of insidious fire, but also clouds of gas of a most deleterious character.
They could also be employed with marked success against light batteries in action, creating a perfect pained among men and horses, and exploding ammunition chests. If exploded within the cavity of a vessel, their effects would be most disastrous.
It is apparent, from the experiments performed, that in the case of small shells, with only a sufficient cavity for the bursting charge, the dispersion of the phosphorus is minute and the combustion rapid. In fact, a fiery cloud is evolved upon the explosion of the projectile. Should, however, a larger portion of water be employed, the pieces of phosphorus would, in all probability, be thrown out in large bulk, and the combustion thus be sustained for a longer period. Increase the size of the shell and the effect would become more deceives and terrible.
The use of the shell I do not conceive to be dangerous, provided due care be observed in filling the cavity with water, and in the introduction of the metallic tube and screw-plug. The shell can thus be prepared for use. The employment of the leads washer and of