Russian High-Trajectory Cannonballs at Sevastopol.
(From Russkii Invalid, No. 216, 6 September 1855, page 999.)
-- In a letter from Sevastopol of 23 (11) September, received by the Constantinople Journal, it was stated:
"We found here a large quantity of cannons buried in the ground up to their very mouths. These were old guns, completely unserviceable, which could no longer be used as cannons but which were made into a kind of mortar. Since they were buried in the sand, there was nothing to fear from an explosion and they were therefore loaded with a double charge. Firing was done with a powder tube and the balls were thus thrown an immense distance. The discovery of these guns provided an answer for a previously unexplained phenomenon. It had happened that often a cannonball flew as far as our field hospitals which were very far from the battle lines. Once, General Bentinck's kitchen, located a great distance from the town, was destroyed by cannonballs. And finally, General Markham, just arrived from India, was visiting his stable and admiring a beautiful horse belonging to his adjutant when a cannonball penetrated the stable and killed the horse in front of his eyes. Where were these balls being thrown from? One must have thought that they, like aeroliths, fell from the sky. Now the whole business is explained." (Reprinted from the newspaper Nord.)
Translated by Mark Conrad, 2003.