This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1890 Excerpt: ...it was not the case of a single vessel making the
best of the gale, and taking care of herself under steam, but of
twenty great ships bound to keep iu station for fighting purposes,
etc., under sail-power only, and all regulated by night-signals,
carried from one division of the fleet to another by the "
repeating frigate " or frigates of the squadron. The dazzling
electric search-light and flashing signals were then (perhaps
fortunately) unknown, and beyond an occasional blue light or "false
fire," or a gun or two fired when not in action, all night-signals
were given by candle-light in horn lanterns, shown in various parts
of the ship's rigging, at times combined with a flag or two--a form
of light which, at any rate, left the old seamen's eyes clear and
steady to make out the all-important movements of hull and sail by
which they were surrounded, often in very close order. The
following code of night-signals, forming an article in the " New
Royal Cyclopaedia, or Modern Dictionary of Arts and Sciences,"
1788, will give a fair notion of how our fleets were handled at
night by men like Rodney. When an admiral would have the fleet
unmoor, and ride short, he hangs out three lights, one over
another, in the maintopmastshrouds, above the constant light in the
maintop, and fires two guns, which are answered by flagships, each
private ship hanging out a light in her mizzen-shronds. All guns
for night-signals to be fired on the same side, to avoid confusion
of sound. When he would have them weigh anchor, he hangs one light
in the maintopmast-shrouda, and fires a gun, which is answered by
flagships and private ships as before. The signal to tack is two
flags on the ensign-staff of the admiral, over the constant light
on his poop, and a...
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