For the following account of the battle of Gain's Farm, I am indebted to the Rector of the University of Virginia: March 19, 1874. SIR, I have just read with great interest your lecture of January 16, on the acoustic transparency and opacity of the atmosphere. The remarkable observations you mention induce me to state to you a fact which I have occasionally mentioned, but always, where I am not well known, with the apprehension that my veracity would be questioned. It made a strong impression on me at the time, but was an insoluble mystery until your discourse gave me a possible solution. On the afternoon of June 28, 1862, I rode, in company with General Randolph, then Secretary of War of the Confederate States, to Price's house, about nine miles from Richmond. The evening before, General Lee had begun his attack on McClellan's army, by crossing the Chickahominy about four miles above Price's, and driving in McClellan's right wing. The battle of Gain's Farm was fought the afternoon to which I refer. The valley of Chickahominy is about one and a half miles wide from hilltop to hilltop. Price's is on one hilltop, that nearest to Richmond; Gain's Farm, just opposite, is on the other, reaching back in a plateau to Cold Harbour. Looking across the valley I saw a good deal of the battle, Lee's right resting in the valley, the Federal left wing the same. My line of vision was nearly in the line of the lines of battle. I saw the advanceof the Confederates, their repulse two or three times, and in the grey of the evening the final retreat of the Federal forces. I distinctly saw the musket fire of both lines, the smoke, individual discharges, the flash of the guns. I saw batteries of artillery on both sides come into action and fire rapidly. Several field-batteries on each side were plainly in sight. Many more were hid by the timber which bounded the range of vision. Yet looking for nearly two hours, from about 5 to 7 PM on a midsummer afternoon, at a battle in which at least 50,000 men were actually engaged, and doubtless at least 100 pieces of field-artillery, through an atmosphere optically as limpid as possible, not a single sound of the battle was audible to General Randolph and myself. I remarked it to him at the time as astonishing. Between me and the battle was the deep broad valley of the Chickahominy, partly a swamp shaded from the declining sun by the hills and forest in the west (my side). Part of the valley on each side of the swamp was cleared; some in cultivation, some not. Here were conditions capable of providing several belts of air, varying in the amount of watery vapour (and probably in temperature), arranged like laminae at right angles to the acoustic waves as they came from the battlefield to me.Several boundary layers of OBJECTIVITY were channeled in 1880 and blocked now. 1. Trinity House was basically a mutual insurance company, devoted to the safety of sailors and ships. It gained profit when ships sailed and landed safely. So it devoted huge resources to eliminating false beacons, and to developing the best ways of signaling danger to ships. Trinity supported optical research on lights, acoustical research on foghorns, and electronic research on ship-to-shore radio. Now insurers are no longer objective, even when partisanship ruins their own profits. They sacrifice all to serve DNC. 2. Kean was watching a battle where men were dying. The South won that particular battle, but by 1874 the NYC occupiers were fully engaged in pillaging and looting and raping the South, after burning it down and killing huge numbers of people. Nevertheless, he was able to separate science from genocide, carefully calibrating distances and swamps and forests. Now science IS genocide, and nothing can be published unless it advances NYC's pillaging and looting and raping. 3. Tyndall didn't mention the alleged "purposes" of Madman Lincoln's genocide and didn't automatically dismiss an entire section of the world as Unpersons. He simply found Kean's observations interesting enough to include. 4. Kean's letter must have come through the regular postal system. Transatlantic mail via steamship was efficient and fast in 1880, generally taking about one week. Unlike today's superfast and "free" web service, the postal system in 1880 didn't refuse to carry mail from Unplaces. At that time science had NOTHING to do with political partisanship or geographical partisanship. Madman Lincoln's genocide was still running full speed, but neither Kean nor Tyndall let their emotions interfere with OBSERVATION.
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