This article investigates a long-standing historical debate over the development of electric torpedoes in the Confederate States of America. It analyzes the contributions of five individuals - Hunter Davidson, Beverley Kennon, Stephen Mallory, Matthew Maury, and Gabriel Rains - and concludes that Maury was the Confederacy’s most persistent advocate of electric torpedoes. An examination of new archival material also clarifies Maury’s relationship with fellow torpedo pioneers Davidson and Kennon. More broadly, the article explores linkages between memory, history, and technology. It argues that claims of technological priority matter, that memories are influenced by a multiplicity of factors (not all of which are easily discernible), and that technical source material can assist greatly in efforts to reconcile conflicting histories.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 755-783
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2010
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