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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, April 08, 1906, Image 44

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1906-04-08/ed-1/seq-44/

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a flame, and the world is exposed to meet more
th;m one in its course. Tins is, moreover, what
has nearly happened on several memorable occasions.
In 1832 the announcement of the passage ol a
comet threw the inhabitants of our planet into con
sternation. According to the calculations of astron
omy, the hairy star must necessarily cut across
the orbit of ' the earth on October 20 before
midnight. But the night passed without incident,
and day broke with the sun shining over a happy
world. ' Astronomy had erred; the earth was eighty
million kilometers" (lift y million miles) distant from
that point of its orbit that the comet would nec
essarily pass, and the sgh traveling at a speed of
twenty-nine kilometei (eighteen miles) a second, it
passed the danger point only the November 30
following, that is, more than a month after
However, one sees that an encounter of this na
ture is not impossible. What would indeed hap
pen should a comet dash against the earth? The
consequences of such an event might be varied,
insignificant or terrible. All would depend on the
nature of the comet and on the direction of the im
pact. If its body was mas;ive or made up of solid
bodies, the effect of such a bombardment may be
imagined rather than described.
But this kind of catastrophe is not to be appre
hended. The almost invariable observation of the
comets, the photographs taken thereof, and the
analysis of their rays, appear t«> indicate that they
do not contain, even at their center, masses of mat
ter sufficiently dense to endanger the existence of
our planet.
They appear to be in reality composed of gaseous
atmosphere, wherein spectrum analysis has more
than once detected the presence of carbon. In this
case the encounter with a comet would hardly be
mure favorable t<> us. This poisonous gas might
absorb the oxygen of our atmosphere, meaning a
speedy death by asphyxiation and blood poisoning;
for the carbonates of hydrogen, carbonic acid, and
carbonic oxide seem to pre
d< 'initiate in a certain number
<>f ci imets.
Hut these st:irs must differ
from one another to as great
a degree as the suns and the
eartiis. There may be, for ex
ample, comets whereof azotic
protoxide is the principal
component. Should such a
body graze the earth, man
kind would soon be ren-
TRADITIONS of women soldiers are many;
historical records are few. Led by various
impulses t<> share the fate oi loved ones, to
experience romantic adventure, or to give expression
to patriotism women have encountered all of
war's hardships and dangers Hut death either on
the field or in the military hospital, or the false
names under which they served, generally have kept
the identities of these adventurous spirits from the
The career of Helena Smolko, called the "Amazon
of the Cossacks." who was recently under treatment
in a hospital at Mukden, is the latest to claim the
world's attention She went under the name of
Michael Nicholaievitch. The daughter of a Vlad
ivostok merchant, Helena learned tin- Manchurian
language from her nurse, and in her father's shop
picked up ("him se. She lived much outdoors, and
rode horses and practised rifle-shooting. At eighteen
as interpreter she was attached to the frontier
troops. As nurse she accompanied the Russian
contingent in the allied expedition to Peking. When
the Russo-Japanese War broke out. she went to the
front as an interpreter, and proved her courage.
She has just been made a ward of the Czar.
" Frank Thompson's " Experience
A WOMAN who kept her sex disguised through
■**■ years of campaigning with the Union army, and
whose real name was not learned by her comrades
till a score of years later, was known as Frank
Thompson, in the Second Michigan Infantry. She
Carried messages through shot and shell at Fredcr
icksburgasan orderly for General I'oe. One day the
gallant orderly was missing. Then day after day went
by. and nothing was seen or heard of her. There was
only one conclusion: desertion.
The woman explained lateral Flint, Michigan, that
while the regiment was in Kentucky she had con
tracted an illness that she knew would result in her be
ing taken to a hospital. She applied for leave of
absence, and it was refused ; so she left without per
mission, going to OberUn, Ohio. She wrote a book
called " Nurse and Spy," and used the proceeds for
the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. She was
married later to a Mr. Seel ye. Years after the con
flict ended she obtained a pension and was admitted
to the Grand Army of the Republic She died in 1 898.
A picturesque figure of the Civil War was Loreta
Velasquez, a Cuban maid, who left her native land
and joined the Southern forces. She began her
career by marrying a Northern officer, whom she
persuaded to go over to the Confederate side. " Lieu-
dered insensible, and would gradually sink to sleep,
never more to wake. Just the <ame would happen
in the case of a comet whose atmosphere was prin
cipally constituted of ether or chloroform.
Or going a step beyond, suppose our earth was
enveloped by a comet that absorbed the nitrogen
of our atmosphere. Every breathing creature w< >uld
experience an agreeable feeling of comfort, which
would gradually develop into such a state of exalta
tion and physical and mental activity that they
would doubtless dance themselves to death in frantic
revels of joy — a sort of millenium dream come true.
If we admit that a comet does not contain in
itself any element poisonous to the inhabitants of
the earth, and that its core does not contain solid
masses of - sufficient volume to destroy our planet,
such an impact would nevertheless have terrible
consequences, by reason of the transformation of
moving force to heat.
Let us supi>ose that a comet composed of a train
of uranolites was to come directly in front of us.
The momentum of the impact would result from
the combined speeds of the comet and of the earth,
that is to say, at the rate of about seventy-two thou
sand meters a second. The resulting vibration
would be so violent that the temperature of our
globe would immediately increase by several thou
sands of degrees. An enormous fire would burst
forth in the atmosphere, and would rapidly set the
ground alight. Fore<t<, gardens, plants, buildings,
towns, and villages all would burst into flame, like
a bunch of dried herbs. The snow and ice of the
poles, being instantaneously melted, would become
reduced to vapor before even having regained the
ocean. All fish would be cooked in the seas, lakes,
and rivers, whose waters would at once begin
to boil. Man and beast would fall asphyxiated
before the flames could reach them, and would soon
after be cremated. An inconceivably violent evap
oration would launch into the atmosphere an enor
mous quantity of water, which would fall in the form
of a rain of boiling drops on the terrestrial furnace.
By Edward G. Holden
tenant Harry Buford," as she was known. I
with energy and valor in the first battle of Bull
Run. Afterward she became a spy, and by the
wearing of male or female costume whenever it
suited her purpose, gave valuable an! to the Con
federacy. She finally went to California as a miner.
"Emily," a Brooklyn girl whose real name never
became public, disguised herself as a boy and
the drum corps of a Michigan regiment, li
Tennessee campaign under General Rosecran
passed through several battles unhurt; but at
Chiekamau.ua was struck by a Minie ball and died.
Much military ability was shown by Pauline
Cushman, an actress who became a spy. At one
time she was raptured by the Confederates and sen
tenced to be hanged, but was saved by the arrival
of a Union force and the defeat of her captors. For
her faithful service Genera] Garfield conferred upon
her the rank of major.
Probably no woman in the Civil War acted in so
many different capacities as Bridget Divers, com
monly called " Irish Biddy." As vwandiere, nurse,
hospital steward, surgeon, and private soldier, she
did excellent service. She was a good horsewoman,
and in combat three horses were killed under her.
After the war she crossed the plains and the Rocky
Mountains in campaigns against the Indians.
A 'Woman General
A WOMAN who saw considerable hard service was
•**■ Mrs Turchin, wife of General Turchin. In 1862,
when he was ill. she directed the movements of his
troops, while also serving as his nurse. In more
than one battle she was under lire near her hus
band's side, encouraging the troops, and look
ing after the wounded. When her husband was court
martialed, after the war. her skill and tact brought
about his acquittal and his ultimate promotion to
the rank of brigadier-general.
Other women, like Sirs Kady Brownell, a skilful
sharp-shooter and the color-bearer - ipany,
and Ellen Goodridge, who, by her lover's side, ac
companied a regiment through the war. serving as
head of the officers' mess, have served their country
in a more or loss warrior-like way.
Among the women of Revolutionary times who
adopted the soldier's life, the name of D-
Sampson is most prominent She enlisted as a man in
the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment Sh<
in several skirmishes on '.he Hudson River as far south
Electric phenomena whereof our rr.os*: • -rir !e
stories can give us no conception would a
numerous manifestations to the disorder r-- ■ tare.
Blue flames, lightning, ai. 1 the yellow-gr--< •-<■>.^iet
red flames of the differing gases would be b rung
together and bursting from the terrestrial ft
It would indeed be a marvelous firework <
Finally, the water of the center of the g!>v <
ing been transformed into steam by a toleral j ro
longed ebullition, and finding no vent, v.-r r-:
open the earth like a bomb, with a deafemi r.
The ruins of the carbonized world, the Al] the
Pyrenees, the Cordilleras, the remains of
cities, all would be projected into space fo ■
digious height. All that had escape*! the r.r:
be annihilated by this formidable explosion
The final catastrophe might also happen
the action of the comets, by a considerable i. rease
of solar heat which could consume car planet and
its inhabitants from a distance by reducing van
ity to cinders by a sort of spontaneous combi
A hypothesis worthy of note based on
series ot spectroscopic observation has beer
gested by Sir Norman Lockyer. li is affirm* •: :
all celestial bodies are derived from meteorites.
The nebulous ones should be considered as;
of meteorites that nave collided, and thus t- ; _c
their luminosity.
These nebulous bodies condense afterward toward
a center, however large may have been their ri
mary dimensions, however irregular may hay< I t-n
the primitive distribution of the cosmic va; ors that
constitute them. New globes thus formed in the
zones of condensation of this primordial nebulous
may be thus conceived as constituting new w orlds.
new solar systems, alike to our own in methc
formation and development. And creation would
thus be continued in as newly diversified and wholly
unterrestrial manner; not that of M:irs. or SaturnJ OT
the sun, but another, superior to that of the earth.
superhuman, inexhaustible. These worlds would
pass away in their turn. Others would succeed. ( >ther
systems whose vast world
would be peopled by 1 -ji-^s
organized for a temperature
that to us would meun the
point of combustion, and
whose senses vibrate to other
radiations,' other chemical and
physical conditions, would
show them a future umverie
under aspects absolutely in
conceivable to our terrestrial
as Harlem, and in one .
ped detection Not ÜBI
"i wintering at West
tions against Indians. ..
with young w 1 ■
Finally she w.
Gannett of Sharon. Mass
lite, her health was broken
A consp*
diers was Mary A::-
The sixteenth child ••! Lord .
into the cust
Terrorized and degraded
dressed 3S ".listed as .. ■
infantry. She drummed fail
paign in Flanders. Shi
dressed the wounds h<
She died a irty.
An Engl
and inspector-gen 1
whose name ..r reason f
tme known S
sity dressed as
Trailing Her Husband
TN 1 745. in t:
* enrolled a.- a sold
who had joined the Britisl
a time she deserted
service as .1 marine, and
She foughi recklessly, .md in .:•
tamed twerv«
At last, learning that her
cuted, she ret arm.':
disguises, and after a career n
to hve upon a pension.
An equally advent
stian I>a\i<. an Iri
was v arri' Flanders
fon < military d
posed of net children, ai
ing her sol
with I
. return
hundred and ci.

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