Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gen. Rains developed Civil War land mines

It is the birthday of Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains (1803), who is credited, along with his brother George, with creating land mines, booby traps, and torpedoes during the Civil War. A West Point graduate, he served in the Seminole Wars and was brevetted major after defeating the Seminoles near Fort King. He also served in the Mexican War and out west in the Indian Wars but when the Civil War came, he sided with the Confederacy and became a brigadier general. Rains had used explosive booby traps in 1940 during the Seminole War but historians say he developed the first modern mechanically fused land mines during the Battle of Yorktown in 1862.

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