At long last the mystery as to why we lost the battle of iSandlwana is solved
"A very remarkable test of endurance and skill is shortly to come off the Royal Aquarium. Dr F Carver who will remembered for his wonderful feats of shooting pigeons and glass balls some 10 or 15 years ago is again amongst us astonishing us all with his clever shooting.
In the first week of January Dr Carver will undertake the arduous feat of shooting 100,000 glass balls in 10 days. This feat is really for no less purpose to test the lifting power of the Herculean American. Some few weeks ago fired with the enthusiasm which has flooded London with Sampsons and Sandows, Apollons and Hercules Dr Carver challenged one of these strong men to raise his gun - the rifle he uses every performance which weighs just 10 lbs- to the shooting position raising and lowering it for six consecutive minutes. The most successful contestant only succeeded in doing this for 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
Dr Carver says this raising and lowering should included in the drill of every soldier and urges as an argument in favour thereof, that in the great American Civil War a detachment of soldiers threw down their arms and ran away after some three minutes of very hard firing and that similar mischance happened to body of our own troops during the Zulu War
owing to an exactly similar cause.
In each case with the loss of their muscular power the men lost their nerve all they could do was to run.
Now Dr Carver is to enter upon this tremendous ten days’ firing feat in order to show to what state of perfection the powers of endurance of a man be brought. He will fire at on an average 10,000 balls a day which supposing that he misses 15 in each hundred will cause him to lift his gun 11,500 times which is equal to 115,000 lbs then add to this which is the weight of the gun alone that of the cartridges is calculated at 400 lbs of lead and 150 lbs of powder to the 100,000 shots. The entire lifting is by the left arm and hand. But there is additional exertion needed by the right in loading and pushing the ejector. I should have said that the doctor uses a Winchester rifle the force requisite for this being equal to 48 lbs so the event of his shooting 100,000 glass balls it will be 480,000lbs a day. I present herewith a portrait of the great rifleman taken from a photo which he gave me recently while giving me the details of his coming feat'[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Saffron Walden Weekly News - Friday 27 December 1889