Not a blackpowder era story
OK, blackpowder guns really stopped being used during World War I. The German Askaris in German East Afrika (Tanganika or modern day Tanzania) were armed with the blackpowder cartridge Model 71 Mauser bolt action rifle. After beating the British Indian Army, they were reequipped with the more modern smokeless SMLE. However, this story dates to World War I.
The American submarine H-3 grounded in Humboldt County, California (near Eureka on the northern coast of that sinful state). The Navy advertised for a salvager to help them get their beached sub back into the water. An old logger saw the ad and offered his services. When the Navy inquired as to his background, it learned that the old logger had never been to sea and never even saw a submarine in his life. Despite his assertion that to him it was just a bigger log, and tell that to a modern submarine skipper, the Navy's experts rejected him outright and decided to do it themselves.
The experts called in the cruiser Milwaukee. Fitted with a million dollars worth of towing lines and other salvage gear, the Milwaukee stood off in the ocean and attached the lines to the beached submarine. The result? Well, thanks to the tide, the Milwaukee beached herself as the stubborn sub was too well anchored in sand to be moved. Now there was a predicament! The navy had two ships that were now stranded.
The logger's techniques were now used to rescue H-3. However, his equipment couldn't handle the Milwaukee and no one could figure out how to rescue her. The end result is that the $7 million dollar cruiser remained beached as a total loss.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!