A very interesting and informative article on artillery and the horses needed for the batteries.

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
That is a good one. I used that in my research for the article I wrote on field artillery a few years ago.
And one minor point that all this bears on. We know that the "prescribed" team for the 20 lb Parrott was 8 horses, but from photos it appears that the standard 6-horse team was used in practice. Given the weight of that gun (at 1,750 pounds, double the weight of the 10 lb), that could be an animal killer. Probably one of the reasons Henry Hunt wanted to get rid of them.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
And one minor point that all this bears on. We know that the "prescribed" team for the 20 lb Parrott was 8 horses, but from photos it appears that the standard 6-horse team was used in practice. Given the weight of that gun (at 1,750 pounds, double the weight of the 10 lb), that could be an animal killer. Probably one of the reasons Henry Hunt wanted to get rid of them.
I agree. I noted that I thought it likely that 6-horse teams were used most often and that weight was why they were more commonly used as siege guns and not very common in mobile field batteries (note the use of weasel words absolutists).
 

Belfoured

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
I agree. I noted that I thought it likely that 6-horse teams were used most often and that weight was why they were more commonly used as siege guns and not very common in mobile field batteries (note the use of weasel words absolutists).
True - the interesting thing is that there were still some Federal field batteries at Antietam and at Gettysburg that had them. (At Fredericksburg those batteries occupied more of a "siege" role on Stafford Heights, along with some 4.5" siege rifles). By 1864, Hunt had pretty much gotten rid of them. The classic "'tweener" - too big, heavy and hard to maneuver for a field gun, not enough punch for a siege gun. Crude math distributes a 10 lb Parrott at 150 lbs per horse + carriage/6 + limber/6. A 20 lb doubles the 150 lbs to 300 lbs per horse at the gitgo. With the prescribed team its 225 lb per horse - still a load but only half the increase, and not far off what a 6-horse team had to pull with the Napoleon. And 6-horse teams were worn through as it was with the 10 lb, the Ordnance Rifle, and the Napoleon. Unsung "heroes".
 

Cannondragger

Private
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
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