Cannon Shock Waves in Ultra Slow Motion

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Pat Answer

First Sergeant
Oct 8, 2013
Fascinating - and sobering. The recoil on some of those shots; that’s some tremendous hitting power. And that canister fire is indeed no joke.
Feb 20, 2005
My Grandfather. John Nelson Hubbard, 7th Indiana, didn't think it was much fun, laying down in front of artillery, as he later wrote:
The Fifth Corps was lined up at Cold Harbor at the Bethesda Church. It was there where old Battery B of the Fourth Regulars made that famous charge, called in history, "The Charge of Battery B." The battery was parked back of the church; the men on the horses and limber chests; ready for action. A rebel battery was annoying us and General Griffin, commander of the First Division, rode up to the battery and said to Captain Stewart, "Can't you quiet that rebel battery!" Stewart turned on his horse and gave his sword a whirl; a signal the men seemed to understand. They at once put spurs to the horses and they went under the rundown toward the rebel battery. The rebs poured the cannister into them as they went, killing and wounding ten or twelve men of the battery. They unlimbered and went into action and in ten minutes that rebel battery was put out of commission.
I was on the skirmish line, out in front of the battle line and could see the result of the artillery duel. Dead and wounded rebs lay around their dismantled guns. The gun's muzzel up, broken wheels, axels broken; the battery completely destroyed. Old Battery B was the most famous battery in either the Union or Confederate armies.
Colonel Fox in his regimental losses, says that, that battery had more men killed and wounded around the muzzels of her guns than any battery in either army. This battery had one hundred and ten men killed and wounded in ten months, from Bull Run to including the first day at Gettysburg. It was a regular battery and was at Salt Lake, Utah when the war broke out and drove overland from there and was put into our division and remained with us to the end of the war. She had six brass twelve-pound Napoleons and a short range battery, but was "holy terror" when it came to throwing cannister. At Gettysburg, three of the guns the first day stood on one half on each side of the railroad. Lieutenant Davidson commanded the left half and was on the left side of the "cut." The rebels had five men to our one and their lines at one time lapped us a half mile. Scales' rebel brigade was on our left and was swinging around to enclose us. Davidson brought his three guns and opened on Scales. A few rounds and Scales' men began retiring and in a hurry! Davidson's orders to his cannoniers was to keep your muzzels down. The Cannoneer, a story written by Buell, of the old battery, said after the first round, a grey squirrel could not of crossed that road and come out alive. As their men were killed and wounded, Captain Stewart would come to the Iron Brigade and ask the officers if they had any men that would do to go into the old battery. It became finally, almostly made up of men out of the regiments composing Wadsworth's Division.

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