cannons

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Feb 20, 2005
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California
#1
My Grandfather was nearly hit by a six pound shrapnel shell thrown by a rebel unit on 3 Oct 1861 at the Greenbriar River, western Virginia. What is its diameter and would it have been fired from a mountain (light) cannon?
 

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Dec 6, 2017
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#3
Very unlikely to be a mountain (light) cannon.

Look at this thread https://www.civilwartalk.com/thread...-a-most-unexpected-victory-part-three.154279/ and you will see that the primary weapon of the two main eastern Confederate armies in July of that year was the 6pdr (either what was called the cadet model or the M1841 - which as I understand it is basically the military version of the same gun). While it is true that many Union guns were captured at First Bull Run it would seem likely that at least 50% of the guns in Confederate service at the time were 6pdrs.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
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Hoover, Alabama
#4
The 6 pounder's round's diameter would be 3.56 inches and it would have weighed approximately 5 pounds 7 ounces. There is a difference between the diameter of a round and the bore of the tube to allow for "windage". When fired, the ball actually bounced slightly down the tube before it exited.
 
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Story

First Sergeant
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#7
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
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Location
California
#9
Grandfather joined Co. A, 7th Indiana Infantry (3 year) on 9 Sep 1861. His first battle, and nearly his last) was on 3 Oct 1861....I'll let him finish the story:
About midnight that day we started for Green Brier. The 9th Indiana the old "Grey Eagle" regiment in the advance under Milroy. The 9th drove the rebel pickets in at the top of the mountain. One of the 9th was killed by his own men he having got ahead of the other skirmishers. His face could only be seen through the underbrush he was taken for the enemy and was shot. His body lay by the side of the road as you go down the mountain. It being the first dead man seen by our men it caused a pallor to the faces of our men. When we got to the bridge at the foot of the mountain there lay five dead rebels killed by the 9th.
At the foot of the mountain there was a tavern called Travelor's Repose. We unslung knapsacks there and started on the double quick for the battle ground. We crossed a swamp and lined up at a rail fence. We were ordered to draw back a short distance and on starting back our colonel, Dumont, said "The first man that takes a short cut I will cut his ****ed head off!" Dumont was a small man dispeptic and sour. He was promoted to Brigadier General and left us. James Gavin became the colonel. The regiment was divided a part crossing the Green Brier River and moving on that flank of the enemy's camp. Company A and H were sent around facing the reb camp to see if it could be flanked from that side. The valley was about a quarter of a mile wide. The rebels opened on these two companies with shell and cannister. We were near the foot of the mountain opposite the enemy in an open field. The shells and cannister was coming pretty thick. One shell bursted within an inch of the writer's face knocking him down, causing the blood to flow from his nostrils. The boys said they thought it hit me in the face. They could not see for the smoke from the shell. It was a close shave, a breath later it would of hit me in the head. The orderly sergeant came to me and the colonel. I was sometime coming to myself and in the mean time the regiment and the other troops began retiring. I caught up with the command at the tavern mentioned before where we unslung our knapsacks.

Grandfather fought with the Second Brigade, First Division, First Corps, Army of the Potomac until 20 Sep 1864. He was wounded at Wilderness II, but survived the War to become a lawyer and judge. He was at the 50th Reunion Gettysburg July 1913. He died in 1927.
 



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