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Cannons.

Discussion in 'Cannons and Artillery' started by Mr King, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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    I am not very knowledgable about the cannons. Would someone please put the list down. I'd like to know their ranges and the ammunition they used. Which one would you choose?
     

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  3. ami

    ami Major General Super Moderator

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  4. johan_steele

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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    6lb M1841 Field Gun 1500 yards
    12 lb M1857 Field Gun Napoleon 1600 yards
    12 lb Howitzer 1000 yards
    24 lb Howitzer 1300 yards
    12 lb Mountain/Prarie Howitzer 900 yards
    10 LB Parrot Field Rifle 2000 yards
    20 LB Parrot Field Rifle 2100 yards
    3" Ordnance Rifle 1800 yards
    14 lb James Rifle 1700 yards
    12 Whitworth Breechloading Rifle 2800 yards (actually 10,000 yards but w/ NO accuracy)

    Wiard Rifles existed in both 6 & 12 lb versions

    There were other bigger Field guns but they were few and far between and how much they were used in the field other than in defensive fortifications I don't know. Add to that imported Austrain, French and British Cannon and you have another catagory that include the Blakely Rifles and others which I don't pretend to know that much about.

    The 3" Ordnance Rifle was legend in it's accuracy and I know people who live fire Cannon that can and have shot the bung hole out of a 55 gallon oil drum at 450 yards and another crew that put a round through a wooden kitchen door at 1000 yards with one.

    There are ample stories of the devesatating accuracy of CW Rifled guns and the horrific firepower that a Napoleon could put forth.

    THe site has a couple good pages w/ much more info

    http://civilwartalk.com/Resource_Cen...ield_Artillery

    http://civilwartalk.com/Resource_Cen...and_Statistics
     
  5. johan_steele

    johan_steele Colonel Retired Moderator

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    LOL Ami posted at the same time. That's what I get for starting a post and not finishing it right away!
     
  6. 67th Tigers

    67th Tigers Sergeant Major

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    Interesting question. The characteristics of guns are such that the effective range (solid shot, i.e. a cannonball) are:

    6 pdr: 600 yds (such a weapon was the standard US piece prewar and was common for the first few years)
    9 pdr: 800 yds (none used in the ACW ISTR)
    12 pdr: 900 yds (such as the M1857 "Napoleon")

    The M1857 was a gun-howitzer, so it could also fire spherical case ("shell") at longer ranges, upto 1,200 yds.

    The third major type of round was canister, which was a tin with 27 musket balls which scattered like a shotgun. Although in theory usable at 500 yds, it was not very effective at more than about 300 yds.

    The two caissons of a 12pdr would carry 48 solid, 48 spherical case and 16 canister (and 16 shell).

    There were also rifled guns, which were more precise, and could fire (if available) percussion fused shells, although they were much slower to fire.
     
  7. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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    Thank you ami for posting the link on artillery. I should have used search first before creating the thread.

    johan_steele, thank you for providing us the list of cannons.

    Thank you 67th Tigers for the information on the cannons and the detailed information on the ammunition these cannons used.

    I'd like to ask a couple more questions.

    What was the average of how many cannons the union army had in a battery? 6? What about the confederates? 3?

    67th Tigers, were the percussion fused shells the ones that exploded in the air and rained down like canister fire?
     
  8. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Always multiples of two on both sides -- barring the temporary loss of one. Standard number on both sides was four or six -- with six preferred as standard. There were, at times eight.
    So long as I'm on a roll (67th can correct later), percussion shells exploded (or were supposed to) on impact; fused shells were supposed to explode above the opposition's heads -- the closer the better.

    It's a bit difficult to determine a standard number. As the war progressed and cannon and horses were lost, batteries were combined or reformed with various numbers and calibers of guns. Earlier, an artillery regiment would contain mixed batteries -- two of these, two of those, and two of something else. Later, guns of a kind were consolidated so that one battery might be made up of Napoleons, another of Parrotts, etc. to standardize ammo chests.

    But the overall standard for a battery was a collection of sections (two guns per section).

    ole
     
  9. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Dear Mr.King;

    I think it was just fine to start the thread on cannons. It can be buried in the archives or links and it is timely to bring things back up.

    In addition, with new members coming onto the list -- as well as re-enactors who do 'artillery;' it adds so much to the richness of the discussion.

    There are always new things to learn about the 'same old things.'

    Just some thoughts.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
     
  10. timewalker

    timewalker Cadet

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    ole:

    I believe that the Union indeed consolidated their guns in to batteries of all one type, but the Confederates never were able to so consolidate so the Confederate batteries were often composed of different types of guns. The Union approach certainly made more sense from a logistical perspective.

    In practice, Union batteries were generally six guns and Confederate batteries were four. Confederate guns were also generally inferior to Union guns (although they did have some very good imported English guns) and the Union had more rifled guns. The problem with rifled guns is that when canister is used in a rifled gun, it fires the canister in a donut pattern which is not as effective as canister in a smooth bore. Further, while rifled guns have a greater range, this often did not come into play on civil war battlefields as line of sight was often less than the range of the guns. Further, shells from a rifled gun tended to bury themselves into the ground, rather than bounce like the round shot of a smooth bore.
     
  11. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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    Hello ole, how are you doing these days?

    Thank you for the info. Were the napoleons the best ones to use canister and fuse shells?
     
  12. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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    Yes, sir. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
     
  13. 67th Tigers

    67th Tigers Sergeant Major

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    For the Union (and officially for the CS) 6 guns, preferably of the same type was establishment, at least until 1864, when Hunt started reducing batteries to 4 guns.

    For comparisons, from pg 465-6 of Bloody Crucible of Courage:

    Artillery - Division of the Potomac (July 1861)
    4 12 pdr Napoleons
    16 10 pdr Parrott
    10 13 pdr James
    14 6 pdr
    6 12 pdr Howitzers
    2 20 pdr Parrott
    1 30 pdr Parrott
    2 Dahlgren Boat Howitzers

    Artillery - Army of the Potomac (11th October 1862)
    126 12 pdr Napoleons
    64 10 pdr Parrott
    20 20 pdr Parrott
    98 3" Ordnance
    6 32 pdrs
    2 12 pdr Howitzers
    5 30 pdr Parrott

    Artillery - Army of Northern Virginia (Summer 1863)
    107 12 pdr Napoleons
    103 3" Ordnance
    30 12 pdr Howitzer
    4 12 pdr Whitworths

    We can see the emergence of two dominant weapons, the 12 pdr "Napoleon" M1857 Gun-Howitzer and the 3" Ordnance Gun, which had become the official standard two artillery pieces. The two were used differently.

    The Napoleon, being a smoothbore, was primarily used against infantry. It was effective against formed infantry at 800 yds firing case or solid, and fairly deadly at 300 yds firing canister. It rarely went forward in any kind of artillery close support for the attack, with a couple of notable exceptions, thus it is an impressive defensive weapon.

    The 3" Ordnance Gun, a rifle designed by ISTR Rodman, was effective out to 1,600 yds (almost a mile), and was used more to shape the battlespace, and conduct counterbattery fire (which was rarer than you'd think)

    As for the others, the Parrott Rifles ISTR had superior performance to the 3" Ordnance, but being made of cast iron (with wrought iron reinforcing bands) rather than wrought iron had more of a tendency to burst and so were shunned. The heavier Parrotts were generally confined to the siege train.

    The James Gun was an exceptionally bad design. The gun was over-rifled, and the rounds were routinely displaced 100's of feet from the point of aim, rendering it less accurate than a smoothbore. The Union dropped it as soon as possible, but some Confederate units were stuck with it.

    The other worth mentioning is the 4 12 pdr Whitworths imported from Britain. These were the longest ranged weapons on the American continent (the British officially adopted the similar breachloading Armstrong instead), and the most advanced. The guntube was steel, and they were breachloading. The Union simply had nothing to match them.
     
  14. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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    Wow! 67th Tigers, thank you for the information. I'm impressed with the knowledge you provided for us.

    What about the mortars?

    There is another type of cannon but I can't remember what kind they were. In the Seven Days Battles Campaign, I read that the union army had cannons that were installed on the train. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
     
  15. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Impressive, 67th! I will no longer step on your lines.

    ole
     
  16. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Dear 67th Tigers and List Members;

    I do appreciate all of your efforts in explaining the various field pieces.

    Well done!

    That said, there were also naval artillery pieces that could also use some time in researching, studies and or knowledge sharing.

    Fort Artillery as well could be a source of further study, research and knowledge sharing as well.

    Just some thoughts.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
     
  17. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Interesting finds from the OR...

    Dear List Members;

    It will be a lengthy post however; in the vein of artillery and the like--I found these records amazingly informative:

    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
    CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA, VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA FROM APRIL 16 TO JULY 31, 1861.
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#5
    WASHINGTON, July 29, 1861.
    Capt. G. STONEMAN:
    SIR: In conformity with your request, I transmit an informal statement of the present condition of the artillery south of the Potomac. Fort Corcoran, above Arlington, with its two redoubts, has an armament of twelve 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, seven 24-pounder barbette guns, two 12-pounder field guns, and two 24-pounder howitzers. About two hundred light artillerists, under Captains Carlisle and Ayres, are at these works; also the German regiment (De Kalb); which has in its ranks many artillerists. Fort Albany, on the Fairfax road, has eighteen guns, of various caliber (twelve being 24-pounders), Griffin's and Edwards' companies light artillery, and a Massachusetts regiment. Fort Runyon, at the forks of the Alexandria and Fairfax roads (end of Long Bridge), one 30-pounder Parrott rifled gun, eight 8-inch seacoast howitzers, ten 32-pounders, and four 6-pounder field guns. Garrison'--Colonel Rogers' Twenty-fifth New York; artillery officer in charge--Captain Seymour, Fifth Artillery. Fort Ellsworth,
    Alexandria, two 30-pounder and two 10-pounder Parrott rifles, twelve 8-inch sea-coast howitzers, four 24-pounder siege guns, one 24-pounder field howitzer, three 6-pounder guns. Garrison--Captain Arnold's light company, one hundred and twenty men, and Seventeenth New York, Colonel Lansing. The supply of ammunition for these forts, although not complete,, is sufficient for an emergency, averaging about one hundred rounds per gun, and the amount is being increased as rapidly as possible. The field batteries are in a very unsatisfactory condition, many of them, but as fast as the materials can be procured they are refitting. Platt has four light 12-pounders, 107 men, in good condition; Tidball has two 6-pounders, two 12-pounder howitzers, 127 men, in good condition; Greene has four Parrott 10-pounders, rifled, 130 men, in good condition: Carlisle has 100 men, no guns; Arnold has 120 men, no guns; Ayres has two 6-pounders, two 12-pounder howitzers, 120 men; Edwards <ar2_769> has two 10-pounder Parrott guns, 75 men; Griffin has one 10. pounder, rifled, 120 men.
    Platt and Griffin are to have two additional light. 12-pounders each. They will soon be ready for issue from the arsenal. There are five 10-pounder rifles now preparing. Three will be given to Griffin and two to Tidball, and others are being prepared for issue. When the guns, howitzers, &c., are received, the batteries will be composed as follows: Platt, six light 12-pounders; Tidball, Greene, and Ayres, four 10-pounder Parrotts and two 12-pounder howitzers each; Carlisle and Edwards, two 20-pounder Parrotts and two 24-pounder howitzers each; Griffin, four 10-pounder Parrotts and two light 12-pounders; Arnold, four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers.
    I further propose to equip Captain Bookwood's company, of Von Steinwehr's German regiment, with four 6-pounder guns and two 12-pounder howitzers. Captain Bookwood brought off the Varian battery from the field--that is, the guns and one caisson--when that battery was abandoned by its company. His company has a number of German artillerists, and he can easily fill up with instructed men from the brigade of German regiments (Blenker's) to which I propose the battery be attached.
    The German regiments contain a number of artillery officers and soldiers. I suggested the propriety of placing, for the present at least, those regiments in the forts, that the guns may be served by drafts from the instructed men. One company, Captain Morozowicz's, of the De Kalb regiment, is composed almost exclusively of old German artillery soldiers, and should there be a lack of field artillery, could readily be made available.
    Respectfully, &c.,
    HENRY J. HUNT,
    Brevet Major, and Chief of Artillery.
    -----
    Continued....
     
  18. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Continued references
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
    Engagement at Big Bethel, or Bethel Church, Va.
    No. 10. -- Report of Maj. George W. Randolph, commanding Howitzer Battalion.
    YORKTOWN, June 12, 1861.
    COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in the action of the 10th instant the Howitzer Battalion, under my command, fired eighteen solid shot and eighty shells, spherical case and canister, and was injured in the following particulars: A lieutenant and two privates were wounded, one severely and two slightly; five horses and three mules were killed or disabled; the Parrott gun (iron rifled) had its linstock splintered, and a musket ball passed through the felloe of the left wheel; a musket ball pierced the corner plate and a partition of the limber chest of one of the howitzers and lodged against a shell; two poles of caissons, one set of swinglebars, one large pointing ring, a chain for a rammer, and several priming wires were broken, and one of the howitzers was spiked by the breaking of a priming wire in its vent. 1 have already made a requisition for ammunition enough to fill all the chests of the battalion, and will submit, as soon as practicable, requisitions for whatever else may be required. <ar2_99>
    As the position of the pieces was under your own observation, it is only necessary to state that the Parrott gun and one howitzer were posted in the battery immediately on the right of the road leading to Hampton; that a howitzer was placed in the battery erected on the right beyond the ravine, through which a passway was made for the purpose of withdrawing the piece if necessary; a howitzer was posted near the bridge; the rifled howitzer was placed on the left of the road behind the right of a redoubt erected by the North Carolina regiment, and a howitzer was posted in the rear of the road leading from the Half-way House, a howitzer having been previously sent to the Halfway House under the command of Lieutenant Moseley.
    Early in the action the howitzer in the battery on the right, having been spiked by the breaking of the priming wire, was withdrawn from its position, and the infantry supporting it fell back upon the church; but it was subsequently replaced by the howitzer of Lieutenant Moseley, which arrived at a later period of the action.
    The ford on the left being threatened, the howitzer at the bridge was withdrawn and sent to that point, and the rifled howitzer was withdrawn from the left of the road and sent to assist in the protection of the rear. The same disposition was subsequently made of the howitzer at the main battery, situated immediately on the right of the road.
    The enemy came in sight on the road leading from Hampton a few minutes before 9 o'clock a.m., and their advance guard halted at a house on the roadside about six hundred yards in front of our main battery. Fire, however, was not opened upon them for ten or fifteen minutes, when from the number of bayonets visible in the road we judged that a heavy column was within range. The action then commenced by a shot from the Parrott gun, aimed by myself, which struck the center of the toad a short distance in front of their column, and probably did good execution in its ricochet. At no time could we see the bodies of the men in the column, and our fire was directed by their bayonets, their position being obscured by the shade of the woods on their right and two small houses on their left, and somewhat in advance of them. Our fire was immediately returned by a battery near the head of their column, but concealed by the woods and the houses so effectually, that we only ascertained its position by the flash of the pieces. The fire was maintained on our side for some time by the five pieces posted in front of our position; but, as already stated, one of them being spiked and another withdrawn to protect the ford early in the action, the fire was continued with three pieces, and at no time did we afterwards have more than three pieces playing upon the enemy. The fire on our part was deliberate, and was suspended whenever masses of the enemy were not within range, and the execution was good, as I afterward ascertained by a personal inspection of the principal position of the enemy. The cannonade lasted with intervals of suspension from a few minutes before 9 o'clock a.m. until 1½ o'clock p.m., and the fact that during this time but ninety-eight shot were fired by us tends to show that the firing was not too rapid. The earthworks thrown up by the battalion were struck several times by the cannon-shot of the enemy, but no injury was sustained.
    They fired upon us with shot, shell, spherical case, canister, and grape from 6 and 12-pounders, at a distance of about six hundred yards, but the only injury received from their artillery was the loss of one mule.
    We found in front of our main battery, in and near the yard of the small house already mentioned, five killed and one mortally wounded by the fire of our artillery. We heard of two others killed at Cramdall's, about a mile from us, and have reason to believe there were many <ar2_100> others. The injury done to our artillery, was from the fire of musketry on our left flank, the ground on that side between us and the enemy sinking down so as to expose us over the top of the breastwork erected by the North Carolina regiment.
    After some intermission of the assault in front, a heavy column, apparently a re-enforcement or reserve, made its appearance on the Hampton road and pressed forward towards the bridge, carrying the U.S. flag near the head of the column. As the road had been clear for some time, and our flanks and rear had been threatened, the howitzer in the main battery had been sent to the rear, and our fire did not at first check them, I hurried a howitzer forward from the rear, loaded it with canister, and prepared to sweep the approach to the bridge, but the fire of the Parrott gun again drove them back. The howitzer brought from the Half-way House by Lieutenant Moseley arriving most opportunely, I carried it to the battery on the right to replace the disabled piece. On getting there I learned from the infantry that a small house in front was occupied by sharpshooters, and saw body of a Carolinian lying thirty yards in front of the battery, who had been killed in a most gallant attempt to burn the house.
    I opened upon the house with shell for the purpose of burning it, and the battery of the enemy in the Hampton road, being on the line with it, and supposing probably that the fire was at them, immediately returned it with solid shot. This disclosed their position and enabled me to fire at the house and at their battery at the same time. After an exchange of five or six shots a shell entered a window of the house, increased the fire already kindled until it soon broke out into a light blaze, and, as I have reason to believe, disabled one of the enemy's pieces. This was the last shot fired. They soon afterwards retreated, and we saw no more of them.
    The action disclosed some serious defects in our ammunition and equipment, for which I earnestly recommend an immediate remedy. The shell of the Parrott gun have a fixed wooden fuse which cannot be extricated, the shortest being cut for four seconds. The consequence was that the shells burst far in the rear of the enemy and served merely as solid shot. Had they been plugged and uncut fuses furnished, I think that our fire would have been much more effective. The power and precision of the piece, demonstrated by the thirty rounds fired from it, render it very desirable that all of its advantages should be made available. I therefore respectfully suggest that the shell be hereafter furnished plugged and the fuses left uncut.
    It is reported to me that the Borman fuses used by one of the howitzers were defective, the shells cut for five seconds exploding as soon as those cut for two.
    The caissons of the Navy howitzers were made by placing ammunition chests upon the running gear of common wagons, and the play of the front axles is so limited that the caisson cannot be turned in the ordinary roads of this part of the country, and wherever the road is ditched or the woods impassable it cannot be reversed. There is also great danger of breaking the poles in turning the caissons quickly, as was shown in the action of the 10th instant. I am aware that the expedient of using wagon bodies was resorted to in order to save time, but as it might lead to great disaster, I recommend that their places be supplied as speedily as possible with those made in the usual way.
    The small size of the limber of the howitzers (Navy) renders it impossible to mount the men, and the pieces cannot move faster than the cannoneers can walk. In a recent skirmish with the enemy, in which we <ar2_101> pursued them rapidly, we could only carry two men, and having got far ahead of the others, we had to unlimber and fire with only two cannoneers at the piece. The piece having only two horses, and the carriage being very light, it is hazardous to mount any person on the limber. I therefore recommend that four horses be furnished to each Navy howitzer, one for the chief and the other three for the men usually mounted on the limber.
    We have succeeded since the action in unspiking the howitzer disabled by the breaking of the priming wire, but from the inferior metal used in making our priming wires we shall have to lay them aside altogether, and I must request that better ones be furnished. At present I can say nothing more of the conduct of the officers and men of the battalion than to express the high gratification afforded me by their courage, coolness, and precision, and to ask permission at a future time to call your attention to individual instances of gallantry and good conduct. I have requested the commandants of companies to furnish me with the names of such non-commissioned officers and privates as they think especially worthy of notice.
    I am happy at having an opportunity to render my acknowledgments to Colonel Hill, the commandant of the North Carolina regiment, for the useful suggestions which his experience as an artillery officer enabled him to make to me during the action, and to bear testimony to the gallantry and discipline of that portion of his command with which I was associated. The untiring industry of his regiment in intrenching our position enabled us to defeat the enemy with a nominal loss on our side.
    I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
    GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
    Major, Commanding Howitzer Battalion.
    Col. JOHN B. MAGRUDER,
    Commanding Division at Yorktown.

    Continued...
     
  19. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Continued references...

    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME VI, Chapter XV [S# 6]
    APRIL 10-11, 1862.--Bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski, Ga.
    No. 5. -- Reports of Brig. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, U. S. Army, of operations against Fort Pulaski, January 28-April 11, 1862.
    During the Peninsular war breaching at 500 to 700 yards was of frequent occurrence, and at the second siege of Badajos fourteen brass 24-pounders breached an exposed castle wall backed by earth alone, and consequently much weaker than a scarp sustained in the rear by heavy piers and arches, in eight hours, at a distance of 800 yards.
    Experiments of breaching with rifled guns have recently been made. I shall notice two cases:
    In August, 1860, experiments with Armstrong's rifled guns were made against a condemned martello tower at Eastbourne, on the coast of Sussex, England. The tower was of brick, fifty-six years old, and designed for one gun, the wall being 7½ feet thick at the level of the ground and thick at the spring of the vault, which was 19 feet above the ground. It was 31½ feet high, 46 feet exterior diameter at the bottom, and 40 feet at the top. The pieces used against it were: one 40-pounder of 4¾-inch caliber, one 82-pounder of 6-inch caliber, and one 7-inch howitzer, throwing 100-pound shells. A practicable breach, 24 feet wide, including most of the arch, was made with an expenditure of 10,850 pounds of metal, at a distance of 1,032 yards. The projectiles expended were: 40-pounder gun, 20 solid shot, 1 plugged shell, 43 live shells; 82-pounder gun, 19 solid shot, 8 plugged shells, 36 live shells; 7-inch howitzer, 2 plugged shells, 29 live shells.
    Projectiles that failed to hit the wall are excluded from the above table.(*)
    General Sir John Burgoyne, in his report upon these experiments, says:
    Trials were subsequently made to breach a similar tower from smooth-bored 68 and 32 pounders at the same range of 1,030 yards, and the result may be deemed altogether a failure, both accuracy of fire and velocity of missiles being quite deficient for such a range. At 500, or perhaps 600,yards the superiority of the rifled ordnance would probably have been very little, if any.
    Experimental siege operations for the instruction of the Prussian army, comprising the demolition of the defective and obsolete fortifications at <ar6_162> Juliers, were carried on in the month of September, 1860, especially with reference to the effect of rifled breech-loading guns.
    The following brief summary of the breaching experiments is taken from the report of Lieut. Col. A. Ross, Royal Engineers:
    Four 12-pounder iron guns and two 12-pounder brass guns, weighing, respectively, 2,700 pounds and 1,300 pounds, throwing a conical ball weighing 27 pounds, and fired with a charge of 2.1 pounds, at 800 Prussian paces (640 yards), made a practicable breach 32 feet wide in a brick wall 3 feet thick, with counter-forts 4 feet thick, 4 feet wide, and 16 feet from center to center, the wall being 16 feet high, and built en décharge, after firing 126 rounds. The first six rounds are omitted from this calculation, as they did not strike the wall, the wall being entirely covered from the guns. No difference was observed between the effects of the brass and the iron guns. The bursting charge of the shells was fourteen-fifteenths of a pound. The penetration was 15 inches.
    Six 6-pounder guns, four of iron and two of cast steel, weighing, respectively, 1,300 and 800 pounds, throwing a conical shell weighing 13 pounds, and firing with a charge of 1.1 pounds, at 50 l)aces, made a practicable breach 70 feet wide, in precisely the same description of wall as that above described, after firing 276 rounds, the battery being situated on the counterscarp opposite the wall. No difference was observed between the effects of the cast steel and iron guns. The bursting charge of a shell was half a pound. The penetration of the that single shot averaged 18 inches.
    Four 24-pounder iron guns, weighing between 53 and 54 hundredweight, throwing a shell weighing 57 pounds and firing with a charge of 4 pounds, at a distance of 60 yards made a. practicable breach 62 feet wide in a loop-holed brick wall 24 feet high and 6½ thick after firing 117 rounds, the Wall being seen from the battery. The bursting charge of the shell was 2 pounds. The penetration of the two first single shots was 2½ and 3 feet.
    The same guns, after firing 294 rounds with the same charges and at a distance of 96 yards, made a breach 46 feet wide in a brick wall 40 feet high and 12 feet thick at the foot, with a batter of about 4 feet. The wall was 12 feet thick, and built en décharge, with counter-
    forts 6 feet wide and 16 feet from center to center, and connected by two rows of arches, one above the other. The penetration of the first single shot was 3 feet and 3½ feet. All the above-mentioned guns were rifled breach-loaders.
    It is impossible to institute a very close comparison of the relative value of rifled and smooth-bore guns for breaching purposes from any data which experience has thus far developed.
    The experiments at Eastbourne, hereinbefore mentioned, are the only ones on record where they have been tried side by side to the extent of actual breaching against the same kind of masonry and at the same distance. We have seen how on that occasion the rifles were a complete success, while the smooth-bores were an utter failure.
    At Fort Pulaski an excellent opportunity was afforded on the scarp wall near the breach for obtaining the actual penetration of the several kinds of projectiles. An average of three or more shots for each caliber was taken, giving the following results, which may be relied upon as correct:
    Table of penetrations in a brick wall,. as determined at the siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga., April, 1862.
    Gun Yards type&weight projectile - elevation-charge-penetration. In inches
    Old 42-pounder, rifled 1,650 James, 84 lbs., solid 4¼elevation 8charge 26 inches

    Old 32 pounder, rifled. 1,650 James, 64 ;lbs.. solid 4 6 20inches

    Old 24-pounder, rifled 1,670 James, 48 lbs., solid 4½ 5 19inches

    Parrott rifled gun 1,670 Parrott, 30 lbs., solid 4½ 3½ 18inches

    Columbiad (10-inch), smooth bore 1,740 Parrott, 128 lbs., solid round 4½ 20 13

    Columbiad (8-inch), smooth bore 1,740 Parrott, 68 lbs., solid round 5 10 11

    The above table indicates very prominently, although it affords no exact means of measuring, the great superiority of rifle over smoothbore guns for purposes requiring great penetrating power. <ar6_163>
    Against brick walls the breaching effect of percussion shell is certainly as great as that of solid shot of the same caliber. They do not penetrate as far by 20 to 25 per cent, but by bursting they make a much broader crater. Such shell would doubtless break against granite walls without inflicting much injury.
    Sir W. Dennison, from a comparison of the several sieges in Spain during the Peninsular war, estimated that a practicable breach at 500 yards could be made in a rubble wall backed by earth by an average expenditure of 254, 400 pounds of metal fired from smooth-bore 24-pounders, for every 100 feet in width of breach--equal to 2,544 pounds of metal for every linear foot in width of breach.
    Before we can draw any comparison, however imperfect, between this estimate and the results obtained at Fort Pulaski, it is necessary to make certain deductions from the amount of metal thrown from the breaching batteries used against that work, as follows:
    First. For the shots expended upon the barbette guns of the fort in silencing their fire.
    Second. For 10 per cent. of Parrott projectiles, which upset from some defect which I know from personal observation has been entirely removed by the recent improvements of the manufacturer.
    Third. For nearly 50 per cent. of the 64 pound James shot, due to the fact that one of the two pieces from which they were thrown had by some unaccountable oversight been bored nearly one-fourth of an inch too large in diameter, and gave no good firing whatever. Making these deductions, it results that 110, 643 pounds of metal were fired at the breach.
    The really practicable portion of the breach was of course only the two casemates that were fully opened, say 30 feet in aggregate width; but the scarp wall was battered. down in front of three casemate piers besides, and had these piers not been there, or had the scarp been backed by earth alone, as was generally the case in Spain, the practicable portion of the opening would have been from 45 to 50 feet wide. Calling it 45 feet, the weight of metal thrown per linear foot of breach was 2,458 pounds, against 2,544 per linear foot in the Peninsular sieges. Had the fort held out a few hours longer this difference would have been much greater, for the wall was so badly shattered to the distance of 25 or 30 feet each side of the breach that the opening could have been extended either way with a comparatively trifling expenditure of metal. On repairing the work 100 linear feet of the scarp wall had to be rebuilt.
    It must be borne in mind that at Fort Pulaski only 58 per cent. of the breaching metal was fired from rifled guns, the balance being from smooth-bored 8-inch and 10-inch columbiads (68 and 128 pounders) of Battery Scott.
    It may therefore be briefly and safely announced that the breaching of Fort Pulaski at 1,700 yards did not require as great an expenditure of metal, although but 58 per cent. of it was thrown from rifled guns, as the breaches made in Spain with smooth-bores exclusively at 500 yards. In the former case the wall was good brick masonry, laid in lime mortar, and backed by heavy piers and arches; in the latter, rubble masonry, backed by earth.
    A knowledge of the relative value of heavy round shot, 10-inch for example, and elongated percussion shells from lighter guns, say James 64-pounders (old 32-pounders), in bringing down the masses of brick masonry cracked and loosened by the elongated solid shot, is a matter of some importance, considering the vast difference in the amount of labor required to transport and handle the two kinds of ordnance. The <ar6_164> penetration of the percussion shell would exceed, and its local effect would at least equal, that of the solid round shot. The general effect of the latter, within certain ranges, is a matter for consideration.
    My own opinion, based principally upon personal observation, corroborated by the reports of experiments made in Europe, may be stated in the following terms:
    First. Within 700 yards heavy smooth bores may be advantageously used for breaching, either alone or in combination with rifles.
    econd. Within the same distance light smooth bores will breach with certainty, but rifles of the same weight are much better.
    Third. Beyond 700 yards rifled guns exclusively are much superior for breaching purposes to any combination of rifles and heavy or light smooth bores.
    Fourth. Beyond 1,000 yards a due regard to economy in the expenditure of manual labor and ammunition requires that smooth bores, no matter how heavy they may be, should be scrupulously excluded from breaching batteries.
    Fifth. In all cases when rifled guns are used exclusively against brick walls at least one-half of them should fire percussion shells. Against stone walls shell would be ineffective.
    Continued report ...next page
     
  20. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

    Joined:
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    General Gillmore's report-continued

    For breaching at long distances the James and Parrott projectiles seem to be all that can be desired. The grooves of the James gun must be kept clean at the seat of the shot. This is not only indispensably necessary, but of easy and ready attainment, by using the very simple and effective scraper devised on the principle of the searcher for the pieces we employed against Pulaski. This scraper consists of a number of steel springs or prongs, one for each groove, firmly attached by screws to the cylindrical part of a rammer-head, and flaring like a broom, so as to fit closely into the grooves. About half an inch of the lower end of each prong is bent out at right angles. The prongs being compressed by a ring, to which a lanyard is attached, when entering the bore spring out firmly into the grooves when the ring is removed, and clean them thoroughly as the scraper is drawn out.
    The failure of the James shot, as reported on two or three occasions by apparently good authority, is probably due to neglect in this particular. There were no failures in our firing, except as before mentioned, with the 32-pounders (carrying a 64-pound shot), that had been bored too large.
    Although the James projectiles are surrounded when first made by greased canvas, there is believed to be an advantage in greasing them again at the moment of loading. This was done in our batteries against Fort Pulaski. As the Parrott projectiles receive their rotary motion from a ring of wrought-iron or brass which surrounds the lower portion of the cylinder, and which does not foul the grooves while engaging them, no special precaution to prevent fouling need be taken with the Parrott guns.
    With heavy James or Parrott guns the practicability of breaching the best-constructed brick scarp at 2,300 to 2,500 yards with satisfactory rapidity admits of very little doubt. Had we possessed our present knowledge of their power previous to the bombardment of Fort Pulaski, the eight weeks of laborious preparation for its reduction could have been curtailed to one week, as heavy mortars and columbiads would have been omitted from the armament of the batteries as unsuitable for breaching at long ranges.
    t is also true beyond question that the minimum distance, say from 900 to 1,000 yards, at which land batteries have heretofore been considered <ar6_165> practically harmless against exposed masonry, must be at least trebled, now the rifled guns have to be provided against.
    The inaccuracy of the fire of the 13-inch mortars has already been adverted to. Not one-tenth of the shells dropped inside of the fort. A few struck the terre-plein over the casemate arches, but, so far as could be observed by subsequent inspection from below, without producing any effect upon the masonry. Whether they penetrated the earth work to the roofing of the arches was not ascertained.
    Two or three striking in rapid succession into the same spot over an arch might be expected to injure it seriously, if not fatally. Such an occurrence would, however, be rare indeed. Against all, except very extraordinary casualties, it would be easy for a garrison to provide as they occurred, by repairing with sand bags or loose earth the holes formed in the terre-plein by shells.
    We may therefore assume that mortars are unreliable for the reduction of a good casemated work of small area, like most of our sea-coast fortifications.
    As auxiliary in silencing a barbette fire, or in the reduction of a work containing wooden buildings and other exposed combustible material, mortars may undoubtedly be made to play an important part.
    For the reduction of fortified towns or cities, or extensive fortresses containing large garrisons, there is perhaps no better arm than the mortar, unless it be the rifled gun, firing at high elevations.
    To the splinter-proof shelters constructed for the seven advanced batteries I attribute our almost entire exemption from loss of life. We had 1 man killed by a shell from one of the mortar batteries outside the fort, which was the only casualty.
    The demoralizing effect of constant and laborious fatigue duty upon the health and discipline of troops, particularly upon such as are unused to the privations of war, like our volunteers, who can but slowly adapt themselves to the stinted comforts of a campaign, is a subject which demands the earnest attention of commanding officers in the field.
    Upon regular troops, to whom the drill in their special arm has to a certain extent become a second nature, who are accustomed to the vicissitudes of the field and familiar with expedients and make-shifts to secure comfort, the bad effects of excessive labor and constant interruption of drill are of course less apparent.
    With the average of our volunteer regiments every alternate day should be devoted to drill, in order to keep them up to a fair standard of efficiency.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    Q. A. GILLMORE,
    Major-General Volunteers.
    To the ADJUTANT-GENERAL U.S. ARMY,
    Washington, D. C.
    ====================================================

    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 9 [S# 9]
    FEBRUARY 8, 1862.--Battle of Roanoke Island, N. C.
    No. 6. -- Report of Lieut. C. Cushing Eyre, First New York Marine Artillery.
    ROANOKE ISLAND, February 8, 1862.
    I have the honor to report the working of the battery of the Ranger during the action at Pork Point Battery on February 7 and 8:
    Commenced firing at 12.30 at the distance of 3 miles. As the vessel worked ahead we were several times obliged to wear ship, each time running nearer to the battery. During the afternoon the firing was more effective, owing to the vessel having been brought closer to the enemy's position. During the latter part of the engagement the shell were thrown into the Point battery with accuracy.
    Expended during the action, 3 Parrott shell, elevation 17½ °, distance about 3 miles; 6 Parrott shell, elevation 15, distance about 2¾ miles; 3 Parrott shell, elevation 16°, distance about 2¾ to 3 miles; 12 Parrott shell, elevation 12°, distance about 2½ miles; 2 Parrott shell, elevation 13½°, distance about 2 3/5 ° miles.
    From Wiard's 12-pounder, expended 20 shell and shot at an elevation of 15° to 17°, distance 2¾ miles; 38 shell and shot at an elevation of 8° to 12°, distance 2½ miles.
    About 3.30 p.m., being within range for the 12-pounder boat howitzer, commenced firing with it, and expended 45 shot and shell, very <ar9_91> few of them falling short. This gun was in charge of Lieutenant Dennison, Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers.
    Respectfully,
    C. CUSHING EYRE,
    First Lieutenant Marine Artillery.
    Capt. DANIEL MESSINGER,
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME X/1 [S# 10]
    MARCH 28-June 18, 1862.--Cumberland Gap (Tenn.) Campaign.
    No. 3. -- Report of Capt. Jacob T. Foster, First Wisconsin Battery, Chief of Artillery, of operations June 6-18.
    HDQRS. ARTILLERY, SEVENTH DIV., ARMY OF THE OHIO,
    Cumberland Gap, June 21, 1862.
    DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that, according to General Orders. No. 39, the line of march was taken up for the attack of Cumberland Gap by the siege battery, consisting of two 20 and two 30 pounder Parrott guns, on Friday, June 6, 1862, under command of Lieutenant Webster, of Foster's First Wisconsin Battery. Preparations were made as extensively as possible in this part of the country, <ar10_65> where it is very difficult to find machinery of any kind, and doubly difficult for the movement of a heavy train and ordnance connected with a siege battery of Parrott rifled guns. Machinery for the movement of this battery over steep ascents and descents consisted of about 800 feet of 1-inch, 100 feet of 1½-inch rope, three large and two small snatch-blocks, one double and one single tackle-block. This was all the tackle of any kind that could be obtained in time to be of any use to move without hinderance to the forces of this division. To move this battery a distance of 40 miles over the Cumberland Mountains and over roads considered impassable by the enemy for light artillery seemed a herculean task, which the heart would almost shrink from undertaking, for many of the ascents would form an angle of 30° with a horizontal plane, and this to be overcome, knowing that we were in many instances to make a corresponding descent.
    On the following day Foster's First Wisconsin Battery, under command of Lieut. John D. Anderson, moved forward, and being a light battery, met with but little difficulty the first few miles. The Ninth Ohio Battery, commanded by Lieutenant Barrows, followed upon the succeeding day with similar success. Two hundred men from the infantry were detailed to assist in overcoming the steep ascents and descents, which was to be done by ropes and pulleys. The ropes and pulleys were in constant use or readiness, and the men were obliged to be constantly on the alert, for the ascents were not only steep, but along sideling places, where, were the gun-carriages once overturned, they would have fallen over precipitous rocks varying in height from 100 to 500 feet. In many instances were the turns in the road more than at right-angles, and this up steep sideling ascents, rendering it almost impossible to turn with teams. At many times was the whole force, both of men and horses, used upon the same rope.
    On arriving at the top of the Cumberland Mountains the men and horses seemed nearly exhausted, many of the horses being entirely broken down, and will be worthless hereafter. Both men and horses had been upon short rations and forage, and it was impossible for subsistence and forage trains to follow close upon the troops over such terribly rugged roads. Many of my command have been the overland route to California, and all concede there was nothing to compare with these steep ascents and descents on the route.
    About 12 m. of June 10 the siege battery commenced the ascent of the mountain on the northern side, via Rogers' Gap road, which had been blockaded by Zollicoffer's troops, and was cut out before us by command of Colonel De Courcy, commanding the Twenty-sixth Brigade. This road was a mere bridle-path, and much credit is due the troops under Colonel De Courcy for their hard labor in removing the blockade and constructing the road.
    The Ninth Ohio Battery, Captain Wetmore, followed immediately in rear of the siege battery, and had much difficulty in ascending the steep declivity of this mountain, for it can be considered nothing else, although called a "gap."
    At 6 p.m. the first piece of the siege battery arrived on the top of the mountain, and there halted for the closing up of the remaining pieces. After halting until late in the evening all were closed up, and Wetmore's Ninth Ohio Battery allowed to pass and make the descent in advance. The 30-pounder guns being so heavy, weighing 8,000 pounds, were left at the top of the mountain, as the descent was too difficult to think for one moment of moving them down in the night. «5 R R--VOL X» <ar10_66> The 20-pounders, being more nearly allied to light artillery, were moved down the mountain into Powell's Valley during the night, but not without difficulty, for in many instances would they have been whirled down the rocks but for the constant care and tugging at the ropes by all the men we had.
    Foster's First Wisconsin Battery, which had been obliged to wait for an ammunition train to precede it up the mountain, started at 5 p.m., and after working hard through the night, without one moment's rest, and part of the time in almost total darkness (the moon being eclipsed), without rations or forage for the last eighteen hours, arrived in Powell's Valley without serious injury, only overturning a battery wagon and breaking its trail, at 3.30 o'clock a.m. on the 12th of June, 1862. This was the most difficult part of the mountain to overcome that we had encountered. The road was winding, narrow, very stony, and steep, and all the entire descent very sideling, so much so that we were constantly in imminent danger of being precipitated down the almost perpendicular banks over jagged rocks for several hundred feet, in which case it would have been sure death to man or beast.
    At 1.30 o'clock a.m., June 18, Foster's battery and the siege battery took up line of march with the Twenty-sixth Brigade, under command of Colonel De Courcy; Wetmore's battery, with the Twenty-seventh Brigade, under command of Brigadier-General Baird, and Lanphere's battery, with the Twenty-fourth Brigade, under command of Brigadier-General Carter, for the purpose of marching on the enemy, who were encamped about 8 miles up Powell's Valley from Rogers' Gap, where they were said to be in considerable force, but upon our arriving there found they had fled with great rapidity. We then marched to Cumberland Gap (which had been evacuated but a few hours previously) with Colonel De Courcy, and there Foster's battery saluted the Stars and Stripes with thirty-four guns.
    I cannot close my report without bringing to your favorable notice as officers of special merit Lieutenant Anderson and C. B. Kimball, of Foster's First Wisconsin Battery, and Lieutenant Webster, of same battery, commanding the siege battery, Lieutenant Barrows, commanding the Ninth Ohio Battery, and Captain Lanphere, of the Michigan battery, without whose valuable services but little of this arduous march of artillery could have been accomplished. Although we all would have gladly entered an encounter with the enemy, we, as officers of the artillery of this division, believe that more good results will be derived from this bloodless victory than with an encounter, and acknowledge that strategy displays more military skill than fields stained with blood.
    Hoping we may always be victorious in the support of our country, I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
    J. T. FOSTER,
    Captain, First Wisconsin Battery,
    Chief of Artillery, Seventh Division, Army of the Ohio.
    Capt. CHARLES O. JOLINE,
    A. A. G.


    Continued....
     
  21. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

    Joined:
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    17,391
    Location:
    Virginia
    Continued references...

    SERIES I--VOLUME XII/3 [S# 18]
    Correspondence, orders, and returns relating specially to operations in Northern Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland from March 17 to September 2, 1862.
    UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--#31
    AUGUST 30, 1862.
    Brig. Gen. J. W. RIPLEY,
    Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D. C.:
    Please send to Capt. E. M. Rozafy, ordnance officer at Manassas, at the earliest possible moment:
    Two 3-inch guns, with carriages, caissons, &c., ammunition complete.
    2,000, 000 elongated ball cartridges, caliber .58.
    2,000, 000 elongated ball cartridges, caliber .57.
    1,000, 000 elongated ball cartridges, caliber .69.
    800, 000 buck and ball, caliber .69.
    500, 000 elongated ball, caliber .71.
    300, 000 elongated ball, caliber .54.
    100, 000 Sharps rifle cartridges, caliber .52.
    50, 000 cartridges, Smith's carbine.
    50, 000 cartridges, Sharps carbine.
    50, 000 cartridges, Merrill's carbine.
    50,000 cartridges, Jocelyn's carbine.
    4,000 rounds ammunition, 3-inch gun, assorted <ar18_768>
    2,500 rounds 10-pounder Parrott.
    1,500 rounds light 12-pounder.
    400 rounds 12-pounder howitzer.
    800 rounds 12-pounder Wiard.
    800 rounds 6-pounder Wiard.
    600 rounds 6-pounder smooth-bore.
    With cartridges, fuses, friction primers, percussion caps, &c., complete.
    Respectfully,
    FRS. J. SHUNK,
    First. Lieutenant, Chief Ordnance, Army of Virginia.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    ALEXANDRIA, August 30, [1862]— -7-20 p.m.
    Col. D. H. RUCKER:
    I am prepared to forward the 500 tons of ammunition to General Pope's army. I will send a special messenger with it.
    C. B. FERGUSON,
    Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXVIII/1 [S# 46]
    Operations On The Coasts Of South Carolina And Georgia, And In Middle And East Florida.--June 12-December 31, 1863.
    No. 2.--Report of Maj. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, U.S. Army, commanding Department of the South, with congratulatory orders.
    158. The Parrott guns are not without defects, the most serious of which we found to be their very unequal endurance. Some of our most valuable batteries were disabled at a very early stage in the operations. The 8-inch rifle in the Marsh Battery burst at the 36th discharge, at a constant elevation of 31° 30 and a constant charge of 16 pounds. The projectile weighed 150 pounds.
    For the purpose of comparison, take two 100-pounders which burst as follows: One of them at the 122d round at 3° 15' elevation, the greatest elevation having been 3° 20', and the average 3° 18', while the other burst at the 1,151st round at 12° 30' elevation, the greatest elevation having 13° 55', and the average 13°. Ten pounds of powder was the charge for both pieces.
    159. By far the most remarkable example of endurance furnished by any of our guns, and perhaps the most remarkable on record, was that of a 30-pounder Parrott rifle. The following history of the piece is furnished by Captain Mordecai, chief of ordnance of this department: The gun was cast at the West Point Foundry in 1863; its ordnance number is 193; it was mounted on *******'s Point in December, 1863, for the purpose of throwing shells into the city of Charleston; it was placed on a plain wooden carriage manufactured on Morris Island. Sixty-nine days elapsed between the first and last discharge of the gun. It was being fired the 4,606th round when it burst. There were fired 4,594 rounds with 3 3/4 pounds of powder, and percussion shells of 29 pounds charged with 1 ½ pounds of powder, with an elevation of 40°. One round with the same as above excepting the elevation, which was 49° 45'; 7 rounds with the same as above, excepting that time fuses were used with 40° elevation; 4 rounds with 3¼ pounds of powder, time fuse, 4 1/2-inch shells, weighing 29 pounds and charged with 1 ½ pounds of powder; elevation, 2° 50'.
    Of these rounds, 4,253 shells reached the city; 259 tripped and fell short; 10 took the rifling and fell short; 80 exploded prematurely, but none in the gun; and 4 were fired at Fort Sumter, and reached it, the distance being 1,390 yards.
    The first 2,164 rounds were fired at intervals of five minutes, but the firing was not continuous, 237 rounds being the greatest number fired in any one twenty-four hours, and 2 rounds the least. The average per day was 127 rounds.
    The last 2,442 rounds were fired at intervals of fifteen minutes, not continuously, 157 rounds being the greatest number fired in any one day, and 7 the least; the daily average being 97 rounds.
    All the shells were swedged and greased. The gun was cleaned after each discharge, first with a dry sponge and then with an oiled one; it was washed out with water and cooled after every ten fires. After the gun was loaded, and while waiting to be fired, a canvas cap was placed over the muzzle to keep out drifting sand, and every <ar46_33> care was taken that the gun should be clear from sand and dirt when fired. The vent of the gun was bushed twice during the time it was used; the bushing in use when the gun gave out was somewhat eaten, but very regularly and not badly, the diameter of vent at the exterior being .25 of an inch, and at the interior .375.
    The gun when it burst went into seven pieces, the muzzle and chase back to the axis of trunnions being one piece, that part of the cast-iron re-enforce from 6 inches in rear of the front of the wrought-iron band, with the band, breach, and cascabel, being a second piece. The metal between these two pieces went into five fragments, two below the axis of the gun and three above, one of the latter being quite small, and located in front of the trunnions. The fracture within the band took place nearly in two planes, each being perpendicular to the axis of the gun. Three cracks extended back to the bottom of the bore, each along the junction of a band and groove, one immediately to the left of the vent, but not through it, one 1 ½ inches to the right, and the third 3 ½ inches to the left of the vent. The locality of the above fracture is at the point where the ring of the projectile rested when the gun was discharged.
    The upper side of the bore, over and in front of the projectile when at rest, is much eaten by the gas. In some places along the junction of a band and groove, these gutters are one-half inch in depth and 12 inches long. The surfaces of both bands and grooves are much guttered, though not deeply. On the lower side, 9 inches from the bottom of the bore, the edge of the lower band is entirely worn away, and this extends forward 12 inches. From 12 inches in rear of the trunnions to within 4 inches of muzzle, the grooves are apparently unworn. At the muzzle, on the lower side, the band is entirely worn away, down even below the bottom of the grooves. This wearing took place mostly to the right of a vertical plane through the axis of the piece.
    The diameter of the wrought-iron band at the front is increased about .375 of an inch, caused by the fragments in escaping from within it. It is presumed that mortar powder was used in this gun, as that was the order. The records are not explicit on this point. Plates ---- to ----, inclusive, each exhibit drawings and a brief history of a bursted gun. They were prepared by Captain Mordecai.
    Greek fire.
    160. The composition of Short's solidified Greek fire, the only incendiary material called Greek fire which we attempted to use, I am unable to give.
    Captain Mordecai reports as follows upon it:
    It was furnished in tin tubes, closed at one end, about 3 inches long and 3¼ inches in diameter. These tubes were covered with one layer of paper, such as is commonly used for cartridges. The paper was folded down over the ends of the tube, that part covering the open end having upon it a priming of powder and coal-tar.
    The directions for using this fire were furnished from the manufactory, and were as follows: "As many of the cases containing the composition must be dropped into the shell, with as much powder as can possibly be shaken among them." After the failure of shell filled in this manner to give satisfactory results, Mr. Short visited Morris Island. He altered the manner of filling the shell, putting several inches of powder in the shell before inserting the cases. He also covered some cases with several thicknesses of thick cartridge paper, and others with several layers of muslin.
    Into all the shell filled by him, powder was first placed. «3 R R--VOL XXVIII, PT I» <ar46_34>
    To the best of my knowledge, the only cases in which shell were fired containing the solidified Greek, fire are enumerated below:
    178. As an open assault would be necessary to get "Sumter in our possession," and as we could not expect to hold it, if we got it, until after the navy achieved success inside the harbor, occupying, as the work did, the center of a circle, with the enemy's batteries on three-fifths of the circumference thereof, unapproachable by land, and having not only a direct but a reverse fire upon each of its five faces, and as the only object to be gained in "possessing it" was to relieve parties operating against the obstructions from the annoyance of its musketry fire, I made an offer to the admiral in my letter of September 27 to undertake the removal of the obstructions myself. This offer the admiral with great candor declined, saying that that <ar46_39> was his "proper work," and that all he desired was to have Sumter rendered incapable of its musketry fire by the fire of *******'s Point, when he was ready to move in, which might not be for a couple of weeks. There were no guns in the fort to fear, and the practicability of keeping its musketry fire entirely silent with the powerful armament we had ready on the north end of Morris Island was not doubted for a moment. The occasion to use the guns for that purpose never presented itself.
    All of which is respectfully submitted.
    Q. A. GILLMORE,
    Major-General of Volunteers.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    End of References-
    I would enjoy the list member's comments, observations and discussions. I have found these official reports facinating myself. The amount of 500 tons of ammunition sent to Pope's 2nd Manassas/Bull Run is enlightening as well as so many other details within this lengthy list of references.

    Just some thoughts.

    Respectfully submitted for consideration,
    M. E. Wolf
     

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