Cannons.

tomh

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#21
Ordnance request

M E Wolf,

Very informative, thanks for posting that. I found the small arms cartridges request especially interesting. Early war ordnance requests occasionaly show some things that did not exist later in the war.

2 million cal .58 and 2 million cal .57 cartridges - by the end of 62 the federals eliminated the .57 cal and called them all .58

same with the 1 million cal .69 and 500K cal .71 - the .71 cal was dropped and .69 cal bullets covered the .69/.70/.71 cal weapons

100K sharps rifle and 50K sharps carbine - two different size cartridges based on charge only, carried over from the 1840's doctrine. Later, one cartridge would be used for both.

50K each Smith, Sharps, Merrill and Jocelyn - within a year the Sharps would race ahead of the carbine family and outnumber all the others by a substantial margin in later ordnance requests.

That document gives a great summary of how the Army of VA was armed. More than 13 .57/.58 requests for each .54 cal and less than 2 to 1 .57/.58 over .69.

Thanks,
TomH
 

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M E Wolf

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#22
Dear TomH;

You are most welcome. I found it as interesting as you.

In addition, some of the research by General Gillmore would be most interesting; even as an re-enactor in a artillery unit; as to impress upon the power.

Something, I am sure would spark the interests of 'want-to-be' artillerists.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
[Who wouldn't mind being a want-to-be artillerist who sites the piece and yell 'Fire!']
 
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#23
I have a couple of questions. I've looked around but haven't found an answer.

1.)How many artillerymen were assigned per cannon?
2.)What were all the designed positions that each artilleryman performed?
 

ole

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#24
Whoo. Somewhere, I have that written down, but I'll leave it to those that know the information. Vague answer: more than you'd think.

Each battery had somewhere in the neighborhood of 58 horses for 6 guns. In the battery was a forge, a smith and an artificer (a fancy smith). There were officers and teamsters, a quartermaster or two as well as saddlers, etc.

So long as I'm rambling, seems that regulations had 7 men per gun. (Straining at the edges here.) One stood by the limber and cut fuses and handed off rounds to another who would deliver it to the crew. One would aim, one would swab and ram, another would work the thumbstall, another would pierce the powder-bag and another would insert the match and pull the lanyard.

Nevermind. I'll wait with you for someone who knows what he's talking about.

ole
 

johan_steele

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#25
3 NCO's (usually 1 Sgt & 2 Corporals) 7 Gunners, 3 Piece Drivers, 3 Cassion Drivers, 7 "Extras." A gun was supposed to have 8 men manning it. but in reality that number was sometimes reduced and at Antietem a man who earned the CMH manned a gun by his lonesome after the rest of the crew had been killed or wounded.

I think a 4 gun battery had 85-90 horses. 6 gun more than 100. Now that's a full strenth gun crew & battery... units were rarely at full strength.
 

M E Wolf

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#26
Dear Mr. King;

This site has illustrations as to add to the accuracy of the artillery.

www.cwartillery.org/hansen.html

excerpt from the site:
The process begins with the gunner's command for the type of ammunition and the range; Number 6 assisted by Numbers 7 and 8, at the limber chest, calls out the elevation and cuts the fuzes. At the command "Load", Number 1 steps to the muzzle with the rammer held parallel to the bore. Number 5 is given a round of ammunition by Number 6 or 7, and delivers the round to Number 2, who inserts it in the bore, where Number 1 rams it home. While this is taking place, Number 3 covers the vent with his thumb, wearing a protective leather thumbstall. The Gunner then sights the piece, operating the elevating screw to set the range, and directing Number 3, now on the handspike, in setting the aim.

After sighting and loading, at the command "Ready", Number 3 *****s the charge with a vent pick, and Number 4 hooks the lanyard to a friction primer and inserts the primer in the vent. At the command "Fire", Number 4 pulls the lanyard and the piece is discharged. The cannon is then run back into position; Number 1 sponges the piece and the process can begin again. A battery of well-trained cannoneers could fire two or even three rounds a minute, especially under combat conditions when they skipped sponging.

Under "Drill" will be the illustration and assigned spots.

It is one of the best sites I've seen.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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#28
Chickamauga Visitor Centre has examples of what could be called support waggons. They have an example of the portable forge mentioned by Ole. This is mounted on the back of a small waggon and would be very useful for minor repairs to gun fittings or the shoeing of horses. They also have a battery waggon, which I think is the only surviving example from the war. The battery waggon carried spares, everything from wheels to harness parts. The battery waggon would be essential. When viewing a cannon on a battlefield they look just about indestructable. But to see a cannon fully limbered up with all of the fittings intact, there are so many easily lost or damaged parts. Without a battery waggon, guns on a campaign would soon be useless.
 

M E Wolf

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#29
Dear Johan_Steele;

I am glad it proved to be a good site. Now sir, with your stamp of approval; it wins the 'Gold Seal of Approval;' as you liked it so well :smile:

Somebody put a lot of work into that site. :smile:

I appreciated how officers figured into things, their assignments as well as the 'drill' and the assignments at the gun and ammo chest. It really is a artful coordination between the seven guys assigned to each cannon.
And, I can appreciate the lone survivor managing the cannon all by himself.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

M E Wolf

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#30
Dear BlockadeRunner;

And, with a fully 'ready to move' artillery team; drivers riding on the left horses; the South were lucky to have four horses per team and North usually had six horses per team--sometimes eight horses per team, especially for hills and mountains, heavier guns also.

The turning radius for the artillery is approximately the same as the 'cul-de-sac.' This was true with my buggy and wagon of the 1800's that I drove in. The wheels would catch on the box and tip the buggy/wagon if cut too tight to right or left. With little wheelers affixed on the side of the box it helped to warn the driver that the cut was too tight. With the artillery team; you are lucky to have your British Hussar artillery drill team to show the manuevers of the artillery. The hitch on the caison was wonderful but if the piece was cut too tight, the tongue of the cannon's chassis would catch on the wheel's edge and tip the cannon and would fall onto its side. And, wheels needed to be concaved, as to support the weight but, the biggest enemy to artillery carriage and caisons are--the speed and vibration. This caused the pieces to fall apart and choke the Bull Run stone bridge, causing a traffic jam on the Union exit. Still dragging the pieces without wheels, plowed the ground and finally the traces broke. (what a mess!).

Now, with the macadem roads (asphalt); the artillery could move faster on smooth surfaces. This was laid down in the Federal City and unknown to people at that time; would do damage to horses' feet and legs if galloping on it was constant and not built up to it.

The turnpikes, were built for coaching routes and were built wide enough for two horse-drawn coaches to go in each direction or to pass. I find nuggets of what kind of roads that were used; to which some were lined in stone or gravel. I've driven over such stone/gravel roads; to which often bruised the horses feet or lamed the horse when a stone was caught in their foot. Like walking with a pebble in your shoe.

Cobblestone, plank roads, corderoy roads, stone/gravel roads, macadem roads, brick roads, unpaved dirt roads --no wonder the railroad was 'considered a road;' as horse drawn rail cars were the infancy of the railed roads; to which became steam driven. But, depending on the 'road' and the speed; had a direct effect/affect on artillery pieces and parts.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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#31
Wow! Thank you so much everyone by providing your time to provide me with these great useful information on the artillery subject.

I wonder why there aren't many books on artillery; biographies and units' histories from the great war. I'd like to read about confederate officers/generals John Pelham and James Dearing. The confederate artilllery unit; the Washington Artilllery.

Ya'll are very welcome to post books on some artillerists from both North and South on here.
 

johan_steele

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#32
The Long Arm of Lee by Wise? details the arty of the ANV. Excellent if dated book. THere are quite a few books on the Arty, there is at least one book that details the Wasington Lt Arty but I have no idea of the Author or title.
 

richard

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#33
Mr. King,

The 18th Indiana Light Artillery at the time of the Tullahoma-Chattanooga Campaign, had a total of 10 guns. 6 were 3 inch ordinance rifles and 4 mtn Howitzers. The 3inch rifles were pulled by a team of 8 horses. They also had a wagon maker along with the rest of the men.

A very good book about them is "Yankee Artillerymen through the Civilwar". It is out of print but is locatable through Library loan.
 
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#34
Thank you for the reply, richard.

If anyone has a difficult time trying to purchase a rare or an out of print book, I would recommend abebooks.com
and morningsidebooks.com
 

gary

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#35
You want books on Civil War artillery & batteries?

Berkeley, Pvt. Henry R. Four Years in the Confederate Artillery, Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1991.

Brady, James P., ed. Hurrah for the Artillery! Gettysburg: Thomas Publications, 1992.

Chamberlayne, Ham. Letters and Papers of an Artillery Officer, Richmond: Dietz Printing Co., 1932. Reprint. Wilmington: Broadfoot, 1992.

Crumb, Herb S. & Dhalle, Katherine, eds. No Middle Ground: Thomas Ward Osborne’s Letters From the Field, Hamilton: Edmonton, 1993.

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd. An Artilleryman’s Diary, Wisconsin Historical Commission, 1914.

Moore, Edward. The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson, New York: Neale Publishing Co., 1907. Reprint. Alexandria: Time Life Reprints, 1983.

Poague, William Thomas. Gunner with Stonewall, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

Ripley, Warren, ed. Siege Train: The Journal of a Confederate Artilleryman in the Defense of Charleston, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1986.

Aldrich, Thomas M. The History of Battery A, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery, Providence: Snow & Farnam, 1904. Reprint. Salem: Higginson, 2004.

Ames, Capt. Nelson. History of Battery G, First Regiment New York Light Artillery, Marshalltown: Marshall Printing Co., 1900. Reprint. Wolcott: Benedum Books, 2000.

Billings, John. The History of the Tenth Massachusetts Battery, Boston: Arakelyan Press, 1909. Reprint. Baltimore: Butternut and Blue, 1987.

Jones, Benjamin W. Under the Stars and Bars: A History of the Surry Light Artillery, Richmond: Everett Waddey Co., 1909. Reprint. Dayton: Morningside, 1975.

Laboda, Lawrence. From Selma to Appomattox: The History of the Jeff Davis Artillery, Shippensburg: White Mane, 1994.

Owen, William Miller. In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1885. Reprint. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999.

Smith, James E. A Famous Battery and Its Campaigns 1861-‘64, W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., 1892. Reprint. Wolcott: Benedum Books, 1999.

Wallace, Lee Jr. Contributions to a History of the Richmond Howitzer Battalion, Baltimore: Butternut and Blue, 2000.
 

gary

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#36
BTW, I've got a few more artillery unit histories, but I haven't read them yet (and there's at least one that I read that I didn't list).
 

M E Wolf

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#38
Dear BlockadeRunner;

Not a problem.

Unfortunately, not all re-enactors can afford the horses as well as the caissons, field piece; so--it is difficult to imagine for such folks to handle a bouncing cannon on wood wheels with iron tires at a gallop. If you have ever towed a trailer behind you with a tag along hitch/bumper hitch; you have a sense what it feels like to the horses but--much stronger jolts; as there are no leaf springs on the artillery pieces or the caisson; so this really throws a horse off balance as these jolts telegraph through the traces into their neck where the hames and collars rest under the hames. This is why they needed well padded collars. And, driving my wagon over branches; which would be about the size of a rifle on the ground-would throw me up from my bench seat with a leaf spring about six inches. Now; with the heavy gun rolling over it might bounce 8 inches. That bounce isn't healthy on the wood frame of the artillery piece; and the finer pieces would break. The torque measurements weren't exactly a science applied to harness vs. vehicle and load vs. vibration.

And, I will add--the drivers (the riders riding on the left side) had to wear metal leg guards; as to keep the leg from being crushed by the tongue of the vehicle. (The wood part connecting to axle to front of the wheel team which are the two most powerful horses closest to the wheels who had to stop as well as start the load; as well as to manage the load. The other horses add to the power by pulling weight aka 'horse power like engines in autos.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

johan_steele

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#39
Gary; thank yopu for the title below. It was driving me nuts; I couldn't find the title and I had just read the blamed thing a couple monthes ago. A must read IMO for anyone researching the unit.

Owen, William Miller. In Camp and Battle with the Washington Artillery of New Orleans, Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1885. Reprint. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999.
 

Mr King

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#40
I thought I would add the many different projectiles that were used in the war. There were some that I didn't even know about.
.
Bar Shot- This projectile was like chain shot, except a bar of iron connected its two round shot.

Case Shot- This shot consisted of small balls enclosed in a case that, when broken by the shock of the discharge in the piece or by a charge of powder within the case, exploded during flight, scattering the balls. The kinds of case shot used in the war included canister shot, grapeshot, and spherical case shot.

Canister Shot- Canister shot turned cannons into giant shotguns, firing a number of murderous metal pellets rather than a single shell. Most destuctive at 100 to 200 yards, canister was limited to ranged not exceeding 400 yards. Canister shot used cylindrical tin cases with iron heads, filled with cast-iron balls arranged in four tiers and packed with dry sawdust.

Grapeshot- A stand of grapeshot consisted of nine shots put together by means of two cast-iron plates, two rings, and a bolt and nut. The projectile was attached by tin straps to a wooden sabot, to which was also attached the cartridge bag containing the charge. The Union army discontinued the use of grapeshot in 1863 because canister had proved more effective and was easier to fabricate. The navy probably continued to use old pattern grapeshot, often called quilted grapeshot, throughout the war.

Sherical Case Shot- This shot consisted of a thin shell of cast iron containing a number of musket balls and a charge of powder sufficient to burst the shell. As in an ordinary shell, a fuse was fixed to it to ignite the charge.

Chain Shot- This was two round shot held together by a chain. Their motion of rotation would have made these projectiles valuable in cutting masts and riggings of ships if their flight had not been so inaccurate.

Fire Ball- This was an oval projectile formed of sacks of canvas filled with a combustible composition that emitted a bright flame. The fire ball was used to illuminate the enemy's works and was loaded with a shell.

Grenade- A grenade was a shell thrown by hand or by large-caliber mortars and ignited by means of a fuse. The two main types were hand grenades and rampart grenades. Grenades were useful in defending works. Small grenades could be thrown by hand into trenches, into covered approaches, or at besiegers mounting a breach. Large grenades could be rolled over the parapet or propelled by mortars.

Light Ball- This was similar to the fire ball, except it did not contain a shell. It was used to light up one's own works.

Shell- A shell was a hollow sphere of cast iron containing powder that was ignited by means of a fuse. When fired at troops, the shell was prepared so that it would explode over their heads or, if the terrain was suitable for ricochets, in front of the enemy. When fired at works or buildings, the shell exploded after penetration.

Smoke Ball- This was a hollow paper sphere similar to the light ball, but filled with a composition that emitted a dense, nauseating smoke. The smoke ball was used to conceal one's own operations. The smoke ball burned 25 to 30 minutes.

Solid Shot- This solid sphere of cast iron was used almost exclusively in guns. The gun itself usually derived its denomination from the weight of the shot, as in 6-pounder or 12-pounder.
 



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