Confederate 68 pdr SBs

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
3,833
#1
68_pounder_fort_nelson.jpg


A 68-pounder on a replica carriage at Fort Nelson

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/68_pounder_fort_nelson.JPG

While reading @rebelatsea 's excellent thread on the surplus Bombay Marine vessels - https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-bombay-marine-offer-to-the-cs-government.107715/ - he wrote the following...

It is possible that some if not all of the 68pdr sb from the two big ships found their way to the Confederacy.
Thought I would bring my question over here to the 'big gun' experts instead of cluttering up the other thread.

Did the Confederates employ any 68 pdr SBs during the ACW and if so, where were they used?

Thanks for the help!
USS ALASKA
 
Last edited:

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

DaveBrt

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
2,257
Location
Charlotte, NC
#3
Wikipedia says 2000 were produced in England. They were the main armament of Warrior and could penetrate Warrior's armor, so I doubt the English let them float around without British control. Therefore, it is unlikely any made it to the CSA.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#4
I checked Olmstead ,Stark & Tucker. there is one surviving 68pdr of 95cwt, this one rifled and banded on the Blakely pattern. Manufacturer is a shown as Low Moor Iron Company, Bradford England dated 1862. Captured at Fort Morgan 23rd august 1864. It is marked, left trunnion: Low Moor 1862, upper breech: crown /P/1158. It has 3 groove right hand twist rifling and was or maybe still at West Point. Where there is only one now ,it was unlikely to have been a lone shipment. Interestingly it is not one of the 20 guns from the Assaay and Punjaub, but a "new piece".
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#5
View attachment 200836

A 68-pounder on a replica carriage at Fort Nelson

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/68_pounder_fort_nelson.JPG

While reading @rebelatsea 's excellent thread on the surplus Bombay Marine vessels - https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-bombay-marine-offer-to-the-cs-government.107715/ - he wrote the following...



Thought I would bring my question over here to the 'big gun' experts instead of cluttering up the other thread.

Did the Confederates employ any 68 pdr SBs during the ACW and if so, where were they used?

Thanks for the help!
USS ALASKA
Shame they put that gun on a truck carriage, it should be on a Marsilly two wheel and trail mount of a firtress siege carriage.
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
10,723
Location
East Texas
#6
Shame they put that gun on a truck carriage, it should be on a Marsilly two wheel and trail mount of a firtress siege carriage.
I presume you're describing what I normally refer to as a front pintle barbette carriage:

Ft Jackson.jpg


Or this iron carriage for a large Parrott:

Ft Pulaski 001.jpg


It could probably also be mounted on something like this center pintle mount, shown here with a large British Armstrong at Ft. Pulaski, Georgia:

Ft Pulaski 009.jpg
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#7
I presume you're describing what I normally refer to as a front pintle barbette carriage:

View attachment 200849

Or this iron carriage for a large Parrott:

View attachment 200850

It could probably also be mounted on something like this center pintle mount, shown here with a large British Armstrong at Ft. Pulaski, Georgia:

View attachment 200851
68pdr on Marsilly carriage.jpg

Here is Warrior's gun deck showing a 68pdr 95cwt on a Marsilly carriage. This is not the gun I found in a grassy heap at Woolwich Rotunda Museum, that is at the other end of the battery in this photo. All the other 68pdrs are glass fibre copies.

The barbette carriage is correct, but does not have it's ancilliary equipment and control gear.

The gun at Ft Pulaski is not an Armstrong. It is a Selma cast Brooke 6.4 double banded. The banding rings have separated. The fortress carriage is missing all it's ancilliary equipment and control gear.

Here is a 7" Brooke on a Brooke pivoting carriage, this is at Columbus Museum. Again it does not have all the ancilliary equipment.
7 inch  Brooke on Brooke carriage..jpg


Here is one of the two 8" Armstrong MLR at Ft Fisher.
zz71 ArmstrongRifle.jpg
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
10,723
Location
East Texas
#9
... The barbette carriage is correct, but does not have it's ancilliary equipment and control gear.
Nevertheless, I got to serve on its crew as #2 (loader) during a firing demonstration! (Of course, following the drill we just inserted a powder bag and friction primer and set it off, followed by cleaning out the residue.)

... The gun at Ft Pulaski is not an Armstrong. It is a Selma cast Brooke 6.4 double banded. The banding rings have separated. The fortress carriage is missing all it's ancilliary equipment and control gear...
Thanks for the correction - in my haste I confused the two without doing my homework; I just remembered my old photo of this big, beautiful gun.

And all three of those are original pieces.
 
Last edited:

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#10
Nevertheless, I got to serve on its crew as #2 (loader) during a firing demonstration! (Of course, following the drill we just inserted a powder bag and friction primer and set it off, followed by cleaning out the residue.)


Thanks for the correction - in my haste I confused the two without doing my homework; I just remembered my old photo of this big, beautiful gun.

And all three of those are original pieces.
Sadly in todays world I can understand why all the bits and pieces aren't displayed, at the least they would be interfered with at worst they would attract the light fingered - to be polite.
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,351
Location
Pennsylvania
#11
I thought I had read in Wolf of the Deep that the Alabama’s aft pivot gun was a 68 pdr. I also have a boardgame from the 70s that claims Shenandoah had one, but...that’s a boardgame, and alas a keen interest is the limit of my naval expertise.
Alabama did have a 68pdr, but I have not seen the exact model specified. Perhaps @rebelatsea can elaborate.

Shenandoah had four 8" smoothbores, presumably on the broadside, about the size of a 68pdr but I think not the same weapon.
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#12
Alabama did have a 68pdr, but I have not seen the exact model specified. Perhaps @rebelatsea can elaborate.

Shenandoah had four 8" smoothbores, presumably on the broadside, about the size of a 68pdr but I think not the same weapon.
The Commerce cruisers aren't my field but Alabama's 68pdr was a Low Moor 95cwt 1862 cast model no p/1157.
Shenandoahs 8" SB were shell guns, I have no more details.
 

Hussar Yeomanry

Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#14
If I get to Britain I’m making a bee line to Fort Nelson. The casemated mortar batteries are unlike anything here.

View attachment 201348
Having been to Fort Nelson a few times I can guarantee that if you like either artillery or fortifications you will love it. Probably you already know that it is the home of the artillery collection of the Royal Armouries (Basically the UK's military museum) though as built it was only one of five such forts that crested the distinct ridge line that is directly north of (at the time) one of the Royal Navy's three home ports (Chatham is declining in importance but is still one of 'the three').

It is also best to go of a weekend and I would also advise that you do some research first for most/ many weekends they do gun drills there and fire some of their rather impressive collection. Obviously what is being (blank) fired varies week by week and your interest in what they are firing may vary.

Of course if you go to Fort Nelson then probably you will be going to HMS Warrior - which has already featured in this thread - and is it is in Portsmouth dockyard.

Furthermore if you are interested in fortifications there are twenty five or so others remaining in varying state of repair in the immediate area with more on the Isle of Wight. (Most can only be viewed from the outside but Fort Brockhurst and Southsea Castle (16th century but modernised in the 19th) are also open to the public. (Forts Cumberland, Purbrook and Widley are occasionally accessible/ can be accessed with prior permision. Ditto the Round and Square Tower while Spitbank Fort used to be - I think it may no longer be possible to gain access but am not sure)
 
Last edited:

Irishtom29

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
1,558
Location
San Antonio
#15
Having been to Fort Nelson a few times I can guarantee that if you like either artillery or fortifications you will love it...
Ahh, Palmerston’s Follies. ;-)

I have a couple of books about British fortifications of the era and often look at the forts on Google Earth. When I volunteered with the National Park Service at the Castillo de San Marcos, the gorgeous Spanish built fort in St. Augustine Florida, I knew a ranger there who’d visited the Palmerston forts at Portsmouth and Dover including the Dover turret.

Google Earth is a fort freak’s best friend.
 

Hussar Yeomanry

Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
930
Location
UK
#16
As a former resident of the area and one who still has family in the area I have half at least a dozen books and pamphlets on the area's defenses. All I would say is (becasue he does not want to threadjack things) the area's defenses begin in the 13th century or thereabouts (albeit in a rather half hearted form) and then become more and more formidable over the years. Eventually they become formidable... at precisely the point weapons change with the result that many of these sizable (and unbelievably costly) fortifications gain at best a token armament. After all we''ll have plenty of warning of an enemy invasion.

At least that is the theory...

[If you want a giggle then you could always look at how easily these supposedly impenetrable fortifications that hold England's main artillery garrison/ reserve/ stockpile are captured in the first months of the English Civil War (holding significant fortifications with precisely five men and a dog is not to be recommended... especially if their loyalty cannot be verified...]
 

rebelatsea

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
4,190
Location
Kent ,England.
#17
Having been to Fort Nelson a few times I can guarantee that if you like either artillery or fortifications you will love it. Probably you already know that it is the home of the artillery collection of the Royal Armouries (Basically the UK's military museum) though as built it was only one of five such forts that crested the distinct ridge line that is directly north of (at the time) one of the Royal Navy's three home ports (Chatham is declining in importance but is still one of 'the three').

It is also best to go of a weekend and I would also advise that you do some research first for most/ many weekends they do gun drills there and fire some of their rather impressive collection. Obviously what is being (blank) fired varies week by week and your interest in what they are firing may vary.

Of course if you go to Fort Nelson then probably you will be going to HMS Warrior - which has already featured in this thread - and is it is in Portsmouth dockyard.

Furthermore if you are interested in fortifications there are twenty five or so others remaining in varying state of repair in the immediate area with more on the Isle of Wight. (Most can only be viewed from the outside but Fort Brockhurst and Southsea Castle (16th century but modernised in the 19th) are also open to the public. (Forts Cumberland, Purbrook and Widley are occasionally accessible/ can be accessed with prior permision. Ditto the Round and Square Tower while Spitbank Fort used to be - I think it may no longer be possible to gain access but am not sure)
There is a room in Ft Nelson which the guides used to make no comment on and watch peoples reactions. I haven't been there for some years, but remember the feeling of cold and dread in there - I wouldn't have stayed there alone, and I'm a cynical old S.O.B. !
 

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
10,723
Location
East Texas
#18
Fort Ticonderoga.jpg


... [If you want a giggle then you could always look at how easily these supposedly impenetrable fortifications that hold England's main artillery garrison/ reserve/ stockpile are captured in the first months of the English Civil War (holding significant fortifications with precisely five men and a dog is not to be recommended... especially if their loyalty cannot be verified...]
This is also an apt description of the capture of then-British-held Ft. Ticonderoga by a small force of Green Mountain Men from Vermont led by Ethan Allan and Benedict Arnold at the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775. Allen and Arnold accosted the commander of the tiny garrison at the door of his own quarters, at center above, allegedly with Allen's summons, "Come out, you old rat!" The capture of the former French fort from the French and Indian War subsequently paved the way for Henry Knox to remove the fort's guns and mortars that winter and transport them by sledge over the Berkshires to break the British hold on Boston, which they then evacuated on St. Patrick's Day, 1776.

Fort Ticonderoga 003.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
3
#19
If this is too dead a thread to revive, delete this post. The OR's record the CSS Lewis Cass, ex-USRC Lewis Cass, an 80' topsail schooner taken over in Mobile Bay, as carrying a battery of one 68-pdr.
 

Saphroneth

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
4,049
#20
Wikipedia says 2000 were produced in England. They were the main armament of Warrior and could penetrate Warrior's armor, so I doubt the English let them float around without British control. Therefore, it is unlikely any made it to the CSA.
Slight correction - they could penetrate Warrior on full charge with a steel ball. The Warrior was built to be proof against the 68 pounder when firing an iron ball, it being the best anti-armour weapon at the time of her design, but the steel ball was somewhat superior.

The 68 pounder was likely not considered a state secret. It's just a heavily built 8" long gun and there were other "68 pounder" guns elsewhere because it's just the size gun you get if you go for an 8" diameter ball. The USN actually had a comparable gun, the 64 pounder (which was a 7.9" ball) but it was considered rather old hat by the 1860s - perhaps wrongly as it may have been the best anti-armour gun the USN had in the first year of the war.
More surprising is the reports that Martin's Shot was used at some point in defending the Charleston forts, that was supposed to largely be a secret weapon.

Another slight correction - it's "British". (Not an unimportant distinction at the time; key RN Admirals of the time included the Scottish Milne.)
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top