Famous cannon was at siege

Vicksburger

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#1
This cannon has come up in other threads, but since we are coming up to May 19 and 22 and our thoughts are about Vicksburg, I thought I would make a post. The famous war photo was erroneously identified as "Whistling Dick" the famous Vicksburg cannon. But it is actually a photo of a cannon that is out in front of the Vicksburg NMP visitor's center. I will post a modern photo of it. Warren Ripley in his book on Artillery goes into great detail about this gun. It is a 32-pounder Navy gun. Amazing now we know for sure two guns were at the siege, Widow Blakely and this one.
Whistleing Dick (erroneous).jpg
32-pdr Vicksburg Brooke type.jpg
 

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Vicksburger

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#3
Here is another famous wartime photo of the 32-Pounder Navy gun. Warren Ripley says the gun was found in a cemetery in the latter years of the 19th century and the National Military park got it. It was formerly part of the guns placed at the "Water Battery" (1960's) but at some point has been moved in front of the NMP visitors center.
Whistling Dick erroneous 2.jpg
 
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#7
I was holding this little tidbit for my artillery presentation at the gathering in October, but I'll share it now: According to Ms. Elizabeth Hoxie Joyner who was the former curator of the Vicksburg NMP Collections and author of A Field Guide to The Artillery of Vicksburg National Military Park, there are only three pieces in the Vicksburg area that have an ironclad provenance to the siege. One is found in the lobby of the visitor's center (a 12# howitzer-Union), one is in the lobby of the Vicksburg Convention Center (a 3" Rifle-Confederate made in Vicksburg) and of course The Widow Blakely (a 7.5" Blakely Rifle-Confederate) which spent 96 years on display at West Point before being returned to Vicksburg. Perhaps of most interest is that perhaps the most famous gun at Vicksburg-"Whistling Dick" a Confederate banded and rifled 18# that was credited with sinking the U.S.S. Cincinnati was either: A. dumped into the Mississippi River or B. buried in a local cave as after the battle it never showed up on an inventory of captured ordnance.
 
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#9
In numerous article about Whisteling Dick the word describing its projectiles is "lamp posts". Is the author referring to the size or shape of the projectiles? Or both maybe?
Accounts that the USS Cincinnati was struck below the waterline and sunk by a 128 pound 7" bolt would indicate that this was a sizeable chunk of iron flying through the air and I imagine that the shape of the round caused the whistling noise.
1024px-The_photographic_history_of_the_Civil_War_-_thousands_of_scenes_photographed_1861-65,_w...jpg
-Photo LoC
 
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Vicksburger

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#10
In numerous articles about Whisteling Dick the word describing its projectiles is "lamp posts". Is the author referring to the size or shape of the projectiles? Or both maybe?
I am not an expert, but I think that WD was confused with one or more Whitworth rifled cannons that were also at the siege. The Whitworth shell is pictured here. Tompre has posted a photo of WD's shells from a local collector on another thread here.

whitworth shell.jpg
 
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#12
There was a Whitworth at Vicksburg, but it was a field gun (2.71") assigned to General Moore's Command. The shell pictured looks like a Read. And you may certainly be on to something as Whitworth rounds were known to make a shrieking/whistling sound as they flew through the air and this gun was assigned to the river batteries.
 
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#14
There was a Whitworth at Vicksburg, but it was a field gun (2.71") assigned to General Moore's Command. The shell pictured looks like a Read. And you may certainly be on to something as Whitworth rounds were known to make a shrieking/whistling sound as they flew through the air and this gun was assigned to the river batteries.
Pardon me, but

In a listing of heavy ordnance which arrived at Vicksburg, beginning August 1862, a high ranking Confederate ordnance officer included:

“…in October 1862, two 10 pdr. Whitworth guns, which were put on the river front and used, one during the final siege at Battery No. 2, the other one the lines, but not bearing on the river front.”
 
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#16
Pardon me, but

In a listing of heavy ordnance which arrived at Vicksburg, beginning August 1862, a high ranking Confederate ordnance officer included:

“…in October 1862, two 10 pdr. Whitworth guns, which were put on the river front and used, one during the final siege at Battery No. 2, the other one the lines, but not bearing on the river front.”
In the report of the Chief of Light Artillery for the Army of Vicksburg (Colonel Withers) dated June 18th, 1863, his inventory states that only one Whitworth was in Vicksburg as of that date and the Commander of the River Batteries (Colonel Edward Higgins) in his Consolidated Report of the Siege on July 25th 1863 among the artillery light and heavy listed is only one Whitworth. So, it is very possible that one Whitworth had left the City prior to the siege and I've seen one report of a Whitworth being in Union possession.
 
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#18
In the report of the Chief of Light Artillery for the Army of Vicksburg (Colonel Withers) dated June 18th, 1863, his inventory states that only one Whitworth was in Vicksburg as of that date and the Commander of the River Batteries (Colonel Edward Higgins) in his Consolidated Report of the Siege on July 25th 1863 among the artillery light and heavy listed is only one Whitworth. So, it is very possible that one Whitworth had left the City prior to the siege and I've seen one report of a Whitworth being in Union possession.
Withers' report (ORA Volume 24 Part 2 Page 336), which includes one Whitworth, only covers those (102 pieces) on the seige lines. Notice that there only a few heavy pieces listed. That's because almost all the heavy pieces were in the river batteries.

Higgins' report (ORA Volume 24 Part 2 Pages 336 - 340) lists all the pieces in his "line of batteries". Among the 31 heavy pieces he lists is a Whitworth. He also had 13 pieces of light artillery in the River Batteries. Notice that all the 31 pieces listed by kind and caliber are heavy except for the Whitworth and a 20 pounder Parrott.

These two lists (Withers' 102 and Higgins' 44 ) are separate and must be added together to get the the number of artillery pieces surrendered.

Therefore there were two Confederate Whitworths at the seige of Vicksburg.

I would like very much to read the "report of a Whitworth being in Union possession." I am curious to learn about any and all references to Whitworths in this theater of the war and would appreciate it if you could help me find it.
 
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#19
So, if you use the NPS's figure of 172 Confederate Cannon of all types, the 102 of Withers' and Higgins' 44 = 146; any idea where the other 26 went to and could they have been captured on/at/return the trip to/from Champion Hill or carried on another inventory? And I stand corrected, I never thought to add the lists together. The reference to a Union Whitworth may have referred to captures as it was in the context of removing non standard guns from Vicksburg after the surrender. The NPS figures of approximately 405 guns used by both sides in the siege 172 Confederate (?) + 220 Union Army + 13 Union Navy=405. Do you have any figures different from these? Trying to determine how many and what was at Vicksburg has had me chasing my tail.
 
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#20
So, if you use the NPS's figure of 172 Confederate Cannon of all types, the 102 of Withers' and Higgins' 44 = 146; any idea where the other 26 went to and could they have been captured on/at/return the trip to/from Champion Hill or carried on another inventory? And I stand corrected, I never thought to add the lists together. The reference to a Union Whitworth may have referred to captures as it was in the context of removing non standard guns from Vicksburg after the surrender. The NPS figures of approximately 405 guns used by both sides in the siege 172 Confederate (?) + 220 Union Army + 13 Union Navy=405. Do you have any figures different from these? Trying to determine how many and what was at Vicksburg has had me chasing my tail.
It can be very confusing and my experience has been that the numbers are never going to add up perfectly.

I am not exactly sure how the NPS came up with 172.
Not saying they are wrong, just don't know how they got that particular number.
I am not absolutely positive that 146 is the exact total either.

The guns captured at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge and those abandoned st Snyder's Bluff don't add up to 26.

Should those be counted? It just depends on where you want to draw your lines.

I personally would not count CH and BBRB, but would count those pieces abandoned at Snyders. Why ? Its just how I see it.

Counting all 3 of CH, BBRB and Snyders works too.

Then another fella could just as soon say, nope. Only pieces actually surrendered July 4 count.

And why count only the 13 Navy guns put ashore? Don't the guns on ironclads and other vessels and mortar boats count?

Again, any way you slice it the numbers will give you an eternal headache.

Best example, there were 2 and only 2 Whitworths. One never left Vicksburg after its arrival in Oct 1862, the other was sent to Fort Pemberton and on May 1st, gave the USS Tyler hell at Snyders Bluff. After BBRB, Snyders became untenable, and was abandoned. Some of the artillery pieces from Snyders were moved into Vicksburg. The number of pieces that were moved to Vicksburg and the number abandoned don't add up to the total number of pieces that were at Snyders. Somebody counted wrong!!!!
The Whitworth was moved to Vicksburg (its the one on Withers line and report)
But John G. Kelly's List of ordnance left at Snyder's Mill, May 17, 1863 shows that the Whitworth was left behind with 19 other pieces. Being a valuable field piece, it would not have been abandoned. Other pieces, more diificult to transport were moved into Vicksburg.
Of course, considering the general chaotic state of affairs around Vicksburg, we have to forgive a lack of perfect record keeping.

And if you ever get an answer that is satisfactory to you, someone can pop up and say something like "But you are using so and so's list of pieces captured at xyz battle. But he didn't count blah, blah, blah so you are wrong."

If you are correct about only one Whitworth in Fed records of guns removed from Vicksburg, that's probably because the other one burst or was "disabled on May 19, from effect of its own shot" and therefore not counted. And see we don't even know how it was made non functional.
 

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