How to Fire a Civil War Cannon

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,058
Location
Midwest
#61
Just an aside, a for instance, ask a reenacting artillerist how they justify their unit's #4 at-ready stance.
You'll get: facing forward, or facing backward, or standing forward and twisted backward, then with lanyard arm fully-extended ready to employ a body weight fall away, or lanyard arm cocked and ready to "snap" the lanyard, or lanyard arm fixed behind the back ready to twist or fall away, or lanyard hand held to pants ready for a knee buckle.​
Some want #4 facing forward to help verify muzzle flash and battlefield dynamic; some want #4 facing backward to visually verify the command to fire.​
Though nobody will tell them, newbys eventually learn that any one of those variations may be equally valid. It's understanding what the current drill is --whatever it is -- that matters most.​
 

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

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,058
Location
Midwest
#62
Of course all this is precisely WHY #3 is supposed to wear a thumbstall!
This isn't exactly an (of course !) type revelation.

Depends on your setting, your experience with it. For instance my unit wouldn't consider un-stopping the vent during ram home, yet to go by other posters here their units specifically un-stop the vent during ram home.

You know, it's quite likely that each of these units have a flawless safety record after a dozen years or more, so I won't call it. It's just not an inherently obvious (!) thing after all, imho.
 
Last edited:

byron ed

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,058
Location
Midwest
#64
The NPS drill requires unstopping the vent during ramming.
Actually, that's not specified in the NPS drill book (sec.1:21), which directs that during the command "load," while No. 1 "Rams the round after No. 2 is outside the wheel," No.3 is left with his last directive: "Covers the vent with the thumbstall on the left thumb."

It is not until No. 3's next specified action; "Turns clockwise and goes to the handspike after No. 1 has cleared the wheel;" that it's expected the vent is uncovered.

That's not to deny what you may have seen in NPS drills, and anyway as we both know, the NPS drill is its own critter. It's not to be considered the "end-all" of reenacted artillery practice.

Here's what's really ironic: those units who stop the vent during ramming don't want indication of air escaping (or they call "stop vent" and re-seat the thumb-stall). That's the exact opposite imperative of units leaving the vent unstopped during ramming, who want indication of air escaping during ramming.

From a safety and physics standpoint, both can't be right, right?
 
Last edited:



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