Image by goldenanchor https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7088344267
Many here may have heard before of the cannon known as "Long Tom." Renamed by its Confederate captors, "Long Tom" was a thirty-pounder Parrott rifle captured at First Manassas. In April 1863, we find "Long Tom" with his mate, inappropriately named "Laughing Charlie." <I'm guessing no one laughed when Charlie was fired in their direction?>
In a letter dated "Bivouac of 8th Ga. Regt., Near Suffolk, Va., April 28, 1863." and published in the Rome Tri-Weekly Courier, a member of the 8th Georgia (identified only as "M.D.") provides a description of Long Tom and Laughing Charlie:
...Gen. French, who commands all the artillery on our side, has again mounted a few cannon on the river bank, and this morning a little excitement was raised by two boats attempting to pass down the river. One succeeded but the other turned back. There was heavy cannonading for about half an hour on both sides, and a brisk rattle of small arms by the sharpshooters.- Among the famous guns mounted to command the river are "Long Tom"-- a long 32 pound rifle gun captured at first battle of Manassas -- and "Laughing Charlie," a similar one, made at the Tredegar Works in Richmond.- These boys spoke to the Yankees across the river this morning a few times, but with what effect is not known.
I'm assuming that these are the same two guns mentioned in this March 15, 1863 dispatch from Longstreet to DH Hill:
I can spare the Whitworth that I have here as soon as I can get "Long Tom" and "Charlie," as they are called, in my battery at Fort Powhatan. I have established a battery at Fort Powhatan for the purpose of intercepting transports should they attempt to pass up the James River. [OR., Series I, Volume XVIII, Chapter XXX, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1887, page 920.]
My question is this: I assume Long Tom looked like the cannon in the OP image? Can someone please post a picture of what "Laughing Charlie" might have looked like? Was it a Parrott "knock off" or was it a Brooks? @redbob @alan polk
Rome Tri-Weekly Courier. (Rome, Ga.) May 07, 1863, page 1.