Paint or oil on cannon carriges & limbers


Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Feb 18, 2013
Hoover, Alabama
According to the US War Department's The 1864 Field Artillery Tactics book, Olive Paint was for all the wooden pieces and black for the iron. Their formula for the black was: Lampblack, Litharge (lead oxide), Japan Varnish, Boiled Linseed Oil and Spirits of Turpentine. For olive, you first had to make an olive paste which consisted of: Yellow Ochre (pulverized), Lampblack, Boiled Oil and Spirits of Turpentine. In order to get the Olive paint, you then had to mix: Olive Paste, Boiled Oil, Spirits of Turpentine, Dryings (something to remove moisture from a mixture) and Japan Varnish with these items mixed well. For bare wood, 1 coat of lead primer and 2 coats of olive on the wood and for the iron, 1 coat of lead primer and 1 coat of black. For my money, I rather just run down to Home Depot and pick up a few spray cans. For a field gun carriage, 6 pounds of lead primer were required, 10 pounds of olive paint and 3/4 pounds of black paint. :cannon:
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Nov 2, 2019
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I have a friend who restores historic military equipment. Tom had a contract to repaint tracked vehicle gate guards at at a US Army base. The paint contained something intended for reflecting the radiation of a nuclear blast. That, along with other alarming chemicals, required building a sealed enclosure around the tanks. The crew removing the paint wore full hazmat suits & the highly toxic dust was carefully gathered & removed. Needless to say, apart from the color, the new paint was nothing like the witches brew originally applied.

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