Question about Mountain Howitzers

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#41
I was just watching Antiques Roadshow, and someone brought in a mountain howitzer made in 1853. The antiques dealer said that it was made of bronze rather than brass, and that the cavalry tended to like to use them.

I realized that I don't know much about mountain howitzers. Because they are short and weigh little (the one on the Roadshow was 224 pounds) I can see how they would be good for mountainous terrain. Were they used mostly by cavalry, as the dealer said? Were they eff:smile:
I was just watching Antiques Roadshow, and someone brought in a mountain howitzer made in 1853. The antiques dealer said that it was made of bronze rather than brass, and that the cavalry tended to like to use them.

I realized that I don't know much about mountain howitzers. Because they are short and weigh little (the one on the Roadshow was 224 pounds) I can see how they would be good for mountainous terrain. Were they used mostly by cavalry, as the dealer said? Were they effective as an artillery piece? Were they used the entire war? Are there any accounts of battles where they were an important and effective piece of artillery used?

So many questions--any bit of information would be terrific! :smile:
General Mosby had a pair of mountain howitzers that he brought with his calvary units. When he rolled up on a town he would threaten to shell them unless they provide his men food, shelter, and other necessary items. Only one town refused and true to his word he wiped them off the map.
 

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#43
General Mosby had a pair of mountain howitzers that he brought with his calvary units. When he rolled up on a town he would threaten to shell them unless they provide his men food, shelter, and other necessary items. Only one town refused and true to his word he wiped them off the map.
Since I've never heard of either a "General Mosby" or "calvary" in the Civil War I'd like to know more about this exploit, especially WHERE it happened and how many casualties there were on both sides.

Welcome to the forums.
 
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#44
Since I've never heard of either a "General Mosby" or "calvary" in the Civil War I'd like to know more about this exploit, especially WHERE it happened and how many casualties there were on both sides.

Welcome to the forums.
I have made a mistake and am deeply embarrassed, I was talking about colnol mosby and his unit the 43rd Virginia calvary (Mosbys Rangers). I was thinking and talking to someone about general Forest at the time and typed general without even thinking.
 
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#45
I have made a mistake and am deeply embarrassed, I was talking about colnol mosby and his unit the 43rd Virginia calvary (Mosbys Rangers). I was thinking and talking to someone about general Forest at the time and typed general without even thinking.
Don't be embarrassed.

Many of us have made even worse blunders . . . and will probably do so again. :smile:
This is a very forgiving bunch.

I'm glad you've joined Civil War Talk. :thumbsup:
 
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#46
There's a story that Ulysses S. Grant when he was a Captain in the Mexican War managed to get a mountain howitzer up in a church bell tower and made good use of it from there.
 

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#51
The Ol' Girl goes back to work again! Training a new group of Living History volunteers at Prairie Grove State Park!
Great to see it's still serviceable - I've pulled the lanyard on that piece many a time as number four!
 

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#53
Weren't Mountain Howitzers used by Union troops at Ball's Bluff, Virginia?
Great question, Mike! I'd forgotten I hadn't posted this link here:

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-balls-bluff-october-21-1861.118672/

dsc03427-jpg.jpg


These are POSSIBLY highly over-polished originals in the current battlefield park in approximately their correct positions. (They seem to have correct markings and most reproductions lack the full-scale bore like that shown on the one below.) According to information, a pair of them were brought up the steep bluff by hand and helped to keep the Confederates at bay until the few rounds in their small ammunition chests were expended, rendering them completely useless. For a fuller story of the battle, click on the link.

dsc03428-jpg.jpg
 

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#54

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Poor Private

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#55
I belonged to the 2nd Kentucky Artillery (Morgans arty), for a bit. And we moved the howitzers by hand all the time. There are ropes that attach to the carriage and you pull the bugger around. I was most often the number 2 guy, even though I was trained and used in all the positions. We pulled them things up and down many steep hills, through water, in woods. But my favoritest position was in the infantry, I am a rabble rouser, since I am not the tallest guy I was always at the tail end of the company. They got tired of all the trouble so they made me first Sarg.
 

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#56
Old West Trip, Nov. 2010 014.jpg


A nice display featuring mountain howitzers is at the United States Army Field Artillery Museum at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
 
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#58
The movie "Major Dundee" (which starred Richard Harris)(1965) included a mountain howitzer.

Abel Streight, in his raid across N. Alabama in May 1863, had 2(?) of them.

They were not heavily used, but certainly were used upon occasion, particularly in the western theater, during the war.
 

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#59
I belonged to the 2nd Kentucky Artillery (Morgans arty), for a bit. And we moved the howitzers by hand all the time. There are ropes that attach to the carriage and you pull the bugger around. I was most often the number 2 guy, even though I was trained and used in all the positions. We pulled them things up and down many steep hills, through water, in woods. But my favoritest position was in the infantry, I am a rabble rouser, since I am not the tallest guy I was always at the tail end of the company. They got tired of all the trouble so they made me first Sarg.
Been there; done that, like at this tactical event on the mill Springs battlefield at Nancy, Kentucky back in 1978:

1545075538278.png
 

Eric Wittenberg

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#60
There were two mountain howitzers attached to Capt. Eli Lilly's Eighteenth Indiana Battery, which traveled and fought with Wilder's Lightning Brigade. They didn't add a lot, but they did help to make Lilly's the largest battery in the Union service.
 

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