Rockets in The Civil War....

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#1
Here a brief overview of rocket use in te Civil war....pasted in the following..

The U.S. Civil War Sees Limited Use Of Rockets
By the start of the Civil War in 1860, military rockets had all but disappeared. Rockets declined in importance due to the deadly accuracy of conventional artillery, most notably weapons with rifled barrels and breech loading.
However, both sides in the Civil War remembered how well rockets served armed forces during the Mexican War two decades earlier. But, it was quickly discovered that Hale, and even Congreve, rockets that had been stored for long periods of time were rendered useless because their gunpowder charges failed to remain properly bonded to their casings.
This forced both sides to develop new rockets if rockets were to be used at all. The resulting rockets were considered primitive, even by the standards of the day, due to their inaccuracy and unreliability. But, a variety of rockets were used during the Civil War by both sides.
On July 3, 1862 Confederate forces under the command of Jeb Stuart fired rockets at Union troops during the Battle of Harrison's Landing. Colonel James T. Kirk of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves later wrote that one of his men was wounded by a projectile carried on a rocket fired from "a sort of gun carriage".
Rocket batteries of this type were most often used by Confederate forces in Texas during campaigns in 1863 and 1864. These rockets and their launchers were first manufactured in Galveston, and later in Houston.
The New York Rocket Battalion was the first Union force to be issued rockets. The group was organized by British officer Major Thomas W. Lion and was made up of 160 men. Rockets employed ranged in size from 12 to 20 inches long by 2 to 3 inches wide.
The rockets could be launched from light carriages carrying four wrought iron tubes, each of which was about 8 feet long. They could also be launched from 3.25-inch diameter guiding rods bound together in an open framework, or from individual 3-inch diameter sheet-iron tubes.
Each rocket was primarily designed to deliver flammable compounds, but could carry musket balls placed in a hollow shell and exploded by a timed fuse. Although the New York Battalion rockets could fly a remarkable maximum distance of 3 miles, they were extremely erratic and were never used in combat.
Union troops under the command of General Alexander Schimmelfennig did fire rockets against Confederate forces in South Carolina. He found the rockets most useful for driving enemy picket boats out of creeks and harbors.


IT is a good site where I got this form. Here is a the link,,,


http://www.spaceline.org/history/2.html

Here is another overview of Rocket use, which I pick up with the Mexican war. It seems old Robert E. Lee knew something about rocketry...

On December 4, 1846, a brigade of rocketeers was authorized to accompany Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott's expedition against Mexico. The Army's first battalion of rocketeers -- consisting of about 150 men and armed with about 50 rockets -- was placed under the command of First Lieutenant George H. Talcott.
The rocket battery was used March 24, 1847, against Mexican forces at the siege of Veracruz.
On April 8 the rocketeers moved inland, being placed in their firing position by Captain Robert E. Lee (later to command the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the War Between the States). About 30 rockets were fired during the battle for Telegraph Hill. Later, the rockets were used in the capture of the fortress of Chapultepec, which forced the surrender of Mexico City.
With typical foresight, as soon as the fighting in Mexico was over, the rocketeer battalion was disbanded and the remaining rockets were placed in storage.
They remained in mothballs for about 13 years -- until 1861 when they were hauled out for use in the Civil War. The rockets were found to have deteriorated, however, so new ones were made.
The first recorded use of rockets in the Civil War came on July 3, 1862, when Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry fired rockets at Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's Union troops at Harrison's Landing, Va. No record exists of the Northerners' opinion of this premature "Fourth of July" fireworks demonstration.
Later in 1862, an attempt was made by the Union Army's New York Rocket Battalion -- 160 men under the command of British-born Major Thomas W. Lion -- to use rockets against Confederates defending Richmond and Yorktown, Virginia. It wasn't an overwhelming success. When ignited, the rockets skittered wildly across the ground, passing between the legs of a number of mules. One detonated harmlessly under a mule, lifting the animal several feet off the ground and precipitating its immediate desertion to the Confederate Army.
The only other documented use of rockets is at Charleston, S.C., in 1864. Union troops under Maj. Gen. Alexander Schimmelfennig found rockets "especially practical in driving off Confederate picket boats, especially at night."
As an interesting sidelight, the author Burke Davis, in his book "Our Incredible Civil War," tells a tale of a Confederate attempt to fire a ballistic missile at Washington, D.C., from a point outside Richmond, Va.
According to the author, Confederate President Jefferson Davis witnessed the event at which a 3.7 meter (12 foot) solid-fueled rocket, carrying a 4.5 kilogram (10 pound) gunpowder warhead in a brass case engraved with the letters C.S.A., was ignited and seen to roar rapidly up and out of sight. No one ever saw the rocket land. It's interesting to speculate whether, almost 100 years before Sputnik, a satellite marked with the initials of the Confederate States of America might have been launched into orbit.



What think about the story of the Confederate ballistic rocket?


Here is the link.

http://www.solarviews.com/eng/rocket.htm

Here is the Rocket commonly used in the civil war...

Hale Rockets :
By the middle of the 19th century, improved British rockets eclipsed long-lived Congreve rockets. Separate studies conducted in France and the United States suggested that rockets would be more accurate if they were spun, like the way a bullet is spun after it leaves a gun barrel. An Englishman named William Hale was the first rocket designer to take advantage of this principle. He adopted a combination of tail fins and secondary nozzles through which exhaust could pass. Hale rockets became the first spin-stabilized rockets, and quickly became standard equipment for both the British and United States armies.

hale.jpg
Although Hale rockets were more accurate than Congreve rockets, they could not travel as far, and typically had a maximum range of 2,000 yards. A version with a 2.25-inch diameter weighed 6 pounds, while a version with a 3.25-inch diameter weighed 16 pounds. The United States made their first use of Hale rockets during the Mexican War of 1846-1848. Since the United States and Great Britain were allies by this time, Hale rockets were made readily available to U.S. troops. Thus, Hale rockets were the first rockets used by United States armed forces in battle.
The use of war rockets diminished as the latter half of the 19th century dawned, primarily due to significant advances in conventional artillery. Perhaps prophetically, the British adapted a large number of military rockets as fireworks to light up the Thames River during the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle celebration of 1849.

Here is a link to the site...

http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/space/lectures/lec01.html
 

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K Hale

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Mythbusters had a good episode where they reproduced the Confederate rocket. It did take flight.

Here's part of it:
 
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Here are links to the New York Rocket battalion....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Rocket_Battalion

Here a overview of the unit..

Barry's Rocket Battalion Light Artillery
Organized at Albany, N.Y., and mustered in Company "A" December 6 and Company "B" December 7, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., December 9, 1861. Duty in the Defenses of that city until April, 1862. Moved to New Berne, N. C., April 26, and duty there until November, 1862. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Dept. of North Carolina, to July, 1862. New Berne, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, to October, 1862, Morehead City, N. C., to November, 1862.
SERVICE.--Garrison duty at New Berne and Morehead City, N. C., until December, 1862. Reconnaissance from New Berne to Young's Cross Roads July 26-29. Action at Young's Cross Roads July 27. Battalion discontinued February 11, 1863, and Company "A" designated 23rd New York Independent Battery Light Artillery. Company "B" designated 24th New York Independent Battery Light Artillery, having served provisionally as such since November 1, 1862. (See 23rd and 24th New York Batteries.)


Link to the unit...

http://dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/artillery/rocket/rocketMain.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24th_In...ight_Artillery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23rd_In...ight_Artillery
[SIZE=+2]
23rd Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Light Artillery
[/SIZE]
Organized as Battery A, Barry's Rocket Battalion, New York Volunteer Light Artillery, and designated 23rd Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Light Artillery, February 11, 1863, having served as such provisionally from November 1, 1862. Attached to Artillery Brigade, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina, to May, 1863. District of Pamlico, Dept. of North Carolina, and District of North Carolina, Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to February, 1864. Sub-District Defenses of New Berne, N.C., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, to February, 1865. District of Beaufort, N. C., Dept. of North Carolina, to April, 1865. Artillery, Kilpatrick's 3rd Cavalry Division, Army of Georgia, to July, 1865.
SERVICE.--Expedition from New Berne, N.C., to Tarborg November 2-12, 1862. Action at Rawle's Mills November 2. Demonstration on New Berne November 11. Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro, N. C., December 11-20. Actions at Kinston December 14; Whitehall December 16; Thompson's Bridge and Goldsboro December 17. Reconnaissance to Diascund Bridge December 17. Duty in the District of the Pamlico, N. C., until March, 1865. Operations on the Pamlico April 4-6, 1863. Expedition to Swift Creek Village April 13-21 (Section). Action at Washington, N. C., April 27-28, 1864. Near Greenville November 25. Greenville December 30. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty in the Dept. of North Carolina until July. Mustered out July 14, 1865. Battery lost during service 47 Enlisted men by disease.[SIZE=+2]

24th Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Light Artillery
[/SIZE]
Organized as Battery B, Barry's Rocket Battalion, New York Volunteer Light Artillery, and designated 24th Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Light Artillery, February 11, 1863, having served as such provisionally from October 19, 1862. Attached to Artillery Brigade, Dept. of North Carolina, to January, 1863. Artillery Brigade, 18th Army Corps, Dept. of North Carolina, to May, 1863. District of the Albemarle, Dept. of North Carolina, to July, 1863, and Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina to February, 1864. District of Plymouth, N. C., to April, 1864.
SERVICE.--Expedition from New Berne, N.C., November 2-12, 1862. Action at Rawle's Hill November 2. Demonstration on New Berne November 11. Foster's Expedition to Goldsboro December 11-20. Actions at Kinston December 14, Whitehall December 16. Goldsboro December 17. Duty at New Berne, N. C., until March, 1863. Expedition from New Berne to Trenton, Pollockville, Young's Cross Roads and Swansborough March 6-10. Expedition to Plymouth, N. C., March 27-April 1, and duty there until April, 1864. Expedition from Plymouth to Foster's Mills July 26-29, 1863. Expedition to Lake Phelps January 27, 1864. Siege of Plymouth, N. C., April 17-20. Captured April 20. Transferred to Battery L, 3rd New York Volunteer Light Artillery, March 8, 1865. Joined Regiment in Dept. of North Carolina May 28, 1865.
Battery lost during service 4 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 77 Enlisted men by disease. Total 81.


 

kansas

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#5
For whatever reason i suppose known only to them the Confederate Ordnance Department thought rockets were important enough to invest in a top shelf set of machinery to produce a full line of rockets with unskilled labor. Mallett ordered it from England and it was to be installed in the Central Confederate States Arsenal in Macon Georgia. I t never arrived as far as i can find. Considering its poor reputation i was surprised the Confederates considered it so important to invest in them.
 

ole

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#7
Rockets might have been a good idea -- we're certainly making heavy use of them today.

From what I've come to understand is that they simply didn't carry a significant warhead -- most of their capacity was taken up by propellant, so the punch they delivered wasn't even close to a 6-pound shell.
 
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#8
The other use for rockets.....Was in the Signal corps? As signal rockets....

http://www.civilwarsignals.org/pages/signal/signalpages/rockets/rockets.html

Here the main page to the Signal corps....

http://www.civilwarsignals.org/pages/signal/signalpages/standen.html

Here a museum to the Signal Corps...


  • Olde Town.
Fort Gordon Army Signal Corps Museum
prof_thad_lowes_balloon_gas_generators_9.jpg
balloon_ascension_42.jpg


Ave. of the States and 36th St., Building 36301, Fort Gordon 706-791-2818

MUS, GI

The U.S. Army Signal Museum offers one of the most complete and comprehensive collections of communications material in existence in the U.S. The U.S. Signal Corps, a separate branch of the army born of necessity during the Civil War on March 3, 1863, played a key role in the conflict through the use of wig-wag flags, signal balloons, and telegraphs. The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain is reportedly the first time an army used telegraphs to communicate between generals for the movement of troops. Civil War exhibits include the personal items of Albert J. Myer, the father of the Signal Corps and inventor of the wig-wag system of communication, a beardslee Magneto, Confederate Signal Corp items, and other artifacts and displays.

 
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#9
Here is a shirt bio on civil war rockets...

Civil War Rockets :

By the start of the Civil War in 1860, military rockets had all but disappeared. Rockets declined in importance due to the deadly accuracy of conventional artillery, most notably weapons with rifled barrels and breech loading. However, both sides in the Civil War remembered how well rockets served armed forces during the Mexican War two decades earlier. But, it was quickly discovered that Hale, and even Congreve, rockets that had been stored for long periods of time were rendered useless because their gunpowder charges failed to remain properly bonded to their casings.

This forced both sides to develop new rockets if rockets were to be used at all. The resulting rockets were considered primitive, even by the standards of the day, due to their inaccuracy and unreliability. But, a variety of rockets were used during the Civil War by both sides. On July 3, 1862 Confederate forces under the command of Jeb Stuart fired rockets at Union troops during the Battle of Harrison's Landing. Colonel James T. Kirk of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves later wrote that one of his men was wounded by a projectile carried on a rocket fired from "a sort of gun carriage". Rocket batteries of this type were most often used by Confederate forces in Texas during campaigns in 1863 and 1864. These rockets and their launchers were first manufactured in Galveston, and later in Houston. The New York Rocket Battalion was the first Union force to be issued rockets. The group was organized by British officer Major Thomas W. Lion and was made up of 160 men. Rockets employed ranged in size from 12 to 20 inches long by 2 to 3 inches wide.

The rockets could be launched from light carriages carrying four wrought iron tubes, each of which was about 8 feet long. They could also be launched from 3.25-inch diameter guiding rods bound together in an open framework, or from individual 3-inch diameter sheet-iron tubes. Each rocket was primarily designed to deliver flammable compounds, but could carry musket balls placed in a hollow shell and exploded by a timed fuse. Although the New York Battalion rockets could fly a remarkable maximum distance of 3 miles, they were extremely erratic and were never used in combat.

Interest in war rockets continued to decline sharply following the Civil War, again due to advances in the pinpoint accuracy and increased range of conventional artillery. Rockets did, however, continue to be used for years to come in signaling and rescue applications.


http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/space/lectures/lec01.html

 
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#10
We were the first to use Hale rockets...

http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.php?id=150


The first use of Hale's rockets on the battlefield occurred during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). During the siege of Vera Cruz, from March 24 to 29, 1847, hundreds of the rockets were launched against the city's fortifications by an American rocket brigade of 150 men. Their primary weapons were 2.25-inch wide, 6-pound versions of the Hale rocket. Vera Cruz surrendered on March 29 after continuous artillery and rocket bombardment.



During the Battle of Cerro Gordo on April 18, 1847 the American rocket battery fired about 30 Hale rockets at Santa Anna's army, helping to rout the Mexican forces. During the climactic campaign of the war in August and September 1847, Hale rockets were fired against Mexican forces at the Battle Churubusco and during the storming of Chapultepec Castle outside of Mexico City.



Though effective, the rocket brigade was disbanded in 1848 as the war drew to a close. During the American Civil War Hale rockets were used by the Confederacy in Virginia and in Texas, though with minimal results. Hale war rockets were used by the British during the Crimean War (1852-1854) but were not officially adopted by the British Army until 1867. As late as 1866 the Austro-Hungarian army had an elite Rocket Corps that employed Hale rockets but for the rest of the Nineteenth century Hale rockets were widely used primarily in colonial engagements in Africa and Asia against poorly armed native forces. Due to advances in conventional artillery in range, power, accuracy, and safety after the 1860's Hale rockets were outdated by 1900, though not officially obsolete until 1919.
 
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#11
Earlier use of rockets in Civil War: Secessionville. I quote from the book, "Voices of the Civil War - Charleston, by the editors of Time-Life Books," in a letter from Major John G. Pressley of the 25th South Carolina Infantry, "Quite a number of Congreve rockets were flying over and around us in very eccentric directions."

This quote is from a letter written about the Battle of Secessionville near Charleston, SC in June of 1862. From the letter it appears they were Federal rockets. I can't verify whether they were Congreve or Hale rockets, as I suspect "Congreve" may have been a generic term for war rockets then, though they were obsolescent at that period.
 

gary

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#13
Just read in Anderson's book on the First Missouri Brigade that a Confederate rocket was used as a signal. It must be the first time I read about rockets in the Confederacy.
 
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#14
Rockets might have been a good idea -- we're certainly making heavy use of them today.

From what I've come to understand is that they simply didn't carry a significant warhead -- most of their capacity was taken up by propellant, so the punch they delivered wasn't even close to a 6-pound shell.
For rockets in general, specific impulse (Isp) defines its efficiency. Every chemical propellant (solid or liquid) has a theoretical Isp that can be calculated. Whether that theoretical Isp performance can be approached in practice depends largely upon how well the overall rocket engine is designed. But given that situation, black powder-based propellants could only achieve an Isp of about 80 seconds (this is actually an impulse measurement: = lbf-sec/lbm. The "lb's" cancel out so specific impulse is given in terms of seconds). It's the same problem today even with advances in propellants. As noted, black powder based propellants could achieve Isp's of only about 80 seconds. Today's high performance, highly energetic solid propellants can achieve Isp's on the order of 250 seconds (Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters). Liquid propellant engines can produce even higher performance at the cost of increased complexity of pumps and additional plumbing and in some cases cryogenic oxidizers. Liquid propellant engines have Isp performance up to 450 seconds Isp (liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen as in the Space Shuttle Main Engine). The above is why almost all space launchers have liquid engine cores with solid propellant "strap-ons" to help provide initial high thrust at launch. Bottom line is, the higher the Isp, all other factors being equal, the larger the payload that can be carried. During the Civil War, the performance just wasn't there for a large payload delivery. Of course none to very crude guidance and control was another negative factor in their utilization, but we can save that discussion for another day!
 

AndyHall

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#15
Ralph W. Donnelly, "Rocket Batteries of the Civil War," Military Affairs, Vol. 25, No. 2, Civil War Issue (Summer, 1961), 69-93.

Includes the odd story of a rocket battery organized on paper for use here at Galveston, but the contractor was unable to supply the actual rockets promised.
 

Attachments

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#18
For rockets in general, specific impulse (Isp) defines its efficiency. Every chemical propellant (solid or liquid) has a theoretical Isp that can be calculated. Whether that theoretical Isp performance can be approached in practice depends largely upon how well the overall rocket engine is designed. But given that situation, black powder-based propellants could only achieve an Isp of about 80 seconds (this is actually an impulse measurement: = lbf-sec/lbm. The "lb's" cancel out so specific impulse is given in terms of seconds). It's the same problem today even with advances in propellants. As noted, black powder based propellants could achieve Isp's of only about 80 seconds. Today's high performance, highly energetic solid propellants can achieve Isp's on the order of 250 seconds (Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters). Liquid propellant engines can produce even higher performance at the cost of increased complexity of pumps and additional plumbing and in some cases cryogenic oxidizers. Liquid propellant engines have Isp performance up to 450 seconds Isp (liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen as in the Space Shuttle Main Engine). The above is why almost all space launchers have liquid engine cores with solid propellant "strap-ons" to help provide initial high thrust at launch. Bottom line is, the higher the Isp, all other factors being equal, the larger the payload that can be carried. During the Civil War, the performance just wasn't there for a large payload delivery. Of course none to very crude guidance and control was another negative factor in their utilization, but we can save that discussion for another day!
You wouldn't happen to work in Huntsville would you?
 

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