"The Dictator" or "The Petersburg Express"

donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#1
"The Dictator" or "The Petersburg Express' The nicknames for a famous 13-inch, 8.5-ton mortar used by the Union army during its long siege of Petersburg, Virginia in 1864-1865. The Dictator fired 200-pound missiles from a railroad flatcar and a wooden ground platform. The siege ended in the tenth month on April 2, 1865.

From The Language of the Civil War by John D, Wright page 88.
 

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timk

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#4
Nice photo. I don't understand why, but I feel Petersburg is one of the least appreciated CW sites to visit. There is so much more there than a crater.
 

kel1985

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#7
Thanks Pat!
Thanks for the heads up on the mortar as well...I have it labeled in my computer as "The General" but thought I may have misnamed it.
 

prroh

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#8
Thanks Pat!
Thanks for the heads up on the mortar as well...I have it labeled in my computer as "The General" but thought I may have misnamed it.
The "General" was the name of the train hijacked by Union raiders and was the title of Buster Keaton's great film version of the event.
 

prroh

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#10
That's right...I must be having one of them senior moments my father keeps telling me about
Thought so. :thumbsup: For some strange reason, i recently confused the two names. Could it be that Dictator and general both represent authority figures and are stored in the same general memory area? :thumbsdown:
 

donna

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#12
According to article "Fort Foote Guardian of Washington DC and The Dictator - a Union Mortar" by Charles H. Bogart: "It is uncertain as to what happened to the Dictator following the Civil War, but it is assumed that it was cut up in one of the WWI or WWII scrap drives. A replica of the Dictator sits today in the ravine adjacent to the railroad tracts .." . Thus there is replica at Petersburg Battlefield.
 

prroh

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#13
The NPS has facilities where they make replica guns. How to spot the real thing from a replica has something to do with markings on the breech, but I forget exactly what.
 



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