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Re: Union Artillery

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  • carlw4514
    Very nice contribution, sir, and seems correct in all aspects
    Message 1 of 66 , May 2, 2005
      Very nice contribution, sir, and seems correct in all aspects

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff" <jblake47@y...> wrote:
      > I've been following along with this discussion and wanted to get all
      > the info absorbed before jumping in.
      > All field artillery batteries had a limber equipped with:
      > solid shot
      > shell (hollow ball filled with powder)
      > case shot (hollow ball filled with powder and small balls)
      > canister
      > Observations
      > All types of shot and shell were used by the artillery for the
      > various purposes for which they were designed, and some for purposes
      > not designed, i.e. firing case shot with no fuse so it would explode
      > in the barrel and be ejected in a canister like manner against close
      > infantry when the canister rounds were not available.
      > Solid shot - good to take out wheels on opposing artillery pieces to
      > make them immoble and easier to capture. Same for the wheels on the
      > supply wagons. Also good for enflade fire on a line of infantry.
      > With the ball's inertia going down the line, a large number of troops
      > could be killed or injured with just one round.
      > Shell - Good for concussion, into woods to shrapnel wood splinters,
      > into the ground in front of charging cavalry, etc. More of a nusance
      > round, but extremely unnerving.
      > Case shot - same as above but with a mean bite instead of just being
      > a loud nusance. Exploding 10' over the heads of an infantry line
      > will definitely give notice.
      > Both shell and case shot were dependent upon fuses. The
      > effectiveness of the fuses depended on the knowledge of the
      > cannoneer, his ability to judge distance, calculation on length of
      > fuse, accuracy of fuse cut and whether or not the fuse ignited. The
      > ingnition rate was about 97%.
      > Obviously the case shot balls were of a small size.
      > Canister shot was 1.0 caliber or 1" in diameter, which was 3-4X's the
      > size of an infantryman's minnie ball, which varied from .54 - .69
      > generally for the common majority of weapons.
      > "Canister" shot larger than 1.0 caliber were really grape shot used
      > in naval guns to strip ships of their rigging. The balls needed to
      > be bigger to affect a more damaging effect on a more solid target
      > than flesh and bone.
      > Canister could be double charged with or without second powder bag
      > with no ill-effect. When underfire, stripping the second bag off
      > wasn't really of major concern as was getting the gun loaded.
      > Triple canister will flip the gun over as was the case when it was
      > tried at Gettysburg, Day three against Pickett's men.
      > The firing effect of a battery of 6 guns using canister is the
      > equivelent of a regiment of infantry (1,000 men) If you wish to do
      > the math on that, please figure in that with the size and velocity of
      > the canister ball, it did in fact hit more than one man.
      > One must also consider the fact that firing canister in a rifled gun
      > will put out a donut shaped pattern so as to have men directly in
      > front of the gun getting missed by the projectiles but those to their
      > right and left were hit. Smoothbores maintained the normal "shotgun"
      > type of pattern and were far more effective.
      > Jeff
    • Donald Pontious
      ... A Napoleon is a 12pdr, period, not a 6pdr or 20 pdr. The term 12pdr refers to the weight of the solid shot that the smooth bore cannon used.
      Message 66 of 66 , May 3, 2005
        On 5/3/05, hank9174 <clarkc@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hmmm, that's strange, I always thought the term Napolean meant the
        > > style of gun, not it's caliber. I could have even bet that the 6#
        > > Napolean was also a common gun on the field.
        > >
        > The Napoleon style (stubby bronze tubes) did not scale well. A 12
        > pounder is an incredibly heavy load.
        > There are 20-lb Parrotts, which are rifled, but no 20-lb Napoleons
        > which are smoothbores...
        > HankC

        A Napoleon is a 12pdr, period, not a 6pdr or 20 pdr. The term "12pdr"
        refers to the weight of the solid shot that the smooth bore cannon
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