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Re: [civilwarwest] Gatling gun on an ironclad?

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  • Sweetsstar@aol.com
    Highly unlikely. The only use of the Gatling gun during the Civil War was I believe Butler at Petersburg. We have a Gatling gun at the Drum Barracks Civil
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 9, 2009
      Highly unlikely.  The only use of the Gatling gun during the Civil War was I believe Butler at Petersburg.  We have a Gatling gun at the Drum Barracks Civil War museum in Wilmington California.  It is out for refurbishing right now.  When it returns it will be a featured item of the museum.
      Susan



    • Carl Williams
      Agree, I think we can assume not, as the Gatlin was invented during the war but came close to not being used at all. Those with a mild interest in the Civil
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
        Agree, I think we can assume not, as the Gatlin was invented during
        the war but came close to not being used at all. Those with a mild
        interest in the Civil War assume it was widely used, but this is
        incorrect. I think they get the idea from movies.

        The history of weapons development in the ACW was a case of the war
        department being overwhelmed with new ideas. There was a certain
        crisis climate at times, and an element of concern about getting it
        right. For example the Confederates were nearly being able to put east
        coast ironclads to use before the Union was ready and nearly set that
        theater on its ear; likewise Confederate torpedo development became a
        great concern. On the western rivers, superior Union ironclad
        development became a war winner.

        In spite of this element of concern, most weapons ideas were rejected.
        In the case of the Gatlin, I think the main concern might have been
        whether the army would be able to sustain a flow of ammunition to a
        weapon in the field that used it so rapidly. This problem killed some
        other weapons or at least limited production. There was some logic to
        the concern, but I think we know now it was shortsighted.

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Sweetsstar@... wrote:
        >
        > Highly unlikely. The only use of the Gatling gun during the Civil
        War was I
        > believe Butler at Petersburg. We have a Gatling gun at the Drum
        Barracks
        > Civil War museum in Wilmington California. It is out for
        refurbishing right
        > now. When it returns it will be a featured item of the museum.
        > Susan
        > **************New year...new news. Be the first to know what is making
        > headlines. (http://news.aol.com?ncid=emlcntusnews00000002)
        >
      • Carl Williams
        Then again, a Wikipedia writer says Admiral Porter bought a Gatling and provides a reference. Presumably both Butler and Porter used private funds. Wikipedia
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
          Then again, a Wikipedia writer says Admiral Porter bought a Gatling
          and provides a reference. Presumably both Butler and Porter used
          private funds. Wikipedia doesn't say what happened to Porter's gun.

          see:

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

          apologies for misspelling Gatling in prior post

          Carl
        • Carl Williams
          I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning. In some ways, evidently, the Gatling merely improved on some existing ideas. Get a load of this:
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
            I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.

            In some ways, evidently, the Gatling merely improved on some existing
            ideas. Get a load of this:

            The Puckle Gun:

            "In 1718, Puckle demonstrated ... a tripod-mounted, single-barreled
            flintlock weapon fitted with a multishot revolving cylinder, designed
            for shipboard use to prevent boarding. The barrel [had] a pre-loaded
            "cylinder" which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in 7 minutes
            at a time when the standard soldier's musket could at best be loaded
            and fired three times per minute..."

            Flintlock? wow

            For the ACW, in particular the idea of revolving charged chambers and
            multiple barrels for controlled cooling was not new. Gatling's gun
            though had a "gravity feed reloading mechanism, which allowed
            unskilled operators to achieve a relatively high rate of fire."
            Presumably the invention of the percussion cap and concurrent new
            design ideas for cartridges played a big role. [Gatling used a paper
            cartridge]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_Gun#The_Puckle_gun
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun
          • keeno2@aol.com
            In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@yahoo.com writes: I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning. When
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
              In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time, carlw4514@... writes:
              I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.
              When the subject was first raised, my first thought was the snipers who fired on all Union ships from the banks of the Mississippi. A little strafing from a Gatlin could have been used to depress that sort of activity. But then, what's the use of the equivalent of an entire regiment loosing a volley against a puff of smoke? You keep his head down until you're out of range. Not exactly cost effective. Not a real deterrent so long as the sniper has a rock or a large tree to duck behind after his damage has been done.
               
              But it remains that very few were built (a dozen or so?), so their actual use was very limited.
               
              Ole



            • Dave Gorski
              The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the chambers. The U.S. Army purchased
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
                The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among
                them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the
                chambers. The U.S. Army purchased NONE of Gatling's guns.
                This may have also been due to the falling out of favor of another
                rapid fire weapon, the " Coffee Mill Gun." This weapon was
                prone to breakdown, and was even dangerous to operate.
                A major problem with all rapid fire weapons was that the quality
                of powder used caused fouling after only a few minutes. This
                problem was not corrected until after the war.

                A purchase of 12 Gatling guns was made by Maj. General Ben
                Butler out of his own pocket, and it was these guns that were used
                at Petersburg, the only action Gatling guns saw during the Civil War.

                In January of 1865, after many improvements including going
                to a rim fire copper case cartridge, it was officially adopted by
                the U. S. in 1866.
                The Army misunderstood the potential of the Gatling Gun however,
                assigning it to artillery use, rather than as an infantry infantry weapon.

                Regards, Dave Gorski
              • bango1375
                ... War. ... weapon. ... Is it known of how many casualties the gatling gun inflicted at Petersburg?
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
                  --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Dave Gorski <amhistoryguy@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > The Gatling gun prior to 1865 had many problems. Among
                  > them, often the bores of the six barrels failed to align with the
                  > chambers. The U.S. Army purchased NONE of Gatling's guns.
                  > This may have also been due to the falling out of favor of another
                  > rapid fire weapon, the " Coffee Mill Gun." This weapon was
                  > prone to breakdown, and was even dangerous to operate.
                  > A major problem with all rapid fire weapons was that the quality
                  > of powder used caused fouling after only a few minutes. This
                  > problem was not corrected until after the war.
                  >
                  > A purchase of 12 Gatling guns was made by Maj. General Ben
                  > Butler out of his own pocket, and it was these guns that were used
                  > at Petersburg, the only action Gatling guns saw during the Civil
                  War.
                  >
                  > In January of 1865, after many improvements including going
                  > to a rim fire copper case cartridge, it was officially adopted by
                  > the U. S. in 1866.
                  > The Army misunderstood the potential of the Gatling Gun however,
                  > assigning it to artillery use, rather than as an infantry infantry
                  weapon.
                  >
                  > Regards, Dave Gorski
                  >




                  Is it known of how many casualties the gatling gun inflicted at
                  Petersburg?
                • Sweetsstar@aol.com
                  From what I have read none. **************New year...new news. Be the first to know what is making headlines. (http://news.aol.com?ncid=emlcntusnews00000002)
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 10, 2009
                    From what I have read none. 



                  • hank9174
                    ... who ... little strafing ... activity. But then, ... volley against ... Not ... has a rock or a ... similar to my thoughts, ole... Ironclads are not
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 12, 2009
                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, keeno2@... wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > In a message dated 1/10/2009 5:26:24 A.M. Central Standard Time,
                      > carlw4514@... writes:
                      >
                      > I seem to be in a mood for this sort of thing this morning.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > When the subject was first raised, my first thought was the snipers
                      who
                      > fired on all Union ships from the banks of the Mississippi. A
                      little strafing
                      > from a Gatlin could have been used to depress that sort of
                      activity. But then,
                      > what's the use of the equivalent of an entire regiment loosing a
                      volley against
                      > a puff of smoke? You keep his head down until you're out of range.
                      Not
                      > exactly cost effective. Not a real deterrent so long as the sniper
                      has a rock or a
                      > large tree to duck behind after his damage has been done.
                      >

                      similar to my thoughts, ole...

                      Ironclads are not anti-personnel weapons. They are built to seek out
                      and destroy enemy ships, hence they throw 60, 120 even 350 pound
                      rounds. An enemy ship is a target; a lone enemy gunman is a waste of
                      ammunition.

                      That said, every ship carries rifle-toting Marines, or other men,
                      providing close support for boarding and, perhaps, snipers...


                      HankC
                    • Carl Williams
                      I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it s true he purchased one
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 12, 2009
                        I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it's true he
                        purchased one

                        > That said, every ship carries rifle-toting Marines, or other men,
                        > providing close support for boarding and, perhaps, snipers...
                        >
                        >
                        > HankC
                        >
                      • hank9174
                        ... I often wonder that of many purchases of the latest and greatest ;) HankC
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 13, 2009
                          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Carl Williams" <carlw4514@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > I wonder what Porter was going to do with one, if it's true he
                          > purchased one
                          >

                          I often wonder that of many purchases of the 'latest and greatest' ;)


                          HankC
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