Union Field Artillery Projectiles

As with small arms, there were great technological advances in artillery. Smoothbore pieces were becoming obsolete as rifling increasingly became the norm which greatly increased both range and accuracy. Similarly, improvements in the time and percussion fuses resulted in a more devastating terminal effect.

It is worth sparing a thought for the artillerymen working the big batteries who had to spend their war carrying 1001b (45kg) shot to their guns, although in field artillery the projectiles weighed a more reasonable 201b (9.1kg) and most commonly 6lb (2.7kg) or 121b (5.2kg), but then the firing rate was much higher.

1 20lb (9.1kg) Parrott shell

2 3-inch (7.62mm) Absterdam solid bolt projectile

3 101b (4.5kg) Parrot! shell

4 3-inch (7 62mm) Hotchkiss canister shot.

5 121b (5.4kg) solid cannon-ball

6 201b (9.1kg) Schenkl shell

7 101b (4.5kg) Schenkl shell

8 61b (2.7kg) solid cannon ball

9 3-inch (7 62mm) Hotchkiss solid bolt projectile

Inch Schenkl Shell
Artifacts coutti'iY of The Civ! Wa< Litxaiy and Museu'P PluMitefphia. ft 1 -—
Pounder Projectile

Enjoying a superior technological capability in iron, casting capabilities, powder making and more, the Union armaments industry produced a consistently higher grade of artillery ammunition than the Confederacy, with far deadlier capabilities.

Right: Robert Parrott's powerful breech-banded rifle appears here in two 100-pounder models in Fort Putnam, near Charleston. Stacks of massive shells stand ready to be hurled at Confederate lines.

100 Pounder Parrott ShellCivil War Field Projectile100 Pounder Parrott Shell

1 Brass-ringed 8lb (3.6kg) Parrott shell

2 Brass-ringed 25lb (11,3kg) Parrott shell

3 A 9.2lb (4.2kg) Parrott case shot

4 A 24lb (10.9kg) Schenkl shell with papier-mach6 sabot

5 A 161b (7 3kg) Schenkl shell with

papier-mach6 sabot

6 A 7.81b (3 5kg) Schenkl shell with papier-mach6 sabot

7 A 191b (8.6kg) lead-banded Hotchkiss

8 Lead-sabot 231b (10.4kg) Dyer

9 Lead-coated 13.21b (6.0kg) Sawyer shell

The general acceptance of rifled artillery, and advances in proiectile design and technology, made artillery of both sides much more effective. The importation of advanced English guns and projectiles by Federal and Confederate ordnance also furthered these advances. The 1980s saw an enormous increase in interest in a long-neglected subject and I collecting projectiles has become I increasingly popular today, with I some excellent books written on I the subject The projectile I collection at West Point is I excellent, and representative spe- I cimens may also be found at I various National Park museums.

Pattern Federal Sack Coat

2 Federal Hotchkiss pattern 3.76-inch 196mm) shell (20-pounder |9.1kg))

3 Ordnance Department demonstration board showing various types of fuze

4 Schenkel pattern 3.67-inch shell (20-pounder 19.1 kg|)

5 Frankfort arsenal fuze pack

6 Sawyer pattern 3.76-inch (96mm) shell

7 James pattern 3.8-inch (97mm) bolt (14-pounder |6.4kg|)

Inch Artillery Projectile


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