Union Heavy Artillery Projectiles

With the advent of armored vessels, projectiles capable of penetrating or crushing such armor had to be developed. The breaking of masonry forts was also accomplished by the use of similar projectiles fired from large bore rifled guns. Many of these projectiles had specially hardened noses designed to punch through armor Excellent examples are to be seen at West Point and the Washington Navy Yard. The result of bombardment by such projectiles can be seen at Fort Sumter, Charleston, and Fort Pulaski, Savannah, Ga.

1 Schenkl shell for 7 inch (178min) rifle. Note that the papier-mache sabot is still in place over the projections cast on to the base of the shell to fit the rifling. The fuse on top of the shell also appears to be in position

2 Federal 5.1 inch (130mm) Stafford shell for a 50-pounder (23kg) Dahlgren naval gun

3 Federal 5 inch (127mm) Whitworth shell for an 80-pounder (36kg) Whitworth rifle; this is, in effect, a sub-caliber round and far ahead of its time

4 Stand of grape-shot for a 100-pounder (45kg) rifled gun Grape was used for close "soft" targets, such as formations of infantry or cavalry

5 Sawyer shell for a 5.8 inch (147mm) rifle. Note the cast-on projections designed to fit the rifling in the gun's barrel. The fuse also appears to be in position in this example

Cavalry Museum Artifacts
Artifacts courtesy ot West Point Museum West Point MV
Solid Cannon Ammo The Civil War

The photograph shows a further selection of the artilleryman's wares, as listed below.

Civil War projectiles differed little from those of earlier generations, being only sometimes larger and a bit more reliable. There was the solid shot, literally a round ball of iron, and of little effect except when it hit an opposing artillery piece - and, of course, any unfortunate soldier in its path. Other loads were designed to be more effective as anti-personnel weapons. The shell, either round or, occasionally, cylindroconoidal, was hollow inside and contained a powder charge. A timed fuse in its base was theoretically ignited at firing, and when the interior charge went off, the shell flew apart into a dozen or more pieces. Unfortunately, fuses were notoriously unreliable, sometimes no more than one in fifteen actually working. On top of that, the estimates of timing by gunners could be off, the trajectory of the gun faulty, and the shell might bury itself in the ground before going off, if it exploded at all, thus doing little or no harm.

American Revolution Musket Ball

More effective was spherical case shot, again a round ball, but this time hollow and containing up to 78 lead musket balls and an exploding charge When it went off in the midst of a line of soldiers, this could be deadly, though many of the balls flew straight up into the air and others straight down into the ground, doing nothing, while of the rest, only those at the forward and sides of the moving ball had any chance of killing or injuring Of the 78 bullets, probably no more than a third had even the potential of putting men out of action.

Grapeshot, large iron balls two inches in diameter and arranged in "stands" of a dozen or more, was not much used in the Civil War, but a cousin called canister was the most damaging of all artillery loads. On top of the powder charge in a smoothbore, the gunners would ram down a tin can filled with 27 cast iron balls, each nearly half a pound in weight. The load was used against attacking infantry when within 300 yards. On being fired, it turned the cannon into a huge shotgun.

Parrott Shell

1 Parrott shell

2 Gauge for measuring shot size

3 Parrott shell

4 Shell for Whitworth rifle

5 Britten shell from England

6 Schenkl shell

7 Solid shot cannon ball

8 3 inch (76mm) rifle bolt

Civil War Enfield Strap

Throughout the Civil War Confederate forces were forced to utilize any weapon that was available, which accounts for the incredible variety of types in service. Large numbers of revolvers were imported from England, then one of the world's largest armament producers, but the U.S. Navy made strenuous efforts to prevent such warlike supplies reaching the South. A number of British makes were popular, including Adams, Kerr, and Tranter, all of which saw extensive use. French pin-fire revolvers were also popular, but availability of ammunition was always a problem There were also many Southern-made copies of Samuel Colt's pistols Excellent collections of these weapons can be found at the I

Virginia Historical Society inl

Richmond, the West Point!

Museum at West Point, New York, J

and the Gettysburg National!

Military Park.

1 U.S-made Wesson and Leavitt Army I revolver

2 British Kerr .44 caliber revolver

3 Bell and holster for item 2

4 British Webley .55 caliber double-action revolver

5 Colt Model! 848 Army revolver, 3rd Model

6 French pin-fire revolvei A popular weapon in Europe, which used a French percussion system invented in the 1820s

7 British Beaumont-Adams revolver

Artifacts courtesy 01 Virginian Historical Society. Richmond. V.r

Beaumont Adams Cylinder

by the lower trigger and fired with the upper

12 Pistol bullet mold

13 British Tranter double-trigger Army revolver

Tin of British Eley percussion caps Belt and holster for item 7 British Tranter single-trigger revolver British Tranter double-trigger Navy revolver. These weapons used a double-action lock which was cocked

Revolver Tranter

by the lower trigger and fired with the upper

12 Pistol bullet mold

13 British Tranter double-trigger Army revolver

10 11

Tin of British Eley percussion caps Belt and holster for item 7 British Tranter single-trigger revolver British Tranter double-trigger Navy revolver. These weapons used a double-action lock which was cocked

Tranter Revolver

Aittlacts courtesy of Tlio Ctvit Wat LiOtaty and Museum Phrade |)hia Pa I «. Russ A Ptnchata Colloction 2 7

1 U.S. Government Model 1836 pistol made by A. Waters at Milbury, as used by Confederate forces

2 Confederate holster

3 Griswold and Gunnison late model revolver, used by Confederates

4 Confederate holster

5 Rigdon, Ansley revolver

6 Leech and Rigdon revolver

7 Spiller and Burr revolver

8 Revolver bullet mold

Handguns were actually made in the Confederacy in very limited quantities, one of the most common being the Griswold and Gunnison (3), and only about 3,500 of those were produced. All Confederate handguns are considered rare.

Aittlacts courtesy of Tlio Ctvit Wat LiOtaty and Museum Phrade |)hia Pa I «. Russ A Ptnchata Colloction 2 7

Mat Revolver

In an effort to furnish arms to troops in the field, the Confederates utilized many obsolete arms of earlier manufacture. Most flintlocks were altered to the percussion system (1), though in haste, some were not (2), which meant that soldiers in the second half of the 19th century were going to war armed with weapons of the late 18th century. Some revolvers were fabricated in Texas by companies such as J. H. Dance (7-8) and others were manufactured abroad, such as the French-made Le Mat (9-10). Those weapons that were produced in the Confederacy were made in limited quantities and nol effort seems to have been made tol achieve any form of standardization,! which could have seen greater! numbers available at lower cost, andl also eased the logistical burden.

1 Virginia Manufactory 1st Model pistol, I modified for percussion firing

2 Virginia Manufactory 2nd Model flintlock pistol

3 Ramrod for item 2

4 Confederate revolver holster

5 Palmetto Model 1842 pistol with integral ramrod unstowed

6 J. and F. Garret pistol with integral

M1842 PistolUnderhammer Pistol Plans

ramrod stowed

7 J H Dance & Brothers Navy revolver

8 J H Dance & Brothers Army revolver

9 Le Mat First Model revolver

10 Le Mat Second Model revolver

11 Columbus Fire Arms Manufacturing Company revolver

12 T. W. Cofer revolver

13 Tucker. Sherrard and Co. revolver

14 Griswold and Gunnison early model revolver

15 Clark. Sherrard and Co revolver

16 Le Mat holster

Mat Revolver

Model 1842 flintlock type of percussion pistol

2 Unidentified type of underhammer pistol

3 Colt Model 1860 design of fluted Army revolver

4 Smith and Wesson No. 2 Army revolver

5 Unopened tin of percussion caps for

Percussion Capper Patent
Artitacts courtesy ol The Museum oI The Conledetacv Richmond. Va

A major source of weaponry for the South was arms captured from Northern soldiers and all those on these two pages are known to have come to the South by such means.

Clark Flintlock PistolPaper Revolvers

use with revolvers

6 Packet of six paper cartridges incorporating bullet and charge suitable for use with Colt Navy pistol

7 Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver

8 Opened tin of percussion caps

9 Pistol bullet mold device

10 Remington New Model Army revolver

11 Whitney Navy revolver

12 Massachusetts Arms Company Adams Patent Navy revolver

13 Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolver

14 Colt Model 1860 Army revolver

15 Colt Model 1849 Pocket revolver

16 Pistol tool associated with Colt Model 1860 Army revolver

17 Pistol flask containing gunpowder used to charge individual chambers

In the Confederate Army, as with many others, officers took to carrying revolvers as being more effective than the traditional sword and considerably less bulky. But, since the C.S.A. was in no position to issue a standard handgun to all its officers, it then became a matter of personal taste and financial means to obtain a weapon which would express the owner's personality. In addition, to say that a weapon was "foreign-made" had a certain cachet and almost certainly meant that it was better made than if it had been produced by a hard-pressed Confederate gunsmith.

The Le Mat revolver had two barrels, the top one being a normal, .41 caliber, rifled barrel, fed by the nine-round revolving cylinder. In addition, it had a second, larger, .65 caliber barrel which fired a pelleted, shot-gun type cartridge round, and a rotating nose on the hammer could be turned to fire whichever chamber was desired. The design was patented by a Frenchman, Jean

Alexander Le Mat, and the weapon: was manufactured in France and under licence in England and the United States.

The cased handgun is a Beaumont-Adams 0.49 caliber revolver, produced by R Adams "Manufacturers of Fire Arms of all kinds" of 76 King William Street, London, E. C. Adams had exhibited various prototype revolvers at the Great Exhibition of 1851, where the interest shown had been sufficient to encourage him to set up a gunmaking business, and he had quickly become successful. A purchaser of one of his original weapons was a Lieutenant Beaumont of the British Royal Engineers, who proposed some changes to the locking system, which made the weapon much safer to handle. In addition, Adams decided to fit a rammer, which can be clearly seen in this picture. The result was the Beaumont-Adams series, of which the cased weapon shown here is a beautifully preserved example.

Beaumont AdamsOriginal Confederate Cavalry Musketoon

Confederate Cavalry Carbines and Artillery Musketoons

Quite a few private contractors manufactured carbines and musketoons under contract to the Confederate Ordnance Department. J. P. Murray (Greenwood and Gray) produced substantial numbers (2) and (7), but surviving specimens of Dickson, Nelson, and Tarplay carbines (1) and (14) are very rare. In fact, most Confederate arms were either captured from the Union or imported.

There are some very interesting weapons shown here. The British Pattern 1853 (4) is a "musketoon," a name given to a standard musket which had been cut-back to produce a more manageable and lighter weapon for use by cavalry or artillery (i.e., the equivalent of a carbine) The Terry Pattern 1860 carbine (5) was one of the earliest breech-loaders and the bolt-action is seen here in the open position. The Le Mat carbine (15) is one of a number of weapons that combined a revolver action with a longer barrel and a stock to produce a repeating weapon In this case, the weapon has the twin barrels characteristic of the Le Mat design.

, Dickson, Nelson and Company carbine with ramrod displayed in stowed position

2 J P Murray carbine

3 Ramrod for use with J P. Murray carbine depicted above

4 British Pattern 1853 Enfield musketoon. with the ramrod displayed in the stowed position

5 British Terry Pattern 1860 carbine with breech mechanism seen in open position for reloading

6 Ramrod for use with item 5

7 J P. Murray musketoon complete with ramrod in the stowed position

8 British design of gun tool

9 British Pattern 1853 Enfield carbine

Lemat Carbine Mechanism

with ramrod the stowed position

10 Tallahasee carbine with ramrod shown in the stowed position

11 Branding iron with CS motif

12 Fabric-covered tin-drum water canteen, complete with strap

13 Spurs manufactured by the Memphis Novelty Works, Tennessee

14 Tarpley carbine with hammer cocked

15 Le Mat carbine with ramrod the stowed position

10 Tallahasee carbine with ramrod shown in the stowed position

11 Branding iron with CS motif

12 Fabric-covered tin-drum water canteen, complete with strap

13 Spurs manufactured by the Memphis Novelty Works, Tennessee

14 Tarpley carbine with hammer cocked

15 Le Mat carbine

Virginian Artifacts
Artifacts courtesy of Virginia Historical Society. Richmond. Va I 13. 15. Ben Michel Collection 14

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Responses

  • Christina
    How many lemat revolver was exported to confederates?
    8 years ago
  • raino
    How heavy was the projectile that the philadelphia shot?
    8 years ago
  • hasan mckenzie
    How heavy was the projectile that the philidelphia shot?
    5 years ago
  • Stefan
    What are correct powder measurements on british 1851 colt dixon flask?
    4 years ago

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