The rough terrain of some of the war zones required the use of special light artillery pieces, while the defense of bridges and entrances to fortifications also needed a field piece that could easily be shifted out of position to allow free passage. One result to fill this need was this 12-pounder mountain howitzer and such guns were used in sally ports of Washington fortifications, as well as on campaign in mountainous territory. The barrel of this small gun weighs only about 2101b (95kg) and has a tube only 33 inches (840mm) long, while the carriage is about 60 inches (1,525mm) long and weighs, with wheels, around 1801b (82kg). The piece itself had a range of 900 yards (823m).
Once out of action, the tube was lifted from the carriage, following which the wheels were removed, enabling the whole piece to be transported by mules. The ammunition was also carried in this way, as were field forge and other tools An average mountain artillery battery consisted of six howitzers which, with their ammunition and tools, could be carried by 33 mules. Only a handful of these pieces survive today, but evidence suggests that they were used by both combatants, primarily in the high country of the western theater and in western Virginia. Specimens may be seen at the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil War, U.S. Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md, and West Point.
1 Model 1835 12-pounder mountain howitzer, of 4 46-inch (113mm) caliber smoothbore. Tube and carnage assembled for firing
2 Combined rammer and sponge for mountain howitzer The sponge, which was used for cleaning out the barrel.
is on the top
3 Solid shot 4 62 caliber for mountain howitzer, together with sabot and attached powder bag (this artifact is a replica)
Artifacts courtesy <" US Army Ordnance Museum. Atmrckten I '.'■'." i) ('..'Hjt'.i \rj_
culmination of the battle (which took place on July 1-3, 1863) was a massive frontal attack by two Rebel divisions against Cemetery Ridge in
A Silent Howitzer
A well-preserved 12-pounder "Napoleon" howitzer keeps silent guard on the reverse slope at Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. The culmination of the battle (which took place on July 1-3, 1863) was a massive frontal attack by two Rebel divisions against Cemetery Ridge in
A Silent Howitzer
what is known to history as ■Pickett's Charge." The Union artillery, lined up long this ridge, wrought terrible slaughter on the brave but doomed Confederate infantry. None of the Rebels broke through, and more than a third never got back.
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