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Subject: Civil War Arty questions
ChdNorm    9/14/2005 11:52:16 PM
I have a few questions regarding American Civil War era Artillery. 1. What are the most common artillery pieces of the Civil War, on both sides? 2. General effectiveness of each? 3. Types of projectiles with ranges of each? 4. Rate of fire (rapid and sustained?)? 5. Accuracy at practical and extreme ranges? 6. Differences in use of rifled V. Smoothbore? 7. What exactly is "Flying Artillery" (Circa Mexican-American War)? 8. What is the firing sequence, from unlimbering to rounds going downrange?
 
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AlbanyRifles    RE:Civil War Arty questions   9/15/2005 9:54:33 AM
Mostly I reference links for you to go to. They are all active and give excellent in depth info. I have a few questions regarding American Civil War era Artillery. 1. What are the most common artillery pieces of the Civil War, on both sides? a. The US used the M1857 12 Pound Gun Howitzer, more commonly called the 12 Pound Napoleon, the 3-inch ordnance Rifle and the 10 Pound Parrot Rifle. Those were the main guns used. There were also plenty 6 pound M1841s and the M1841 12 pound howitzer. 2. General effectiveness of each? 12 Pound fired a 4.37 inch shell out to 1600 yards, most effective at about 1200. The 3-inch an 10 pounders were good out to about 1800-2000 yards. 3. Types of projectiles with ranges of each? 4. Rate of fire (rapid and sustained?)? 5. Accuracy at practical and extreme ranges? 6. Differences in use of rifled V. Smoothbore? 7. What exactly is "Flying Artillery" (Circa Mexican-American War)? The Flying Artillery? was the nickname given to the 6 pound M1841 gun batteries of the US which moved rapidly across the battlefield and emplaced on the flanks of the US infantry. They were highly effective against the massed columns of the Mexicans much the same way the British artillery was against the French columns on the Peninsula. They were a result more of excellent training and drill than any special equipment. Go to the following for 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6. They do a much better job than I can. http://www.civilwarartillery.com/ http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/1864/weapons_part_4.htm 8. What is the firing sequence, from unlimbering to rounds going downrange Go to the following. http://www.cwartillery.org/artillery.html And another good site http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1862/ All have good bibliographies to improve your research.
 
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Sam    RE:Civil War Arty questions ChdNorm   9/16/2005 11:54:09 PM
Found your password Huh? This Civil War of which you speak. Would that be "The War of Northern Agression, we learned about in school, or some other war?
 
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Sam    RE:Albany   9/16/2005 11:58:00 PM
You stayed at the Holiday Inn Express again.
 
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ChdNorm    RE:Civil War Arty questions   9/17/2005 1:43:39 AM
Thanks for the links Albany. They answered almost every question I could come up with, and even a few I hadn't thought of. It seems like the Artillery was a huge influence on the Civil War battlefield. It also seems that the company grade Artillery officers had as much impact on the battles as field grade Infantry and Cavalry officers. While reading "So far from God", the names of the artillery battery commanders read like a roster of Civil War Generals (along with the engineering officers). It seems like quite a few of the more prominent Civil War generals came up thru the artillery. Do you have a theory of why that may be? I picked up some of the books you recommended this evening and look forward to getting into them soon. I also picked up a couple of others. "Grape and Canister" by L. VanLoan Naiswald jumped out at me with my recent interest in Civil War era artillery. Hopefully I'll actually learn a thing or two.
 
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ChdNorm    RE:Civil War Arty questions ChdNorm   9/17/2005 1:56:53 AM
"This Civil War of which you speak. Would that be "The War of Northern Agression, we learned about in school, or some other war? " Sam I don't know why, but lately I've been on this big Civil War kick. Most of what I've always thought about it, I'm sticking to it. A few of my opinions are really changing though. My deep seated hatred of Yankees for instance. Make sure you keep that on the down low though. And yes, I did get my password situation rectified (once again). I'm keeping very busy with what is so far a knee high stack of books that's growing faster than I can read. How'd yall fair there in the panhandle with the last storm?
 
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Sam    RE:Civil War Arty questions ChdNorm   9/18/2005 10:39:13 PM
Not bad. Dennis did a little damage, Katrina mostly caused beach erosion and a few trees down from the saturated soil.
 
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AlbanyRifles    Sam & Chd   9/19/2005 11:09:33 AM
Sam, yes, and I have good news, I just saved a bundle on my car insurance.... Would that be the war where W. T Sherman cleared the roadbed for I-16 from Macon to Savannah, GA? Chd, Class standing at West Point determined branch of service, so top of class went to topographical engineers and engineers (Meade, Lee) then Artillery (Bragg, Jackson, Reynolds, Thomas, Gibbons) then Cavalry (Stuart, Buford) finally infantry (Grant, Han, Longstreet, and yes, George Pickett). Some would say it was a measure of intelligence...but really if you look, you usually had a greater degree of responsibility at a young rank as a engineer and gunner than as a cavalryman or infatryman. Lee worked at FT Pulaski and FT Monroe within 5 years of graduating from West Point. PGT Beauregard helped supervise drainage and flood control projects around New Orleans as a 2LT (insert joke here!) And Gunners held a level of responsibility at a young age...a 2 gun section would go on an expedition under the command of a 2LT....a battery commander had equal footing to a regimental commander at brigade officers call. But whiel artillery was pretty awesome to look at and fire...small arms actually caused over 75% of battle casualties. It would be WW 1 before artillery became King of Battle. I know what you mean about the Civil War (one of the nice things about living in central Virginia!!!!) I am currently on a French & Indian War and Rev War kick....needed a break!
 
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Texastillidie    RE:Civil War Arty questions   10/25/2005 6:58:23 PM
While reading "So far from God", the names of the artillery battery commanders read like a roster of Civil War Generals (along with the engineering officers). It seems like quite a few of the more prominent Civil War generals came up thru the artillery. Do you have a theory of why that may be? Muzzleloading artillery was the "cutting edge technology" of it's day. Only the best officers got to be artillery officers. Once they had served in both branches they were to only senior officers with "combined arms" experience. Naturally these guys became the division and corp commanders.
 
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