View single post by calcav
 Posted: Sat Jul 22nd, 2006 06:12 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 28th, 2006
Location: Corinth, MS
Posts: 160

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What you have there is a "false Napoleon". These are found mostly at Gettysburg and were 6-pounder guns and rifles that were modified by the Park Commission around 1895. The commission wished to arrange the park to mark the battlefield properly, with careful location of monuments to different troops. Meticulous effort was given to placing in each battery position the same type of gun as was present 1 to 3 July 1863. With a limited supply of artillery pieces, at some spots two or four cannon were used to mark the location of a 6-gun battery. Enen so, there were not enough Napoleons, Ordnance rifles or Parrotts to go around, but Army depots contained an ample supply of 6-pounder guns and rifles. To remedy such imbalance, the commission engaged a local foundry and machine shop that made cast iron replicas of 3-inch Ordnance rifles and 2.9-inch Parrott rifles. For bronze pieces they simply altered 6-pounder gun tubes to represent Federal Napoleons. Thier rough machining and differences of size, shape, and stampings continue to pass unnoticed by all but the critical observer. Check out Chapter 10 of "Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War" by Hazlett, Olmstead and Parks for more info on these pieces.

When other military parks were established Gettysburg was called upon to send cannon for display at the new sites. Twenty of the false Napoleons stayed at Gettysburg, four were sent to Antietam, three to Fredricksburg, and one each to Chancelorsville and Mannassas.

Congrats on spotting the fake!


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