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 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 12:19 pm
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arooper
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Anybody interested in starting a weaponry discussion? I know some things about Union longarms, some artillery, but not enough. I remember we had an awesome discussion in my military history class last year about how the South lost based on weapon technology alone. It was pretty interesting.



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 02:45 pm
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TimHoffman01
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I'd love the opportunity to learn more.

Example:  What exactly makes a Napoleon, a Napoleon?  What sets it apart from other smooth bore artillery?  In other words, was any 12lb smoothbore gun considered a napoleon or is there a lot more to it?



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 03:09 pm
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arooper
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Good question. I'm not sure. I don't know much about artillery at all. I know the names, thats about it. Although when I was at Gburg a couple weeks ago I successfully pointed out a Parrott gun, it wasn't hard tho it was the biggest one there, lol.

Also, whats the difference between a Napolean and a Howitzer? And is the parrott just a really really big rifled gun??



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 03:19 pm
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Hamy3
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I'm in!! My limited knowledge is in the areas of small arms and artillery, light and heavy. I'm also interested in how artillery relates to the naval war. I have a pretty decent library section going on artillery, and will be happy to share it's knowledge with anyone who asks.

Tim, I believe that any smoothbore, including the pop gun like 6 lb would be considered a Napoleon. I'll do a little research on this when I get home later, and let you know what I find out.

Doug

 



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 03:32 pm
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Hamy3
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A Howitzer is a shorter length tube that is meant to fire a much shorter distance, generally with a larger arc. Not nearly as high as a mortar, and not flat like a rifle.

A great referance on Civil War arty is A Guide to Civil War Artillery, written by Warren Ripley. This book is in it's seventh printing, and has been updated in a recent printing. It has a wealth of informaion on the various types of tubes, Carriages and chassis, and tools of the Artilleryman. It's one of the best books out there, IMHO

Artillery humor:

Question- What is a 100 lb Parrott Rifle used for?

Answer- Shooting down 100lb Parrotts!!

Doug

Last edited on Tue Mar 7th, 2006 03:33 pm by Hamy3



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 03:53 pm
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arooper
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Welcom to the topic, Doug, and thanks for the info! I'll def. look into that book. Right now I only have illustrated dictionaries, which are helpful in terms of ID'ing different guns, but not necessarily how/when/why they were used, which is what I'm more interested in.

In your opinion, who was the best artillerist of the war? Union, reb, or both?



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 05:15 pm
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Hamy3
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The best artillerist in the war? That could be a loaded question!!! (Pun intended!!) The person that comes to mind right off would be John Pelham, also known as "The Gallant Pelham" Stuart's horse artillery chief. He rose in the ranks very rapidly and was quite young at the outbreak of the war. He had withdrawn from West Point at the start of the war, and sided with the Rebs, as he was an Alabamian. His exploits were second to none, on either side.

There were many fine artillerists on both sides, and I think it's hard to pick only one as the best. Both sides had similar, yet different organizations, which would handicap any answer. In terms of technology, supply, and sheer numbers the North certainly had an edge. But I wouldn't discount the bravery and spirit of the Confederate gunners.

Doug



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 05:23 pm
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Hamy3
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Tim, I believe that any smoothbore, including the pop gun like 6 lb would be considered a Napoleon.

Let me amend that statement with the following, any horse drawn field piece. Obviously an 8" Columbiad, while smoothbore, would not be classified as a Napoleon !! Sorry for any confusion my first statement caused.

Doug



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 05:23 pm
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arooper
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Right. The only artillerist I know is Porter Alexander, though there was one Union artillerist, I completely forget his name, but he fought in the Western theater, I think he was at Stones River. i'll look it up once I get home.



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 06:04 pm
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calcav
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Doug,

A 6ponder smoothbore (or a columbiad) could never be mistaken for a Napoleon. By definition a napoleon is a 12 pounder smoothbore gun. It was originally designed to fire the spherical case shot or shell of howitzers, the solid round shot of guns, or the cannister of both. In essence, a piece that could fire anything in the caisson. It was intended for the horizontal or direct fire of a gun as well as the curved or indirect fire of a howitzer. It didn't quite work out that way though; there is no powder chamber in a napoleon therefore it cannot operate as a howitzer.

In almost all cases a Union napoleon was bronze, had a flared muzzle, and weighed about 1,200 pounds (but not always). A Confederate napoleon often looked like its northern counterpart but could also be iron with a tapered barrel and a banded breech (looking quite like a Parrot).

The easist way to tell for sure is with a tape measure and a flash light. Look down the barrel and confirm there is no powder chamber then measure the muzzle. If its 4.62 inches you got a napoleon.

By the way, great idea for a board. I just love to talk artillery.

Tom



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 06:19 pm
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Hamy3
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Thanks for the clarification Tom!!

Doug



 Posted: Tue Mar 7th, 2006 07:04 pm
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arooper
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Is there anyway we can make an artillery FAQ? Just so when jargon comes up regarding the pieces of a gun I know what you're talking about...

Thanks for the info, Tom.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 06:42 am
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simon
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There were great artillerist on both sides.  Gen. Hunt was probally one of the best on both sides for organazation and he was one of the many factors which led to a Union victory at Gettysburg.

The artillerist that was mentioned above as serving in the Western theater was undoubtibly Captain Mendenhall who turned the action on the Union left on the Jan. 2 from a Union route to a Confederate disaster.

Some other great ones are Charles Wrainwright who served ably with the Army of the Potomoc.  Gen. Pegram served ably both as a artillerist and as an infantry commander.

Some bad ones include Gen. Pendleton who after almost losing the Confederate Artillery reserve after Antietam was removed from active command and served the rest of the war in a staff posistion. 

Pelham, was a great Confederate battery commander. Bigelow, who helped saved the Union left at Gettysburg on July 2, was a great Union one.  Also Dilinger, with his flying dutch battery served ably throughout the war.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 11:26 am
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arooper
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Who was the Union commander who jumped on a gun at Missionary Ridge and Grant had to tell him to fall back? I believe this was the same Union general who nearly obliterated Bragg's HQ on the ridge.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 03:10 pm
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simon
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Im not sure if this is who your thinking of but there was a Gen. Granger who was relieved of his command because during the assalut on missionary ridge, he was with Grant on Orchard Knob, and Grant thought he spent too much time "playing" with his artillery.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 03:34 pm
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arooper
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yeah, I think that's him, it was on Orchard Knob. Didn't know he was relieved of command, though.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 03:52 pm
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simon
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Grant took a dislike for him for his actions during that battle.  Then later when Granger and Sherman were marching to the relief of Knoxville, Grant judged him that he was too slow, and relieved him of command.



 Posted: Wed Mar 8th, 2006 04:02 pm
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arooper
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Ok. I recall reading that during the battle, when the Union was charging up Missionary Ridge, the artillerists weren't doing a very good job, so Granger, or whoever it was, who was apparently a crack shot, started firing at the crest and took out Bragg's HQ not long after it was abandoned. Then Grant reprimanded him and told him to fall back and take command of his unit. So it most probably was Granger.

I should really take some of my books to work so this doesn't keep happening. Wikipedia just isn't cutting it.



 Posted: Thu Mar 9th, 2006 04:42 pm
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David White
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Hubert Dilger of the 1st Ohio is the Yankee I think about when talking great artillerists.  He fought in the east until Gettysburg and then went west.  He was known for his buckskin trousers and I guess his most famous shot of the war was the one that blew General Polk apart, then again he may have done the Confederacy a service with that shot.



 Posted: Sun Mar 12th, 2006 03:32 am
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shotgunshell93
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Most Confederate weapons were imported from Europe and some made in various factories around the south while the Union's guns were made in northern factories.



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