Ridgeway Civil War Research Center,
A virtual examination of artifacts of the American Civil War


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Bormann fuze, smoothbore 8in.
Artillery 1760 Ball Bormann fuze 8in.

This is the "Ridgeway Civil War Research Center...", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader. Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author. None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to relicman.com sales listings for items offered for sale. This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items. I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me. All items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described. Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission. This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only.
All projectiles listed have been disarmed.

Most information on this page is from:
Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War, 1993 Edition. by Thomas S. Dickey and Peter C. George.
Civil War Heavy Explosive Ordnance, A Guide to Large Artillery Prjectiles, Torpedoes, and Mines, by Jack Bell.
Artillery Fuses of the Civil War, by Charles H. Jones.
Pictures are by the author, unless otherwise indicated.


Weapons used:
Smoothbore mortar, 8in. Caliber of the gun is 8.0in., round projectile diameter should measure 7.88in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Smoothbore Columbiad gun, 8in. Caliber of the gun is 8.0in., round projectile diameter should measure 7.88in. approximately, variations will be noted.

The big 8 in balls generally fall into two categories, Columbiads or mortars. The mortar was a lighter gun, designed to send a lighter ball on a very high trajectory over the embankment and into a dug in trench. The walls on these mortars is going to be relative thin, usually around 1.0 inch to 1.5 inch. Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Columbiad seige gun. This s were heavy Navy smoothbores, and were used in siege operations against land forts or other ships, the balls will be heavier, the walls are generally 2 inch thickness or greater.


Artillery 1761 Ball Bormann fuze 8in.
Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, thin walled mortar with lifting ears, Bormann fuze, smoothbore, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the heavy mortars. Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This ball was intended to be filled with case shot balls, the thickness of the casing is reduced from other mortars. Fuze employed was a Federal Bormann time fuze , with single slot, (Jones pg. 22) . Projectile measures: diameter 7.9in., weight 45lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 55.

A1808...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, thin walled mortar with lifting ears, Bormann fuze, smoothbore mortar, 8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the heavy mortars. Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This ball was intended to be filled with case shot balls, the thickness of the casing is reduced from other mortars. Fuze employed was a Federal Bormann time fuze , with single slot, (Jones pg. 22) . Projectile measures: diameter 7.9in., weight 29lbs. Bormann fuze is intact, but projectile was not filled with case shot. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole in the bottom. Recovered: not known.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 55.


Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, 8 in., fragments.

A2182...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, 8 in., fragments.
This large fragment, which is about half is filled with case shot balls.
It is a great illustration of the structure of this shell. Recovered: not known. Fragment of 8 inch case shot ball, 26 lbs.


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