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, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Artillery 1810 Ball Dahlgren watercap fuze 9in.

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:
Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 9in. Caliber of the gun is 9.0in., (Navy), round projectile diameter should measure 8.9in. approximately, variations will be noted.

The 9 inch balls were generally intended for the Navy Dahlgren guns. Early versions of the monitor class ships employed 9 inch guns in the turret, but these later were upgraded to 11 and 15 inch. The 9 inch balls are most frequently seen in the early war battles, they were rendered obsolete by the end of the war. Wood fuzed shells are found at Civil War sites, likely these are Confederate substitutes

A 9 inch ball will measure 8.85 after deducting for windage.


Artillery 1811 Ball Dahlgren watercap fuze 9in.
Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A1239...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1859.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 68lbs. Orignial fuze is intact, dated 1859. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2059...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1861.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Original fuze is intact, dated 1861. Prohjectile is disarmed, drill hole through bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2146...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1864.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Original fuze is intact, dated 1864. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through bottom. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2217...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1864.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Fuze is intact, dated 1864. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2277. Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1864. arsenal marks "WGS".
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Inspector mark is "WGS" found near fuze hole. Watercap fuze is replacement but correct type, is easily removed if screwed in about half way, metal is smooth with minor pitting only. Projectile disarmed, removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2305...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Fuze is removable, dated 1862. Projectile is disarmed, removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2531...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Fuze is removable and dated 1862. Projectile is disarmed, removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2600...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Fuze is removable, dated 1863. Projectile is disarmed, removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2613...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Fuze is removable, dated 1864. Projectile is disarmed, removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2870...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1861.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 70lbs. Original fuze is intact, dated 1861. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole though the bottom. Recovered: not known.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2965...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., arsenal marks "T" and "9".
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 67lbs. Projectile is marked with arsenal marks, , "T" and "9", presumably indicating the size. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 67lbs. Fuze is removable, dated 1862. Projectile is disarmed removable fuze exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.

A2981...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Navy watercap time fuze, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fuze is dated 1863.
Ball was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the Navy for the heavy Dahlgren gun. This was a heavy smoothbore gun designed for the monitor class of Federal river gunships, this was one of two guns mounted in the turret. Projectile is threaded for a Federal Navy watercap fuze, markings, "ORD. D (anchor) / (date)", Jones pg. 10. Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 65lbs. Original fuze intact, dated 1863. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: not determined.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 61.


Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments

A0440...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments
Fragment, base from 9 in. ball Fragment shows flat bottom characteristic of these shells. I am not sure why they were designed this way as the result was a weak point around the bottom and most of them blew a relatively round piece like this. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.
Fragment weighs 11lb.

A0468.2...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments
Shell fragment, base from 9 in. ball This is bottom section of 9 in. ball. Although rounded it is thicker than the rest of the ball, hence the break followed around this section. Recovered: Fort Fisher, North Carolina
Fragment weighs 12lb.

A0468.4...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments
Shell fragment 9 in. ball Note remains of threaded fuze hole, this fragment is 1.75 in. thick Recovered: Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
Fragment weighs 7lbs.

A2818...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments
This fragment is from the bottom, bottom inside was cast flat, often the bottom will fragment around this flat area, at the point of relative weakness with the rest of the ball. Fragment weighs approx 11lbs. Recovered: North Carolina defenses.

A2819...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, Federal Dahlgren, 9 in., fragments
This fragment is from the bottom, bottom inside was cast flat, often the bottom will fragment around this flat area, at the point of relative weakness with the rest of the ball. Fragment weighs approx 10lbs. Recovered: North Carolina defenses.


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