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 time fuze, Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 9 in.
Artillery 1820 Ball Dahlgren Bormann 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 1821 Ball Dahlgren Bormann fuze 9in.
Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, "case shot", thin walled, Bormann time fuze, Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 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 Federal river gunships. This pattern was filled with case shot balls and was intended for close combat, or ships against troops, however it was unusual for the these heavy guns to be engaged in this manner. Fuze employed was a Bormann long range time fuze, unlike smaller caliber balls, the threaded throat does not have an inner ledge for the fuze to rest, the inner plug is the same diameter;as the fuze and simply preceded it into the fuze hole, (Jones pg. 24). Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 75lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 69.

A1162...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, "case shot", thin walled, Bormann time fuze, Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 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 Federal river gunships. This pattern was filled with case shot balls and was intended for close combat, or ships against troops, however it was unusual for the these heavy guns to be engaged in this manner. Fuze employed was a Bormann long range time fuze, unlike smaller caliber balls, the threaded throat does not have an inner ledge for the fuze to rest, the inner plug is the same diameter;as the fuze and simply preceded it into the fuze hole, (Jones pg. 24). Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 69lbs. Bormann fuze is intact. Based on weight it appears that case shot balls may not have been loaded into this shell, the fuze is original. These shells had little practical use and are rare. Projectile is disarmed by drill hole though the bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson Louisiana, by Emile Mancuso.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 69.

A2058. Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, "case shot", thin walled, Bormann time fuze, Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 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 Federal river gunships. This pattern was filled with case shot balls and was intended for close combat, or ships against troops, however it was unusual for the these heavy guns to be engaged in this manner. Fuze employed was a Bormann long range time fuze, unlike smaller caliber balls, the threaded throat does not have an inner ledge for the fuze to rest, the inner plug is the same diameter;as the fuze and simply preceded it into the fuze hole, (Jones pg. 24). Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 75lbs. Bormann fuze is partial, brass underplug is very visible. Shell disarmed, drill hole through bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 69.

A2303. Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, "case shot", thin walled, Bormann time fuze, Dahlgren smoothbore gun, 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 Federal river gunships. This pattern was filled with case shot balls and was intended for close combat, or ships against troops, however it was unusual for the these heavy guns to be engaged in this manner. Fuze employed was a Bormann long range time fuze, unlike smaller caliber balls, the threaded throat does not have an inner ledge for the fuze to rest, the inner plug is the same diameter;as the fuze and simply preceded it into the fuze hole, (Jones pg. 24). Projectile measures: diameter 8.9in., weight 75lbs. Bormann fuze is missing, case shot balls are packed inside and clearly visible through the fuze hole. Shell disarmed, open fuze hole exposes interior filled with case shot balls and matrix only. Recovered: not known.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 69.


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