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, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Artillery 2110 Ball mortar wood fuze 13in.

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, 13in. the "Dictator",
Caliber of the gun is 13.0in., round projectile diameter should measure 12.9in. approximately, variations will be noted.

The 13 inch mortar was the heaviest of the mortars and was nicknamed "The Dictator" It was a massive thing. It was placed on river barges (with protected side walls) and used at Vicksburg, and put on rail cars behind the lines at Petersburg. It took about a half an hour to load and shoot the thing, so this gave the soldiers in the siege lines something to ponder.


Artillery 2111 Ball mortar wood fuze 13in.
Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., weight 210lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 80.

A0106...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., weight 210lbs. Wood fuze is missing. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi, during road construction in the 1980's, the ball was buried about 15 feet in the soft Mississippi ground.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 80.

A0659...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., fragment weight 103bs. Thi half section was recovered in the rocky cliffs around West Point, which was used as a test firing range. The ball was fired without an explosive charge, struck the hard rock, there is significant dent where it struck, and broke into this large fragment.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 82., actual shell photographed.

A0743...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., weight 210lbs. Wood fuze is missing. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Beaufort County, South Carolina , presumably fired from a barge in the river.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 80.

A1212...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., weight 210lbs. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: river dump near arsenal at Augusta, Georgia.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 80.

A2367...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, bursting shell, mortar with lifting ears, wood fuze, smoothbore mortar, 13in.
Designed for siege operations, these guns were designed to send a projectile on a high trajectory into the enemy trench. This is the heaviest of the mortars, the "Dictator" was mounted either on a river barge in the Mississippi campaign, or on a rail car in the Petersburg Virginia campaign, and was designed to fly a long and high trajectory into the Confederate trenches. All were cast with tong or lifting ears for lifting into a mortar. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 12.85in., weight 210lbs. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: river dump near arsenal at Augusta, Georgia.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 80.


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