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, solid shot, Rodman smoothbore gun, 15 in.
Artillery 2210 Ball solid shot 15in.

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, 15in. Caliber of the gun is 15.0in., (Navy), round projectile diameter should measure 14.75in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Rodman smoothbore gun, 15in. Caliber of the gun is 15.0in., (Army), round projectile diameter should measure 14.75in. approximately, variations will be noted.

The 15 inch ball was the largest caliber cannon of the Civil War. The "Rodman" gun was massive. The Navy mounted them in the center of the Monitor class ships and they were used extensively in the siege of Charleston SC, and Fort Fisher in North Carolina. The army used a wood fuzed version in the defenses of Washington, to defend against a Confederate sea invasion that never developed.


Artillery 2211 Ball solid shot 15in.
Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, solid shot, Rodman smoothbore gun, 15 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the 15 inch Rodman, the heaviest of the smoothbores. This solid ball was mainly used as test round to stress test the heavy Rodman guns. Ball has two small holes on either side to be lifted with tongs for loading. Projectile measures: diameter 14.85in., weighs about 450 pounds. All have been recovered from West Point test range.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 83.

A0108...Smoothbore artillery projectile, spherical ball, solid shot, Rodman smoothbore gun, 15 in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals for the 15 inch Rodman, the heaviest of the smoothbores. This solid ball was mainly used as test round to stress test the heavy Rodman guns. Ball has two small holes on either side to be lifted with tongs for loading. Projectile measures: diameter 14.85in., weighs about 450 pounds. Picture with 12 pounder beside it illustrate the size of this monster. All have been recovered from West Point test range. Metal is solid, chip missing on one side from impact. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 83.


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