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


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Artillery projectile, canister, 2.6 in.
Artillery 2510 canister 2.6in.

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.


Artillery 2511 canister 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, lead balls, wooden sabot, 2.6 in.
The canister was the artillerist's weapon of last resort. Once the enemy got close to the battery, the gunners would load these rounds, and the flimsy can would burst on firing sending the contents in scatter fashion against the troops charging the cannon. The fire was devastating against the troops but the enemy would be so close that options to reload and shoot would have been limited. The can was constructed of sheet iron, shaped into a cylinder, fitted around iron plates top and bottom, sides were brazed, a lip was left at the top and the bottom. A wood sabot was cut on a lathe, grooves were cut to tie the powder bag, the lower lip of the can was nailed to the wood sabot. The can was filled with balls, usually lead, packed in sawdust, once filled, the can upper lip was then folded around the top plate. Based on the diameter of this projectile, it is believed that this was intended for the Wiard 2.6in. rifle. The canister was intended to burst immediately on firing, consequently the presence or absence of rifling would not have been important, and as a weapon of last resort, rounds could have been double or triple loaded without adversely stressing the cannon. Projectile measures: diameter 2.6in., length 6.25in. including the sabot, 4.75in, without the sabot, weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 52.

A0021...Rifled artillery projectile, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, lead balls, wooden sabot, 2.6 in.
The canister was the artillerist's weapon of last resort. Once the enemy got close to the battery, the gunners would load these rounds, and the flimsy can would burst on firing sending the contents in scatter fashion against the troops charging the cannon. The fire was devastating against the troops but the enemy would be so close that options to reload and shoot would have been limited. The can was constructed of sheet iron, shaped into a cylinder, fitted around iron plates top and bottom, sides were brazed, a lip was left at the top and the bottom. A wood sabot was cut on a lathe, grooves were cut to tie the powder bag, the lower lip of the can was nailed to the wood sabot. The can was filled with balls, usually lead, packed in sawdust, once filled, the can upper lip was then folded around the top plate. Based on the diameter of this projectile, it is believed that this was intended for the Wiard 2.6in. rifle. The canister was intended to burst immediately on firing, consequently the presence or absence of rifling would not have been important, and as a weapon of last resort, rounds could have been double or triple loaded without adversely stressing the cannon. Projectile measures: diameter 2.6in., length 6.25in. including the sabot, 4.75in, without the sabot, weight 5.2lbs. Can, top plate and most of the sabot are intact. Projectile is disarmed, originally filled with sawdust, there never was a bursting charge. Recovered: from a cache at City Point, Virginia.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 52.

A2000...Rifled artillery projectile, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, lead balls, wooden sabot, 2.6 in.
The canister was the artillerist's weapon of last resort. Once the enemy got close to the battery, the gunners would load these rounds, and the flimsy can would burst on firing sending the contents in scatter fashion against the troops charging the cannon. The fire was devastating against the troops but the enemy would be so close that options to reload and shoot would have been limited. The can was constructed of sheet iron, shaped into a cylinder, fitted around iron plates top and bottom, sides were brazed, a lip was left at the top and the bottom. A wood sabot was cut on a lathe, grooves were cut to tie the powder bag, the lower lip of the can was nailed to the wood sabot. The can was filled with balls, usually lead, packed in sawdust, once filled, the can upper lip was then folded around the top plate. Based on the diameter of this projectile, it is believed that this was intended for the Wiard 2.6in. rifle. The canister was intended to burst immediately on firing, consequently the presence or absence of rifling would not have been important, and as a weapon of last resort, rounds could have been double or triple loaded without adversely stressing the cannon. Projectile measures: diameter 2.6in., length 6.25in. including the sabot, 4.75in, without the sabot, weight 5lbs. This can is unfired, the entire canister was recovered including the bottom and top plates, the balls and parts of the can. It has been put together in this display (some glue for stability) in a nice wooden box with plexiglass with an illustration of the battle. Recovered: Rich Mountain, West Virginia.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 52.


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