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


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Canister, 3.8 in.
Artillery 2550 canister 3.8in.

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 2551 canister 3.8in.
Canister, Wiard design, Federal manufacture, pattern with lead sleeve, iron top, lead balls, lead cup sabot, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8 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 filled with lead balls, packed in sawdust, an iron plate was fitted on the top with a white metal cup on the bottom serving as sabot, a lead cylinder was cast without a seam and filled. Sabot is lead casting, inscription is cast with raised lettering and reads: "BASE". Projectile measures: diameter 3.8in., canister length is 5.5in., weight not determined.
Ref. "Shiloh Shells and Artillery Units" by George Whitham pg. 118 & 119.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 66.

A0431...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.8in., canister length is 5.5in., weight not determined. Sabot is not fired and intact. This apparently was an experimental piece, was field tested at Shiloh and then abandoned, only a small number of parts have been recovered. This nearly intact can, damaged by a farmers plow was recovered with the top and most of the balls. Projectile is disarmed, it is packed in sawdust and never had a bursting charge. Recovered: Shiloh Tennessee.
Ref. "Shiloh Shells and Artillery Units" by George Whitham pg. 118 & 119., actual example published.


Artillery 2552 canister 3.8in.
Canister, James design, Federal manufacture, tall lead canister, canvass covered, open base with slots, lead and tin sleeve sabot, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Charles James. The entire projectile was covered with a canvass sleeve. Apparently this was field tested at Shiloh, as the few parts recovered have all come from this site. Projectile measures: diameter 3.8in canister length is 5.5in, base length is 3in.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 61.

A1406...
Projectile measures: diameter 3.8in canister length is 5.5in, base length is 3in. Base only. Recovdered: Shiloh, Tennessee.


and now a word from our sponsor.....

Civil War Relicman, Harry Ridgeway,
Civil War artillery, Relicman sales catalog
.
Click here for artillery for sale.

artillery sales catalog.