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


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Rifled artillery projectile, Confederate manufacture, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, iron balls, no sabot, Brooke rifle, 6.4 in.
Artillery 2580 canister 6.4in.

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 2581 canister 6.4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Confederate manufacture, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, iron balls, no sabot, Brooke rifle, 6.4 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. There never was a sabot for this pattern, the bottom of the can was simply folded around the bottom plate. The can was filled with balls, usually iron, packed in sawdust, once filled, the can upper lip was then folded around the top plate, which has a handle and a brass hinge. Based on the diameter of this projectile, it is believed that this was intended for the Confederate 6.4 inch rifled 32 pounder or Brooke rifle. Can measures: diameter 6.3in. length 9in. weight not determined.
Ref: Bell , Heavy Ordnance, pg. 94.

A1276...Rifled artillery projectile, Confederate manufacture, canister, pattern with thin iron can, iron top and bottom, iron balls, no sabot, Brooke rifle, 6.4 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. There never was a sabot for this pattern, the bottom of the can was simply folded around the bottom plate. The can was filled with balls, usually iron, packed in sawdust, once filled, the can upper lip was then folded around the top plate, which has a handle and a brass hinge. Based on the diameter of this projectile, it is believed that this was intended for the Confederate 6.4 inch rifled 32 pounder or Brooke rifle. Can measures: diameter 6.3in. length 9in. weight not determined. All parts were found together, can is fragments only, balls as found are all from this can, (original count is not known so no way to verify if any are missing or not), bottom and top plates both recovered, top plate has the handle indicative of Confederate manufacture. A plexiglass container has been fashioned for display, but it is badly cracked and needs to be redone. Projectile is disarmed, nothing but metal parts. Recovered: Mississippi defenses.
Ref: Bell , Heavy Ordnance, pg. 94.


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