|Ridgeway Civil War Research Center,
A virtual examination of artifacts of the American Civil War
|Civil War Artillery|
by Harry Ridgeway
|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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