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 design and manufacture, lead sleeved, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Artillery 3210 Confederate lead sleeved 3.2in. to 3.3in.

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:
Confederate rifle, 3.25.in., to 3.4in. Intended caliber or calibers are uncertain, this range of sizes describes Confederate cannons larger than 3in. and smaller than 3.5in. These rifles may have been the result of Confederate developmental attempts to modify six pounder smoothbores to add rifling. The variation in sizes may be explained as various designs and sizes were modified to add sleeves or cut grooves or some combination of both. None of these designs appear to have been successful, groove count seems to vary, most projectiles in this size range are either unfired or the sabots failed to take the rifling. Projectile diameter should measure .1in. to .15in.smaller than the bore, many variations will be found.


Artillery 3210 Confederate lead sleeved 3.2in. to 3.3in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Confederate design and manufacture, bursting shell, lead sleeved, lead sabot, copper time fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Projectile appears to be Confederate manufacture inspired by a British design and perhaps the Federal Sawyer design. It employed a massive lead sleeve with a contour. Probably the idea was that the high spots would conform to the rifling and the space in the middle would absorb the slack. It is doubtful such a massive lead sabot would work, plus the Confederacy could ill afford such extravagant use of lead, so it appears that only a limited number were produced and those were sent to a low priority Confederate outpost. Copper time fuze appears to be conventional Confederate design, and there is lathe dimple in the base, indicative of Confederate wartime manufacture. Projectile measures: diameter 3.1in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 11.5lbs. The diameter is also approximately 3.1in, which is a very odd caliber. Could this have been an experimental design to fire from a breechloading Whitworth, in which the lead sabot may have been expected to compress and elongate? Or perhaps it was intended for the Confederate 3.2in gun or a smaller gun with a worn out bore. In any case it is above 3inches and would not fit either the 2.9in. or 3.0in guns. All of the surviving examples came from a cache of a dozen or so that were found in 1960's at High Bridge Virginia.
Artillery 3210 Confederate lead sleeved 3.2in. to 3.3in., Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 90.

A0028...Rifled artillery projectile, Confederate design and manufacture, bursting shell, lead sleeved, lead sabot, copper time fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Projectile appears to be Confederate manufacture inspired by a British design and perhaps the Federal Sawyer design. It employed a massive lead sleeve with a contour. Probably the idea was that the high spots would conform to the rifling and the space in the middle would absorb the slack. It is doubtful such a massive lead sabot would work, plus the Confederacy could ill afford such extravagant use of lead, so it appears that only a limited number were produced and those were sent to a low priority Confederate outpost. Copper time fuze appears to be conventional Confederate design, and there is lathe dimple in the base, indicative of Confederate wartime manufacture. Projectile measures: diameter 3.1in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 11.5lbs. The diameter is also approximately 3.1in, which is a very odd caliber. Could this have been an experimental design to fire from a breechloading Whitworth, in which the lead sabot may have been expected to compress and elongate? Or perhaps it was intended for the Confederate 3.2in gun or a smaller gun with a worn out bore. In any case it is above 3inches and would not fit either the 2.9in. or 3.0in guns. All of the surviving examples came from a cache of a dozen or so that were found in 1960's at High Bridge Virginia.
Artillery 3210 Confederate lead sleeved 3.2in. to 3.3in., Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 90.

Projectile is unfired, massive lead sabot intact, none were actually fired apparently. Copper time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: High Bridge, Virginia.


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