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


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Rifled artillery projectile, Dahlgren design, 4in.
Artillery 3840 Dahlgren 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.

Weapons used:
Dahlgren 20 pounder rifle, 4in. Caliber of the gun is 4.0in.,tbd grooves, projectile diameter should measure 3.94 in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 3841 Dahlgren 4in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Dahlgren design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, threaded for a fuze, lead cup sabot, Dahlgren 20 pounder rifle, 4in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the design of John Dahlgren. The pattern employed a lead cup sabot with a groove in the middle on which greased twine was affixed, this to lubricate. The bottom of the projectile was cast with five ribs onto which the lead cup sabot was affixed. In addition four raised ribs were placed on the side, which were slightly wider than the rifling grooves in the cannon and designed to guide the projectile through the bore, but without catching on the grooves. These projectiles were cast with a cavity, this pattern was drilled drilled and fitted for fuze, however none have been recovered with a fuze. Projectile measures: diameter 3.95in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 19.8lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance pg. 210.

A0115...Rifled artillery projectile, Dahlgren design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, threaded for a fuze, lead cup sabot, Dahlgren 20 pounder rifle, 4in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the design of John Dahlgren. The pattern employed a lead cup sabot with a groove in the middle on which greased twine was affixed, this to lubricate. The bottom of the projectile was cast with five ribs onto which the lead cup sabot was affixed. In addition four raised ribs were placed on the side, which were slightly wider than the rifling grooves in the cannon and designed to guide the projectile through the bore, but without catching on the grooves. These projectiles were cast with a cavity, this pattern was drilled drilled and fitted for fuze, however none have been recovered with a fuze.Projectile measures: diameter 3.95in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 19.8lbs. Sabot is not fired and intact, remnants of lubricating twine remain. Threaded fuze not installed. Metal is solid, Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 387., actual example published.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance pg. 210., actual example published.


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