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


Civil War Artillery

by Harry Ridgeway


Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, 2.6in.
Artillery 4310 Hotchkiss 2.6in.

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:
Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Caliber of the gun is 2.6in., 8 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 2.5 in. approximately, variations will be found.

Artillery 4311 Hotchkiss bolt pointed nose 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with no flame grooves pointed nose, lead band sabot, Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment, use of this light bolt had limited applicability and is relatively scarce in the smaller calibers. Nose of this pattern is pointed, base is flat, this is probably an experimental round. Projectile measures: diameter 2.4in., length 5.25in. unfired sabot, weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 158.

A1224...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.4in., length 5.25in. unfired sabot, weight 5lbs., not verified. Lead band sabot separated on firing, nose and base were found together nose was partly dislodged on firing but but did not separate. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: West Point, New York test firing range.

A1610...
A1610.jpg (12741 bytes) A1610B.jpg (11690 bytes)
Projectile measures: diameter 2.4in., length 5.25in. unfired sabot, weight, not determined. Nose section only recovered, sabot and base separated on firing. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Fredericksburg, Virginia.


Artillery 4312 Hotchkiss bolt rounded nose 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with rounded nose, no flame grooves, rounded bottom, lead band sabot, Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment, use of this light bolt had limited applicability and is relatively scarce in the smaller calibers. Nose of this pattern is rounded, base is rounded, this is probably an experimental round. Projectile measures: diameter 2.4in., length 5.25in. unfired sabot, weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 158.

A1823...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.4in., length 5.25in. unfired sabot, weight 5.9lb. Sabot is fired showing 8 lands and grooves, fired from the Wiard rifle and is intact. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: West Point, New York test range.


Artillery 4313 Hotchkiss shell without flame grooves wood time fuze 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, pointed nose "common" (standard), lead band sabot, wood time fuze, Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Some of these shells were configured as case shot , filled with balls, or as "common", with out balls. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), it does not contain balls, and with a time fuze it was designed to be used against either troops in the open field or enemy cannon. The nose section is pointed, containing an open cavity for the explosive charge only, without a separator bolt. Nose section contains a plugged hole centered on the bottom, presumably this hole was used to secure the core on casting, then a plug was installed to seal the bottom. This early version does not have a flame groove which was added in later patterns. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place, Jones Fuzes pg. 2. Hotchkiss patent date was cast (not stamped) into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855", and is typically weak. Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 5.5in., excluding fuze, weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 161.

A1612...
A1612.jpg (13485 bytes) A1612B.jpg (13745 bytes) A1612C.jpg (21507 bytes)
Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length not determined. Lead band sabot shows 8 lands and grooves, fired from Wiard rifle, base was separated on firing. Wood fuze missing, base cup missing, bottom plug also blown out. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole and blown bottom plug exposes empty cavity. Recovered: not known.


Artillery 4314 Hotchkiss shell without flame grooves percussion fuze 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, pointed nose "common" (standard), lead band sabot, Hotchkiss iron percussion "West Point" style fuze, Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three parts, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Some of these shells were configured as case shot, filled with balls, or as "common", without balls. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), it does not contain balls, and with a percussion fuze it was designed to detonate after striking enemy cannon or equipment. The nose section is pointed, containing an open cavity for the explosive charge only, without a separator bolt. Shell does not have flame grooves, these were not needed when a percussion fuze was used. Fuze employed was an iron Hotchkiss percussion fuze, "West Point style" which means anvil and slider operated independently and was intended to detonate after striking the enemy cannon or equipment, Jones pg. 92 . Hotchkiss patent date was cast (not stamped) into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855", and is typically weak. Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 6in. (excluding fuze). weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg.161.

A0045...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 6in. (excluding fuze). weight 5.2lbs. Lead band sabot shows 8 lands and grooves, fired from Wiard rifle. Iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side. Recovered: Culpeper,Virginia by John Eden.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A1824...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 6in. (excluding fuze). weight 5.2lbs., not verified. Lead band sabot shows 8 lands and grooves, fired from Wiard rifle. Iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side. Recovered: Culpeper,Virginia.


Artillery 4315 Hotchkiss shell with flame grooves wood time fuze 2.6in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flame grooves, pointed nose "common" (standard), lead band sabot, wood time fuze, Wiard 6 pounder rifle, 2.6in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Andrew Hotchkiss. The pattern consisted of three part s, a nose section containing the explosive charge, a cast iron cup fitted on the bottom, and lead band sabot cast around the middle, on firing the cup would compress the lead band sabot expanding it into the rifling. Some of these shells were configured as case shot , filled with balls, or as "common", with out balls. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), it does not contain balls, and with a time fuze it was designed to be used against either troops in the open field or enemy cannon. The nose section is pointed, containing an open cavity for the explosive charge only, without a separator bolt. Nose section contains a plugged hole centered on the bottom, presumably this hole was used to secure the core on casting, then a plug was installed to seal the bottom. Three flame grooves added so that flame from firing would pass through the sabot and ignite the fuze. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place, Jones Fuzes pg. 2. Hotchkiss patent date was cast (not stamped) into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855", and is typically weak. Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 5.5in., excluding fuze, weight 5lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 160.

A0044...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 5.5in., excluding fuze, weight 5lbs., not verified. Lead band sabot separated on firing. Wood time fuze missing. Projectile disarmed:, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Shiloh, Tennessee.

A1611...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 5.5in. fired sabot compressed, weight 4.7lb. Lead band sabot shows 8 lands and grooves, fired from Wiard rifle. Wood fuze missing. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Shiloh, Tennessee.

A1822...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.5in., length 5.5in. fired sabot compressed, weight 5lb, not verified. Lead band sabot is partial showing 8 lands and grooves, fired from Wiard rifle. Wood fuze missing. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Shiloh, Tennessee.


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