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, 3.8in.
Artillery 4360 Hotchkiss 3.8in.

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:
James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in. Caliber of the gun is 3.8in., 14 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 3.73in. approximately, variations will be found.

Artillery 4361 Hotchkiss bolt hollow base 3.8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern without flame grooves, pointed nose with deep hollow cup , lead band sabot, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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, with a deep cup or hollow area in the lower part of the nose, this was probably an effort to shift the center of gravity forward. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically weak. Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.7lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg.171.

A0055...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.7lb., not verified. Sabot is fired showing 15 lands and grooves, fired from James rifle. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.

A1631...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.7lb. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from James 14 pounder rifle. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Monet Ferry, Louisiana.

A1632...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.7lb., not verified. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from James 14 pounder rifle. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.

A1633...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 13.7lb, not verified. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, weak rifling fired from James 14 pounder rifle with worn out or fouled bore. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi, Yoste's battery.

A2917...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.3lbs., no sabot. Lead band sabot separated on firing. Xray shows cup cavity in the nose. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: war trophy, gray paint is from an old display.

A2954...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 6.4lbs, nose only. Sabot and base separated on firing. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Virginia campaign, not confirmed.


Artillery 4362 Hotchkiss shell West Point percussion fuze 3.8in.
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, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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 "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), it does not contain balls, and with a percussion fuze it was designed to be used against 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. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861 ", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Flame grooves were not used on this pattern, with a percussion fuze the flame groove was not needed. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze, "West Point style" which means anvil and slider operated independently, (Jones pg. 92). Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 174.

A1636...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs., not verified. Sabot is not fired and is intact. Hotchkiss iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side, not photographed. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1833...

PProjectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 13.2lb. Lead sabot shows faint signs of 15 lands and grooves, fired from James Rifle. Iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole in the side. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.

A2535...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs. Lead sabot is un-fired. Iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole in the side. Recovered: Battle Creek, Tennessee.

A2631....

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs. Lead sabot is un-fired. Iron percussion fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole in the side. Recovered: not known, likely western campaign.


Artillery 4363 Hotchkiss case shot lead time fuze 3.8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, rounded nose, "case shot" iron balls packed in sawdust, iron separator bolt, lead band sabot, Hotchkiss lead time fuze, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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 "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This is "case shot", with a time fuze it was designed to be used against troops by spreading large volume of fragments and balls over the open field of fighting. Iron balls were packed in sawdust only. The nose is rounded to accomodate the extra load of balls and the casting in the nose is thin to encourage breakage forward in the nose. There are two chambers in the nose, all of the powder is in the lower chamber, all of the balls are in the upper chamber, there is an iron seperator bolt in the middle, with a hole and a narrow metal channel to allow the flame to pass from the fuze to detonate the powder in the lower chamber. On detonation, the exploding powder in the base was expected to push the seperator bolt and the balls forward and out the weak top section of the nose. The nose was cast as one part, the bottom is solid, the separator bolt apparently was precast and imbedded in the core, then positioned after casting once the core was removed, it is larger than the fuze opening. This early design did not have flame grooves, these were added in later patterns so that flame from firing would pass through the sabot and ignite the fuze. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss lead time fuze, with spanner holes, early pattern did not have a flange, Jones pg. 86. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 177.

A1835...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 11.2lb., missing sabot. Lead band sabot separated on firing. Lead time fuze is partial. Patent date is crisp. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Artillery 4364 Hotchkiss shell brass time fuze 3.8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flame grooves, pointed nose "common" (standard), lead band sabot, Hotchkiss brass time fuze, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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 "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with 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. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Three flame grooves added so that flame from firing would pass through the sabot and ignite the fuze. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss brass time fuze, with slots and a flange, Jones pg. 87. Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in ., length 7.25in . (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 178.

A0432...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs., not verified. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from James 14 pounder rifle. Hotchkiss brass time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the side. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1637...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), compressed from firing, weight 13.2lb. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from a James rifle. Hotchkiss brass time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, hole drilled through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1638...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), compressed from firing, weight 14lbs. not verified. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from a James rifle. Hotchkiss brass time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Port Gibson Mississippi, fired at "Cockerell's charge at White Branch.

A1639...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), compressed from firing, weight 14lbs. not verified. Lead band sabot shows 15 lands and grooves, fired from a James rifle. Hotchkiss brass time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Port Gibson Mississippi.


Artillery 4365 Hotchkiss case shot brass time fuze 3.8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern with flame grooves, rounded nose, "case shot" lead balls packed loose without matrix or with asphalt matrix, iron separator bolt, lead band sabot, Hotchkiss brass time fuze, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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 "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This is "case shot", with a time fuze it was designed to be used against troops by spreading large volume of fragments and balls over the open field of fighting. Lead balls were packed in sawdust only, early production, or black asphalt matrix, later production. The nose is rounded to accomodate the extra load of balls and the casting in the nose is thin to encourage breakage forward in the nose. There are two chambers in the nose, all of the powder is in the lower chamber, all of the balls are in the upper chamber, there is an iron seperator bolt in the middle, with a hole and a narrow metal channel to allow the flame to pass from the fuze to detonate the powder in the lower chamber. On detonation, the exploding powder in the base was expected to push the seperator bolt and the balls forward and out the weak top section of the nose. The nose was cast as one part, the bottom is solid, the separator bolt apparently was precast and imbedded in the core, then positioned after casting once the core was removed, it is larger than the fuze opening. Three flame grooves added so that flame from firing would pass through the sabot and ignite the fuze. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss brass time fuze, with slots and a flange, Jones pg. 87. Hotchkiss patent date was cast, not stamped, into the base, "HOTCHKISS PATENT OCTOBER 9, 1855 / MAY 14, 1861", and is typically very weak and may have been omitted entirely as the molds wore down or were replaced. Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 15lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 179.

A0057...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 15lbs. Lead band sabot is fired, 15 lands and grooves from James rifle are weak, sabot is distorted from firing but did not take the rifling. Hotchkiss brass time fuze intact. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.


Artillery 4366 Hotchkiss Sayer detachable nose 3.8in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, pattern without flame grooves, rounded nose "case shot" iron balls Sayre's detachable nose, lead band sabot, Hotchkiss lead time fuze, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8in.
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 "common" or standard rounds, explosive charge only, or "case shot", filled with balls. This is "case shot", with a time fuze it was designed to be used against troops by spreading large volume of fragments and balls over the open field of fighting. Lead balls were packed in sawdust only, early production, or black asphalt matrix, later production. The nose is rounded to accomodate the extra load of balls and the casting in the nose is thin to encourage breakage forward in the nose. There are two chambers in the nose, all of the powder is in the lower chamber, all of the balls are in the upper chamber, there is an iron seperator bolt in the middle, with a hole and a narrow metal channel to allow the flame to pass from the fuze to detonate the powder in the lower chamber. On detonation, the exploding powder in the base was expected to push the seperator bolt and the balls forward and out the weak top section of the nose. Nose was fitted with a detachable nose, an invention of Sayre, this would make the loading easier but left a weak spot around the nose, the nose is blown off most fired examples, this design was a failure. Fuze employed was a Hotchkiss brass time fuze, with slots and a flange, Jones pg. 87. Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in ., length 7.25in . (excluding fuze) unfired sabot, 6.75in. fired sabot compressed, weight 14lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 180.

A1836...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.7in., length 6.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.8lb., sabot, nose top, and case shot balls are missing. Lead band sabot separated on firing, Sayre detachable nose also blew away. Projectile is disarmed open nose exposes interior. Recovered: Remington, Virginia.


Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, 3.8in., fragments
A0863...Rifled artillery projectile, Hotchkiss design, James 14 pounder rifle, 3.8 in., fragment of sabot .
Sabot flew off this Hotchkiss shows clearly the pattern 14 lands and grooves from the James 14 pounder rifle.
Recovered: Mufreesboro, Tennessee.


and now a word from our sponsor.....

Civil War Relicman, Harry Ridgeway,
Civil War artillery, Relicman sales catalog.
Click here for artillery for sale.

artillery sales catalog.