|Ridgeway Civil War Research Center,
A virtual examination of artifacts of the American Civil War
|Civil War Artillery|
|by Harry Ridgeway|
|A0707...Rifled artillery projectile, James design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, open base with slots, lead and tin sleeve sabot, rifled 32 pounder, 6.4in. |
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Charles James. The pattern utilized a hollow caged cavity (called a "birdcage") covered by a thin sleeve of lead, tin, and canvass, the thin sabot would expand into the rifling, and then be discharged after the projectile left the bore. This meant that there always be flying metal debris which could be a problem for forward troops . Four small holes were drilled into the base, these are thought to have been vent holes, however they are often lead filled. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment. These heavy James shells were supplied to the batteries at Fort Sumter at the start of the war, and were used in campaigns around Charleston in the early part of the war. Projectile measures: diameter 6.3in., length 11.5in., weight not determined. Fired projectile, top section only recovered, sabot and base separated on firing. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Savannah, Georgia.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 260.
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