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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, wrought iron sabot, 2.9in.
Artillery 4610 Parrott wrought iron sabot 2.9in.

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:
Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Caliber of the gun is 2.6in., 3 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 2.85 in. approximately, variations will be found.
Ordnance rifle, 3.in. Caliber of the gun is 3.0in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 2.94 in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 4611 Parrott bolt, flat top, iron sabot, 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, flat top pattern, wrought iron sabot, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the prewar invention of Robert Parrott and John Read working together. The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring, referred to as the "Type I" sabot, rifling was precast with three flanges, because it was too stiff to take the rifling otherwise. 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 blunt, top is nearly flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled, there will often be casting flaws near the base. Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 6.6in., weight 10lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 215.

A1569..

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 6.6in., weight not determined. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Metal is solid, casting flaws visible in base. Projectile is disarmed: solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi, southern fort.

A1861...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 6.6in., weight 9.4lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Metal is solid, casting flaws visible in base. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.

A2195...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 6.6in., weight not determined. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Metal is solid, casting flaws visible in base. Projectile is disarmed: casting is solid iron. Recovered: surplus stocks.


Artillery 4615 Parrott shell, "common" pattern, iron sabot, West Point percussion fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, "common" (standard) pattern, wrought iron sabot, Parrott percussion fuze West Point Style, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the prewar invention of Robert Parrott and John Read working together. The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring, referred to as the "Type I" sabot, rifling was precast with three flanges, because it was too stiff to take the rifling otherwise. Some of these shells were configured as case shot (approx 9.5lbs to 11lbs. with balls), or as "common" (approx 8lbs. to 9lbs. 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. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc percussion fuze, "West Point" style two part fuze, Jones pg. 79, fuze hole will have a thin milled lip. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled, there will often be casting flaws near the base. Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8lbs. to 9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 216.

A0065...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.86in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.1lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is fully intact. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A0684...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight not meaningful. Sabot shows three lands and grooves. Zinc fuze is missing. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes empty interior, shell was filled with lead, apparently this was used as a gate pull. Recovered from the Stickley farm at the 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek. Courtesy of Mike Foreman
Mike Foreman family, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia.

A1572...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.8lb. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the fuze. Recovered: Vicksburg campaign.

A2316...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight not determined. Projectile is cut showing cross section of the short West Point style fuze, with inner seated bottom, and casting flaw in the base. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell everything is open. Recovered: Virginia campaign. Cut shell shows cross section.

A2781...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.6lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A2798...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.8lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is intact. Metal is solid, areas of light pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side (not photographed). Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A2799...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.7lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A2800...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.8lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A2801...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.6lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is partial, nipple on slider is visible. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.


Artillery 4616 Parrott shell, "common" pattern, iron sabot, Schenkl percussion fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, "common" (standard) pattern, wrought iron sabot, Schenkl percussion fuze, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the prewar invention of Robert Parrott and John Read working together. The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring, referred to as the "Type I" sabot, rifling was precast with three flanges, because it was too stiff to take the rifling otherwise. Some of these shells were configured as case shot (approx 9.5lbs to 11lbs . with balls ), or as "common" (approx 8lbs. to 9lbs. 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. Fuze employed was a Schenkl Army percussion fuze , removable cap had a slider and percussion cap, head is 1.22in.or 1.25in., 10 threads per inch, marked "JP SCHENKL / PAT OCT 16 1861", Jones pg. 9 8 or 99. , top of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled, there will often be casting flaws near the base. Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8. 375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8lbs. to 9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 216.

A1866...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.2lb. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is fully intact. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side. Recovered: not determined.

A2345...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.3lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is fully intact. Metal is solid, areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign.

A2467...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.9lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Percussion fuze is fully intact. Metal is solid, areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side. Recovered: Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 216.


Artillery 4617 Parrott shell, case shot, iron sabot, Parrott time fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, "case shot", lead balls packed in sulfur matrix, wrought iron sabot, Parrott time fuze without a flange, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the prewar invention of Robert Parrott and John Read working together. The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring, referred to as the "Type I" sabot, rifling was precast with three flanges, because it was too stiff to take the rifling otherwise. Some of these shells were configured as case shot (approx 9.5lbs to 11lbs. with balls ), or as "common" (approx 8lbs. to 9lbs. without balls). This shell is " case shot", explosive charge with lead balls, and with a time fuze was designed to detonate above the heads of troops in the open field. The lead balls are rough cast around .69 cal, packed in sulfur matrix near the top of the shell, powder packed in a long channel which expands near the bottom, on detonation the concentrated powder at the bottom was designed to burn the matrix and propel the balls and fragments forward. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern without a flange, Jones, Fuzes, pg. 76, edge of the fuze hole is milled thin. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled, there will often be casting flaws near the base. Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.5lbs. to 11lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 216.

A1571...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.0lb. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze intact and is removable. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: removable fuze exposes interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 216.

A1860...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze intact and is removable. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: removable fuze exposes interior. Recovered: not known.

A2250...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid, major casting flaw near bottom is visible. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: VRichmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.

A2276...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs. Cut shell, shows cross section, note fuze hole has no flanges, powder cavity is badly off center, and there are significant casting flaws in the base. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell, everything is exposed. Recovered: not known. Cut shell shows cross section.

A2318...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs. Cut shell, shows cross section, note fuze hole has no flanges, powder cavity is off center, and there are significant casting flaws in the base. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell, everything is exposed. Recovered: not known. Cut shell shows cross section.

A2398...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is intact. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: Shiloh, Tennessee.

A2414...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.3lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell, everything is exposed. Recovered: not known. Cut shell shows cross section.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A2453...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.3lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze intact and is removable. Metal is solid, with minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: removable fuze exposes interior. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.

A2464...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.0lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze intact and is removable. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: removable fuze exposes interior. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.

A2465...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.8lbs. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: Fredericksburg, Virginia.

A2872...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.1lbs. Cut shell, shows cross section, note fuze hole has no flanges, powder cavity is centered, and there are significant casting flaws in the base. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell, everything is exposed. Recovered: Richmond Petersburg, Virginia campaign. Cut shell shows cross section.

A2876...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.8lbs. Cut shell, shows cross section, note fuze hole has no flanges, powder cavity is centered, and there are significant casting flaws in the base. Sabot shows 3 lands and grooves and is intact. Time fuze is partial. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: cut shell, everything is exposed. Recovered: not known. Cut shell shows cross section.


Artillery 4618 Parrott shell, case shot, iron sabot, Bormann time fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, "case shot", wrought iron sabot not pre-rifled, Federal Bormann time fuze with wrench double slot and "US", Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the prewar invention of Robert Parrott and John Read working together. The sabot system utilized was a wrought iron ring, referred to as the "Type I" sabot. Some of these shells were configured as case shot (approx 9.5lbs to 11lbs. with balls ), or as "common" (approx 8lbs. to 9lbs. without balls). This shell is " case shot", explosive charge with lead balls , and with a time fuze was designed to detonate above the heads of troops in the open field. Fuze employed was a Federal Bormann time fuze, 3/4 second starting time, double slot, "US" on the fuze may indicate Washington arsenal, Jones pg. 23 upper right. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled, there will often be casting flaws near the base. Note that the wrought iron sabot on Parrott shells is normally pre-rifled, this because the sabot was otherwise too stiff to take the rifling. It appears that the sabots on this pattern may not have been pre-rifled, suggesting that this is early production and only a limited number were produced and used in the field, before moving to paper time fuzed shells with pre-rifled sabots. Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.5lbs. to 11lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 217.

A2168...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 10lbs. Sabot intact and does not show rifling. Bormann fuze is intact. Metal is solid, areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side. Recovered: not determined.

A2934...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.375in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.5lbs. to 11.5lbs. Sabot intact and does not show rifling. Bormann fuze is intact. Metal is solid, shell has not been cleaned. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side. Recovered: not determined.


Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, 2.9in and 3in., fragments

A0200.18...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, 2.9in and 3in., fragments
These are fragments from Parrott shells, base sections. Iron saboted Parrotts were thick and pre rifled for three grooves. The shells were poured from the bottom, air bubbles typically form around the base of almost all Parrotts, and the casting sprue in the middle will be milled. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia campaigns, by Harry Ridgeway.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A0200.19...Rifled artillery projectile, 2.9in and 3in., fragments
Nose sections of 2.9in. and 3in. projectiles could be from Federal or Confederate shells. Parrott shells will often have a bottom lip to nest the fuze, but not all are configured this way. All of the examples above are threaded. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia campaigns, by Harry Ridgeway.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A0200.20...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, 2.9in and 3in., fragments
Nose sections of 2.9in. and 3in. projectiles could be from Federal or Confederate shells. Parrott shells will often have a bottom lip to nest the fuze, but not all are configured this way. Some of these fragments are wood fuzed and some are threaded. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia campaigns, by Harry Ridgeway.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A0200.21...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, 2.9in and 3in., fragments
Smooth side sections of 2.9in. and 3in. projectiles could be from Federal or Confederate shells. T Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia campaigns, by Harry Ridgeway.
Ridgeway collection, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

A2324...Parrott 10 pounder, nose section with time fuze.

Large fragment of a Parrott 10 pounder, with zinc time fuze intact, shell shows definite indentation where it hit something very hard, case shots are imbedded inside the nose.

A2202...Parrott 10 pounder, nose section with time fuze.

Large fragment of a Parrott 10 pounder, with zinc time fuze.

A2204...Parrott 10 pounder, nose section with time fuze.

Large fragment of a Parrott 10 pounder, nose section with flanged zinc time fuze.

A2230...Parrott 10 pounder, nose section with time fuze.

Large fragment of a Parrott 10 pounder, with zinc time fuze intact.

A2352...Parrott 10 pounder, "case shot", wrought iron sabot.

Ground burst base and one side recovered, balls are still packed, great illustration of case shot.

A2935...Parrott 10 pounder, West point percussion fuze, shell detonated while drilling, these are the frags.


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