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, high band brass sabot, 2.9in.
Artillery 4620 Parrott high band 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 4625 Parrott shell, "common" pattern, brass band sabot, Parrott improved one part percussion fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell,"common" (standard), high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott percussion fuze, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Robert Parrott. The sabot system utilized was a thin wide brass band secured to the base with rabbets, referred to as "type II", more flexible than the earlier wrought iron design. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. Use in smaller caliber ordnance was generally abandoned in favor of the thicker type III narrow band 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 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, this one used the "improved" one part design, edge of the fuze hole is milled flat, Jones pg. 81. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. This is the early 2.9 inch pattern, (most are 3 inch). Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 8lbs. to 9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 225.

A0427...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.94in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.2lbs. Sabot is fired showing 3 weak lands and grooves, sabot barely took the rifling. Percussion fuze intact. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side. Recovered: Kennesaw, Georgia.

A2192...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs. Sabot is fired showing 3 weak lands and grooves, sabot barely took the rifling. Percussion fuze intact. Metal is solid. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through the side, not photographed. Recovered: Kennesaw, Georgia.


Artillery 4626 Parrott shell, case shot, brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, "case shot", high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Robert Parrott. The sabot system utilized was a thin wide brass band secured to the base with rabbets, referred to as "type II", more flexible than the earlier wrought iron design. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. Use in smaller caliber ordnance was generally abandoned in favor of the thicker type III narrow band 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 a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a rounded top and flange, an innovation to prevent gas leaks around the fuze causing premature detonations, Jones, Fuzes, pg. 77 upper left, edge of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. This is the early 2.9 inch pattern, (most are 3 inch). Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 8lbs. to 9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 225.

A2975...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.86in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9.9lbs. Sabot separated on firing and is missing. Time fuze intact. Metal is solid, areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: not determined.


Artillery 4627 Parrott shell, brass band sabot, Parrott threaded fuze 2.9in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott threaded fuze, Parrott 10 pounder rifle, 2.9in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Robert Parrott. The sabot system utilized was a thin wide brass band secured to the base with rabbets, referred to as "type II", more flexible than the earlier wrought iron design. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. Use in smaller caliber ordnance was generally abandoned in favor of the thicker type III narrow band 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 empty and could have been either. Fuze employed was a Parrott threaded fuze, edge of the fuze hole is milled flat. Use of this shell was not popular, most were un-issued and in surplus stocks at the end of the war, the fuzes and powder were removed and the casings sold as scrap. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which will have been milled, marks on the base likely are inventory designations when used on monuments, eventually the government removed and disposed them. This is the early 2.9 inch pattern, (most are 3 inch). Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 225.

A2122...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty. Sabot is not fired and intact. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.

A2517...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.85in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty. Sabot is not fired and intact. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.


Artillery 4628 Parrott shell, brass band sabot, Parrott threaded fuze 3in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott threaded fuze, Ordnance rifle, 3in.
Projectile was manufactured in the Federal arsenals following the invention of Robert Parrott. The sabot system utilized was a thin wide brass band secured to the base with rabbets, referred to as "type II", more flexible than the earlier wrought iron design. However performance was poor, the thin soft brass sabot either failed to take the rifling or had a tendency to separate on firing, resulting in shards of brass flying into the backs of the forward infantry. Use in smaller caliber ordnance was generally abandoned in favor of the thicker type III narrow band 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 empty and could have been either. Fuze employed was a Parrott threaded fuze, edge of the fuze hole is milled flat. Use of this shell was not popular, most were un-issued and in surplus stocks at the end of the war, the fuzes and powder were removed and the casings sold as scrap. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which will have been milled, marks on the base likely are inventory designations when used on monuments, eventually the government removed and disposed them. Projectile measures: diameter 2.94in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 225.

A2189...

Projectile measures: diameter 2.94in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty. Sabot is not fired and intact. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.

A2191...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.94in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty. Shell is marked "3" on base may have distinguished this 3 inch shell from the 2.9 inch pattern. Sabot is not fired and intact. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.

A2550...
Projectile measures: diameter 2.94in., length 8.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 9lbs., empty. Sabot is not fired and intact. Threaded fuze is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: surplus stocks.


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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