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, 4.2in.
Artillery 4680 Parrott high band sabot 4.2in.

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 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
Caliber of the gun is 4.2in., 5 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 4.1 in. approximately, variations will be found.

Artillery 4681 Parrott bolt, flat top, brass band sabot, 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with "flat top", high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment. Nose of this pattern is slightly tapered, top is flat, Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 9.5in., weight 30lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 273.

A0162...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.13in., length 9.6in. (excluding fuze), weight 30lbs. High band sabot shows 5 lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 273., actual example photographed.

A1137...

Shell is struck. There is major impact on the side of the shell, shell cracked on impact and has now separated. This was found at Port Hudson, which has no rocks, only Mississippi mud. To receive such a severe impact, this shell had to either strike a cannon or another projectile! Sabot separated on firing and is missing. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana, by Emile Mancuso. Projectile is struck.

A1877...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 9.5in., weight 30lbs. High band sabot shows 5 lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.

A1598...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 9.5in., weight 30lbs. Projectile is marked on the side: "PATENTED / 1861". High band sabot separated on firing. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, casting is solid iron. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A2158...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 9.5in., weight 30lbs. High band sabot shows 5 lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.

A2813...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 9.5in., weight 30lbs. High band sabot shows 5 lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.


Artillery 4682 Parrott bolt, chill nose, brass band sabot, 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with "chill nose", high band rabbeted brass band sabot, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. Shell is solid casting, or "bolt" and was designed to be used against opposing cannon by striking the equipment. The blunt nose of this bolt was hardened by "chilling", a process of rapid cooling after casting, and was tapered to a smaller diameter in order to concentrate the force on impact. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 10in., weight 30lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 274.

A0161...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 10in., weight 30lbs. High band sabot is not fired. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi campaign.

A1599...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.13in., length 10.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 30.4lb. High band sabot is not fired. Metal solid. Markings are probably from an old GAR display. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting with no cavity. Recovered: surplus stocks.

A2704...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 10in., weight 30lbs. High band sabot is not fired. Metal strong. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: surplus stocks.


Artillery 4683 Parrott shell, long pattern "common", brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common" (standard), high band brass sabot with 10 rabbets, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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, this pattern was secured with 10 rabbets flush with the exterior of the shell. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), although it does not contain balls, it is equipped with a time fuze which could be used against either enemy troops defending the forts or cannon. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a flat flange, (Jones pg. 77)., top of the fuze hole is milled wide to seat the flange. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs. to 26lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 279.

A1881...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.13in., length 12.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 25.6lb. High band sabot shows five lands and grooves, fired from the Parrott rifle. Parrott time fuze intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: not known.

A2744...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 25lbs. High band sabot shows five lands and grooves, fired from the Parrott rifle, and is partial. Parrott time fuze intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze and through the side. Recovered: not known.


Artillery 4684 Parrott shell, long pattern "common", brass band sabot, West Point percussion fuze 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common" (standard), high band brass sabot with 10 rabbets, Parrott percussion fuze West Point Style, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2 in.
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, this pattern was secured with 10 rabbets flush with the exterior of the shell. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. 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), edge of the fuze hole is milled thin. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs. to 26lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 279.

A1884...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs. to 26lbs., not verified. High band sabot was separated on firing and is missing. Parrott West Point percussion fuze intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana.

A2386...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 24lbs., sabot missing. High band sabot separated on firing. Parrott West Point percussion fuze intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole on bottom. Recovered: North Carolina defenses.

A2701...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs., missing sabot Projectile is marked: "PATENTED / 1861". High band sabot separated on firing. Parrott West Point percussion fuze is partial. Metal stable, projectile was recovered from wet ground and has been conserved. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole on bottom. Recovered: North Carolina defenses.

A2854...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.15 in., length 12.25 in. (missing sabot and excluding fuze), weight 26lbs. High band sabot separated on firing. Parrott West Point percussion fuze is partial. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through damaged center of the percussion fuze. Recovered: old tag on the bottom gives some information as to provenance, tag is hard to read, but is determined to be "Drumgould's Bluff, Mississippi 12/59".


Artillery 4685 Parrott shell, long pattern "common", brass band sabot, Parrott improved one part percussion fuze 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common", (standard), high band brass sabot with 8 rabbets, Parrott percussion fuze, "improved one part design", Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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, this pattern was secured with 8 rabbets flush with the exterior of the shell. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. 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. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs. to 26lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 279.

A2960...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 26lbs., sabot missing. High band sabot separated on firing. Parrott West Point percussion fuze is intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Virginia campaign, not confirmed.


Artillery 4686 Parrott shell, short pattern "case shot", brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with flange 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern "case shot", high band brass sabot with 10 rabbets, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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. The thin soft brass sabot had a tendency to separate from the shell on firing, rendering it unsatisfactory for field use, but it was used extensively on heavy siege artillery where friendly infantry would not generally be located forward of the fire. The short pattern is generally configured as case shot. 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 or defending forts. Case shot balls are lead. packed in black asphalt matrix, powder channel was drilled through the balls and matrix and runs the full length of the shell. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a flat flange, (Jones pg. 77)., top of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 11in. (excluding fuze), weight 27lbs. to 30lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 279.

A1127...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.13in., length 10.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 29.4lbs. High band sabot shows five lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Parrott time fuze is intact. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the bottom. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana, by Emile Mancuso.

A1879...
Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 11in. (excluding fuze), weight 29lbs. High band sabot shows five lands & grooves, fired from Parrott rifle. Parrott time fuze is partial. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: Port Hudson, Louisiana.


Artillery 4687 Parrott shell, corrugated brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with flange 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common" (standard), high band "corrugated" brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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 small corrugated notches, this apparently was an experimental design, few of them were manufactured This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), although it does not contain balls, it is equipped with a time fuze which could be used against either enemy troops defending the forts or cannon. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a flat flange, (Jones pg. 77)., top of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 23lbs. to 26lbs.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 277.

A1451...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common" (standard), high band "corrugated" brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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 small corrugated notches, this apparently was an experimental design, few of them were manufactured This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), although it does not contain balls, it is equipped with a time fuze which could be used against either enemy troops defending the forts or cannon. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a flat flange, (Jones pg. 77)., top of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 25.1lb., no sabot. Corrugated band sabot separated on firing, fragment of sabot recovered is from same site as a sample. Parrott time fuze is partial. Metal solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: Beaufort, South Carolina.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 277., this example published.

A2104...Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern "common" (standard), high band "corrugated" brass band sabot, Parrott time fuze with a flange, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in.
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 small corrugated notches, this apparently was an experimental design, few of them were manufactured This shell is a "common" shell, (standard), although it does not contain balls, it is equipped with a time fuze which could be used against either enemy troops defending the forts or cannon. Fuze employed was a Parrott zinc time fuze, typically the pattern with a flat flange, (Jones pg. 77)., top of the fuze hole is milled flat. Bottom of shell usually shows a casting sprue which was rough milled. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 12.25in. (excluding fuze), weight not determined. Corrugated band sabot separated on firing. Parrott time fuze is partial. Metal is stable, projectile was recovered from wet ground and has been conserved, there may be filler covering weak spots. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through paper section of time fuze. Recovered: North Carolina defenses.
Ref: Bell, Heavy Ordnance, pg. 277.


Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in., shell fragments.

A2207. Rifled artillery projectile, Parrott design, Federal manufacture, Parrott 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in., nose section with fuze.

Large fragment of a Parrott 30 pounder, nose with zinc time fuze.


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