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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, 3.25 in., 3.3 in., 3.4 in., and 3.5 in.
Artillery 5080 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.

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:
Confederate rifle, 3.25.in., to 3.4in.
Intended caliber or calibers are uncertain, this range of sizes describes Confederate cannons larger than 3in. and smaller than 3.5in. These rifles may have been the result of Confederate developmental attempts to modify six pounder smoothbores to add rifling. The variation in sizes may be explained as various designs and sizes were modified to add sleeves or cut grooves or some combination of both. None of these designs appear to have been successful, groove count seems to vary, most projectiles in this size range are either unfired or the sabots failed to take the rifling. Projectile diameter should measure .1in. to .15in.smaller than the bore, many variations will be noted.
Blakely 12 pounder rifle, 3.5in. Caliber of the gun is 3.5in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 3.43 in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Smoothbore 6 pounder, 3.67in. Caliber of the gun is 3.67in., round projectile diameter should measure 3.58 in. approximately, variations will be noted.
Rifled 6 pounder gun, 3.67in. Caliber of the gun is 3.67in., 7 grooves, projectile diameter should measure 3.62in. approximately, variations will be noted.

Note, this section is an attempt to catalog Confederate Read pattern projectiles, larger than 3 in, and smaller than 3.67in., the rifled 6 pounder would not be the correct gun for these projectiles, but the absence of rifling on many of them suggests that they may actually have been fired from the larger gun, which may explain why the rifling failed to take hold. These also appear to have been experimental or developmental patters, and most did not see significant use.


Artillery 5081 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, solid bolt, short pattern with pointed nose bourrelet rings, copper ring sabot, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war employing John Read's design, probably at Selma Arsenal. This pattern utilized two wide bourreletrings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The base is raised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot, there is no lathe dimple although this could have been milled out of the flat bottom. Read developed this copperring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot istapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base. Copper ring sabot was cast thin. Shell is pointed nose bolt with no explosive charge, for use against enemy cannon. Projectile measures: diameter 3.26in., length 5.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.4lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 267.

A0085...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.26in., length 5.75in.(excluding fuze), weight 8.4lb. Sabot is not fired. Metal qualitysolid. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity orbursting charge. Recovered: Oconee River cache near Milledgeville,Georgia, which apparently was used as a site after the war to dispose ofobsolete Civil War ordnance.

A1534...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.26in., length 5.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 8.4lb. Sabot is not fired. Metal quality solid. Projectile is disarmed, solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Oconee River cache near Milledgeville, Georgia, which apparently was used as a site after the war to dispose of obsolete Civil War ordnance.


Artillery 5082 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern with bourrelet rings, tall copper ring sabot with notch, copper time fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3 in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war employing John Read's design, probably at Selma Arsenal. This pattern utilized two wide bourreletrings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The base is raised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot, lathe dimple is found on the base. Read developed this copperring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot istapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base,flame grooves were cut into the sabot. Copper ring sabot was cast thin. Fuze employed was a Confederate copper time fuze, two spanner holes, Jones pg. 41. Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.6in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.7lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 268.

A0086...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.6in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.7lbs. Sabot is not fired. Copper time fuze intact. Metal quality solid. Projectile is disarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Oconee River cache near Milledgeville, Georgia, which apparently was used as a site after the war to dispose of obsolete Civil War ordnance.


Artillery 5083 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with bourrelet rings copper ring short sabot, percussion fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war employing John Read's design , probably at Selma Arsenal. This pattern utilized two bourrelet rings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The base is raised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot, there is no lathe dimple although this could have been milled out of the flat bottom. Read developed this copperring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot istapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base,ring was thin cast leaving a thin edge at the bottom.Fuze employed was a Confederate version of James percussion fuze , Jones pg. 29. Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 269.

A1532...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb. Sabot is not fired. Copper percussion fuze is intact and is limber and can be removed by hand. Metal quality solid. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes the empty cavity, fuze is removable. Recovered: Oconee River cache near Milledgeville, Georgia, which apparently was used as a site after the war to dispose of obsolete Civil War ordnance.


Artillery 5084 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with bourrelet rings copper ring short sabot, wood fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.25 or 3.3in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war employing John Read's design , probably at Selma Arsenal. This pattern utilized two bourrelet rings, as a labor saving device, only the rings had to be accurately machined, the rest could be left rough. The nose is relatively pointed, and the width of the bourrelet rings varies considerably, presumably this is operator variance in the finishing process. The base is raised and milled to a bevel leaving a depressed ring between the base and the sabot, there is no lathe dimple although this could have been milled out of the flat bottom. Read developed this copperring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot istapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base,ring was thin cast leaving a thin edge at the bottom. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 269.

A1899...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb. Sabot is not fired. Wood time fuze is missing. Metal quality solid with some pitting. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes the empty cavity. Recovered: Bridgeport Alabama.

A1533...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.2in., length 6.5in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb. Sabot is not fired. Wood time fuze is missing. Metal quality solid with some pitting. Projectile is disarmed, open fuze hole exposes the empty cavity. Recovered: Vicksburg Mississippi campaign.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 269.


Artillery 5085 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture Marshall Texas, bursting shell, short pattern with> smooth sides, notched copper disc sabot, wood fuze, Confederate rifle, 3.3 in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured following Read's design but was apparently developed independently at the arsenal at Marshall Texas. The copper sabot is very thin, and is a disc with 5 notches, integral with a brass band. The disc portion is held onto a thin knob on the base of the shell, three notches were cut into the the outer band to allow flame to pass. The smooth body is shorter than that used by Read and is also used on a similar pattern derived from Mullane. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place.Projectile measures: diameter 3.26in., length 7.75in. (excluding fuze),weight 10.9lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 195.

A1105...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.26in., length 7.75in. (excluding fuze),weight 10.9lb. Sabot is fired showing weak lands and grooves, distortion from firing and is intact, with three notches. Wood fuze is missing,smooth tapered hole. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: open fuze hole exposes empty interior. Recovered: Provencal, Louisiana.


Artillery 5086 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with smooth sides short segmented interior, wrought iron sabot, wood time fuze, Confederate rifle 3.4 in. or Blakely rifle 3.5 in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war. Read developed this copper sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot Both sides produced a smooth sided shell, this Confederate version is distinguished by a lathe dimple in the base, a casting sprue on the nose, and the smooth sides were finished by turning on a lathe, nose on this pattern is bluntly rounded. Copper ring sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base, ring was cast thick, then milled to a thin edge at the bottom. Interior of the shell was segmented in star shape, an innovation to produce more even fragmentation. Fuze employed was a wood time fuze, Jones Fuzes pg. 2, fuze hole is smooth and tapered, the simple to make fuze could easily be hammered into place. It is not entirely clear what gun this was intended for, specimens noted seem to vary in diameter from 3.35 in to 3.45 inch which may be measurement variance caused by corrosion, distortion of sabots from firing, or machining quality variations. Projectile measures: diameter 3.3in., length 6.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 272.

A1038...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.3in., length6.0in. (excluding fuze), weight 7.5lb. Wrought iron sabot intact, showingdistortion from firing. Wood fuze is partial. Metal quality solidwith areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed, drill holethrough paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: not determined.


Artillery 5087 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern with smooth sides, segmented interior, copper ring sabot milled, copper time fuze, Confederate 3.4in. or Blakely rifle, 3.5in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war. Read developed this copper sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot Both sides produced a smooth sided shell, this Confederate version is distinguished by a lathe dimple in the base, a casting sprue on the nose, and the smooth sides were finished by turning on a lathe, nose on this pattern is bluntly rounded. Copper ring sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base, ring was cast thick, then milled to a thin edge at the bottom. Interior of the shell was segmented in star shape, an innovation to produce more even fragmentation. Fuze employed was a Confederate copper time fuze, two spanner holes, Jones pg. 41. It is not entirely clear what gun this was intended for, specimens noted seem to vary in diameter from 3.35 in to 3.45 inch which may be measurement variance caused by corrosion, distortion of sabots from firing, or machining quality variations. Many were found at High Bridge Virginia which was a low priority outpost and may have been equipped with an older smoothbore gun bored and retrofitted to take these rifled projectiles or it could have been intended for the 12 pounder Blakely rifle, 3.5 inch. Projectile measures: diameter 3.35in., length 7.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.9lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 271 or 274.

A0282..

Projectile measures:diameter 3.35in., length 7.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.9lbs. Sabot is not fired. Time fuze intact. Metal is solid, minorareas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through papersection of time fuze. Recovered: High Bridge, Virginia.

A1494...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.35in., length 7.75in. (excluding fuze), weight 10.9lbs. Sabot is intact and has damage, it is not determined if this is from firing or from an early attempt to disarm, but both the fuze and the sabot show similar damage. There is chunk missing from the side, this exposes the segmented interior inside. Copper time fuze intact with dings from hammering. Metal quality is solid with areas of pitting and damaged side. Shell is disarmed, missing section from the side exposes the empty interior. Recovered: Brandy Station, Virginia.


Artillery 5088 Read 3.2in to 3.5in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with smooth sides, segmented interior, copper ring sabot milled, copper time fuze, Confederate 3.4in. or Blakely rifle, 3.5in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war. Read developed this copper sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot Both sides produced a smooth sided shell, this Confederate version is distinguished by a lathe dimple in the base, a casting sprue on the nose, and the smooth sides were finished by turning on a lathe, nose on this pattern is bluntly rounded. Copper ring sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base, ring was cast thick, then milled to a thin edge at the bottom. Interior of the shell was segmented in star shape, an innovation to produce more even fragmentation . Fuze employed was a Confederate copper time fuze, two spanner holes, Jones pg. 41. It is not entirely clear what gun this was intended for, specimens noted seem to vary in diameter from 3.35 in to 3.45 inch which may be measurement variance caused by corrosion, distortion of sabots from firing, or machining quality variations. Many were found at High Bridge Virginia which was a low priority outpost and may have been equipped with an older smoothbore gun bored and retrofitted to take these rifled projectiles or it could have been intended for the 12 pounder Blakely rifle, 3.5 inch. Projectile measures: diameter 3.5in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 11.7lbs.
Ref: Dickey & George, Field Artillery (1993 Edition), pg. 273.

A0536...

Projectile measures: diameter 3.5in., length 7.25in. (excluding fuze), weight11.7lbs. Sabot is fired showing 7 lands and grooves, distortionfrom firing and is intact, the 7 grooves suggests that this could have been fired from a rifled 6 pounder, 3.67in gun although the size suggests it should have been used in a smaller gun.. Time fuze intact. Metal is solid, minorareas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through papersection of time fuze. Recovered: High Bridge, Virginia.


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