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, 4.62in.
Artillery 5150 Read 4.62in.


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:
Rifled 12 pounder gun, 4.62in.
Caliber of the gun is 4.62in., grooves, not determined, projectile diameter should measure 4.52 in. approximately, variations will be noted.


Artillery 5151 Read bolt 4.62in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, solid bolt, long pattern with bourrelet rings, and pointed nose, thick copper ring sabot, Confederate rifled 12 pounder, 4.62in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured during the war employing John Read's design, and was one of the last to be used. 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 very pointed, in theory the pointed nose might penetrate the protective ironclad of the Federal ships. Read developed this copper ring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base. This long projectile was apparently developed for the new Gibbons & Andrews 4.62in rifle, which is the same caliber as a rifled 12 pounder, but the extra length would presumably have been intended for a rifled cannon, and not a rifled and banded smooth bore. The projectile apparently did not perform very well, all recovered examples either are missing the base or have significant base chips. Projectile measures: diameter in., length 12in.(excluding fuze), weight 25lbs, approximately there are parts missing.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 332 .

A0824...

Projectile measures: diameter in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 25lbs, approximately, there are parts missing. Fired shell, fragment of the sabot remains, significant base chip. Metal is stable, all were recovered from the Charleston marshes, this one has been properly treated with slow electrolysis. Recovered: Charleston, South Carolina., Combahee River attack of USS Dai Ching, January 1865, this is the only site these have been found.


Artillery 5152 Read shell short pattern 4.62in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, short pattern with bourrelet rings, tall copper ring sabot, copper time fuze, Confederate rifled 12 pounder, 4.62in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured late in the war employing John Read's design. 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 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 copper ring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base. Copper ring sabot was cast thick and milled. This short projectile could have been intended for the rifled and banded 12 pounder, or could have been meant for the new Gibbon & Andrews 4.62in. rifle, however, it was never issued in time for combat. Fuze employed was a Confederate copper time fuze, two spanner holes, Jones pg. 41. Projectile measures: diameter 4.5in., length 9.25in. (excluding fuze), weight 22lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 335.

A0165...

Projectile measures: diameter 4.5in., length 9.25in. (excludingfuze), weight 22lbs. Thick copper sabot is not fired. Confederate copper time fuze intact. Metal solid. Shell isdisarmed, drill hole through the paper section of the time fuze. Recovered: Oconee River cache near Milledgeville, Georgia, whichapparently was used as a site after the war to dispose of obsolete CivilWar ordnance.


Artillery 5153 Read shell long pattern 4.62in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Read design, Confederate manufacture, bursting shell, long pattern with bourrelet rings, copper ring sabot, copper time fuze, Confederate rifled 12 pounder, 4.62in.
Projectile was Confederate manufactured late in the war employing John Read's design. 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 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 copper ring sabot, it was more flexible than the earlier wrought iron sabot, sabot is tapered at the top and seated in a deep groove well inside of the iron base. Copper ring sabot was cast thick and milled. This long projectile was apparently developed for the new Gibbons & Andrews 4.62in rifle, which is the same caliber as a rifled 12 pounder, but the extra length would presumably have been intended for a rifled cannon, and not a rifled and banded smooth bore. Fuze employed was a Confederate copper time fuze, two spanner holes, Jones pg. 41. Projectile measures: diameter 4.53in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 28.0lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 336.

A0166...

Projectile measures: diameter4.53in., length 12in. (excluding fuze), weight 28.0lbs. Sabot isnot fired. Copper time fuze intact. Metal is solid, minor areas ofpitting. Projectile is disarmed: drill hole through paper section oftime fuze. Recovered: Richmond, Petersburg, Virginia campaign.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 336., actual example photographed.


and now a word from our sponsor.....

Civil War Relicman, Harry Ridgeway,
Civil War artillery, Relicman sales catalog.
Click here for artillery for sale.

artillery sales catalog.