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


Civil War Artillery
by Harry Ridgeway

Rifled artillery projectile, Tennessee design, 4.2 in.
Artillery 5840 Tennessee 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:
Confederate 30 pounder rifle, 4.2in. Caliber of the gun is 4.2in., 5 grooves, (apparently copied from Federal 30 opounder), projectile diameter should measure 4.1 in. approximately, variations will be found.


Artillery 5841 Tennessee 4.2in.
Rifled artillery projectile, Tennessee design, Confederate manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with pointed nose and bourrelet rings, rings milled smooth to convert to smaller caliber, copper disc sabot with 3 studs in the sabot and flush mounted bolt, Confederate 30 pounder rifle, 4.2 in.
Projectile started out as a Tennessee bolt, 4.5in. caliber with bourrelet rings, which would presumably have been intended for a rifled 12 pounder. Although a few of the 12 pounder smoothbores were converted to rifling, this design was not successful and the idea was apparently abandoned early on. This shell was then put on a lathe and cut down sufficient to fit a 30 pounder, 4.2in, this size cannon was more available. Because this was a bolt and not a shell, the reduction in diameter would not compromise the strength of the shell, although the cut did expose one side of the sabot studs, which otherwise would have been embedded within the shell and secured on all sides. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 7.4in. shell body, 8.5in overall, weight 20.3lbs.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 402.

A0155...Rifled artillery projectile, Tennessee design, Confederate manufacture, solid bolt, pattern with pointed nose and bourrelet rings, rings milled smooth to convert to smaller caliber, copper disc sabot with 3 studs in the sabot and flush mounted bolt, Confederate 30 pounder rifle, 4.2 in.
Projectile started out as a Tennessee bolt, 4.5in. caliber with bourrelet rings, which would presumably have been intended for a rifled 12 pounder. Although a few of the 12 pounder smoothbores were converted to rifling, this design was not successful and the idea was apparently abandoned early on. This shell was then put on a lathe and cut down sufficient to fit a 30 pounder, 4.2in, this size cannon was more available. Because this was a bolt and not a shell, the reduction in diameter would not compromise the strength of the shell, although the cut did expose one side of the sabot studs, which otherwise would have been embedded within the shell and secured on all sides. Projectile measures: diameter 4.1in., length 7.4in. shell body, 8.5in overall, weight 20.3lbs. Sabot is fired showing 5 lands and grooves, distortion from firing and is intact. Metal is solid, minor areas of pitting. Projectile is disarmed: solid iron casting never had a cavity or bursting charge. Recovered: Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Ref: Bell Heavy Ordnance, pg. 402., this is the example published.


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