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Vol. 36, No.

Summer 2015

Keeping Tradition Alive

The Story of the Ohio Civil War Show

A Commitment to

Honor & Integrity

Reflected in the
Fit & Finish
of Our

Conservation Restoration Reproduction

Specializing in Civil War & Other
Historical Muzzle Loading Artillery
Historical Ordnance Works are experienced, skilled craftsmen who have studied
and have been trained in the nineteenth century methods of applying the crafts
required. Every item produced meets or exceeds the original Ordnance
Department specifications. Our knowledge, skill and attention to detail consistently
exceeds customer expectations. We offer our services to museum professionals,
as well as, serious collectors and other parties interested in the art of preservation.

Historical Ordnance Works

P.O. Box 793 Woodstock, Georgia 30188

The Artilleryman | Summer 2015 | Vol. 36, No. 3




Functions of the Bormann time fuse and its wrenches by Jack W. Melton Jr.


















Sir William Armstrong Navy Time Fuze in 1870 color illustrations and article
by CW04 (Ret.) John D. Bartleson Jr. USN.
The history of the Ohio Civil War Show. Article and photographs
by the Don Williams family.
Col. (Ret.) John Biemecks article on how to determine if you
have a cannonball or something else.

Dr. Gordon L. Jones writes about the surviving 6-pounder Whitworth rifle
located at the Atlanta History Center.

The process of colorizing Civil War period photographs by David Richardson.

The makers of the guns of Norman Wiard by Capt. (Ret.) Steven W. Knott, USN.
By Peter Frandsen.

About The Cover: Don Williams1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery D from Ashland, Ohio. Members David Gotter,
Wayne Williams, Brandon Warner, Greg Williams (from left to right). Photograph taken at the May 2015 Ohio Civil War
Show by Jack W. Melton Jr. Note the striking resemblance to the Civil War period photograph on page 38.

Readers are invited to send high-resolution photos for consideration on the cover. If we use your photo youll
get a free years subscription.

The Artilleryman

2015 Jack W. Melton Jr. LLC, All Rights Reserved.

Printed proudly and responsibly in the United States of America.
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright
Conventions. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any
form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information
storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from
the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages
in a review.
The information contained herein is for the general history and background of our readers and The Artilleryman assumes no liability for
loading or shooting data which may be published in this magazine.
The circumstances surrounding the loading and discharge of firearms
mentioned are beyond our control and are unique to the particular
instance being described. We hereby disclaim any responsibility for
persons attempting to duplicate loading data or shooting conditions
referenced herein and specifically recommend against relying solely
on this material. Readers are cautioned that black powder varies according to grain size, type, date of manufacture and supplier, and
that firing of antique or replica ordnance should not be undertaken
without adequate training and experience in procedures and loads.

Founding Publisher: C. Peter Jorgensen

Jack W. Melton Jr.
Peggy M. Melton
Book Reviews:
Peter A. Frandsen
Carson Jenkins Jr.
Graphic Designer:
Squeegie Studios
InDesign Guru:
Neil Stewart

New Contact Information:

Jack W. Melton Jr. LLC
dba The Artilleryman

96 Craig St., Suite 112-333

East Ellijay, GA 30540
(706) 940-2673 (BORE)
The Artilleryman is published quarterly by Jack W. Melton Jr. LLC.
The office of publication is at 96 Craig Street, Suite 112-333, East
Ellijay, Georgia 30540. (706) 940-2673. Contributions of editorial
material and photographs are welcomed at the above address.
Subscription rates: $25 per year in U.S. and Canada; $42 overseas.
U.S. bank checks or credit cards. Subscribe online at
POSTMASTER: Send address change to The Artilleryman, 96
Craig Street, Suite 112-333, East Ellijay, Georgia 30540.


Thomas Bailey, (CWO4 Ret.) John D. Bartleson Jr. U.S. Navy, Craig Bell, Jack Bell,
Jim Bender, Col.(Ret.) John Biemeck, Mike Kent, Lewis Leigh Jr., Butch & Anita Holcombe, Donald Lutz, John Morris, Michael J. ODonnell, Bernie Paulson, Bruce Paulson, Lawrence E. Pawl, Matthew Switlik 

| Vol. 36, No. 3

It is with great dedication that I

have accepted the responsibility as
Publisher of The Artilleryman magazine
which begins with this issue. What an
honor is truly will be to carry on the
legacy that was started by C. Peter Jorgensen over 36 years ago and carried
on by his wife Kay after his passing in
2009. Since then, Kay has done a wonderful job with the magazine, but she
has decided that the time has come to
pass along the torch. I cant thank Kay
and her staff, Beth Godin and Linda
Hoyt enough for their support during
this transition.
This year will mark the 41st
anniversary that I have been collecting,
researching and simply enjoying
my passion for history, particularly,
Civil War artillery. Over those years,
I have visited almost every battlefield
in the South and most of the major
ones above the Mason-Dixon Line,

photographing just about every

cannon and piece of artillery I could
focus my lens on for documentation
purposes. I look forward to sharing
the images I have captured with our
readers in the up-coming issues.
I am very excited about this new
position and I take it very seriously.
During this transition, there will be
mistakes and learning curves along
the way. If you have any suggestions,
concerns or comments, please email
The Winter 2015 issue will contain
articles and photographs of the Sesquicentennial Events for the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War or
known as the War Between the States.
If you have photographs or short
to long articles that youd like to share
please contact me. The deadline for
submission for the Winter issue is November 1st.
Best regards, Jack W. Melton Jr.
In The News
Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National
Military Park invites the public to attend artillery programs this summer at
Chickamauga Battlefield and at Point
Park on Lookout Mountain.
Lookout Mountain Battlefield
(Point Park): May 30, July 4, & August
8. Chickamauga Battlefield: July 25 &
September 5, 2015.

The Artilleryman is a quarterly magazine founded in 1979 for
enthusiasts who collect and shoot cannons and mortars primarily
from the Revolutionary War, Civil War to World War II.

The Artilleryman

Coming to Atlanta History Center

In July of 2014, the mayor of Atlanta
announced that the Atlanta History
Center would be acquiring the Cyclorama painting The Battle of Atlanta.
The move and restoration of this
historic painting was funded by private donors and philanthropies with
no cost to the Atlanta taxpayers. A
23,000 square foot Lloyd and Mary
Ann Whitaker Cyclorama wing is
being built to reincorporate 3,268
square feet of the painting that have
been missing for generations.
The famous Great Locomotive Chase
had two locomotive stars: The General,
located in the Southern Museum of
Civil War & Locomotive History in
Kennesaw, Georgia, and The Texas,
which will be moved into this state-of
-the-art facility at the Atlanta History
The move and restoration project is
expected to be completed by 2017 and
opened to the public.
New Surviving Cannon Found
The owner of a undiscovered U.S.
3.67-inch, 6-pounder Sawyer rifle contacted me. Stamped on the muzzle is
No. 13 and the bore is rifled with 6
lands and grooves. Captain Pythagoras Holcombes 2nd Vermont Battery
had 3.67-inch Sawyer rifles during the
Siege of Port Hudson. There are only
2-3 of these Sawyer rifles known.

Cannon safety, artillery history,

places to visit, projectiles, fuses,
equipment, book reviews, shoot
reports, how-to articles, and
artillery news U.S. and abroad.

Subscription only $25/year, U.S.

I found this today and I cannot
determine if this is a cannonball. It
weighs 2 lbs, 3.8 oz. The diameter is
2.5 inches. We do not have any mines
near by, so I dont think it is a ore
crusher ball. There are no visual markings to signify something else. I cannot
find a seam or filler marking.
Mike from Michigan.

Dear Mike:
Im the author of the book on
cannon ball identification called
Encyclopedia of Black Powder Projectiles
Found in North America: 1759 - 1865.
Volume II has been published and it
shows every known caliber and type
of cannonball by service (Colonial
America, British, French, Spanish,
Mexican and Russian) that has been or
could be found in North America with
over one hundred pages of their fuses.
Cannonballs are found in Michigan from the War of 1812 and while a
rare find, they are there. They range in
size from grape shot to 8-inch mortar
Unfortunately, none are 2.5 inches
in diameter and on page 581 I show
a picture of a spherical ball made of
steel. When it is new it is 2.5 inches
in diameter and weighs about 2.3
pounds. It is highly polished steel
when new and may show some wear
marks if cleaned. This is the typical
rail road wheel bearing and is often
sold on eBay and other sites as a small
From what you have told us you

have almost perfectly described a rail

road bearing. Since steel weighs more
that cast iron, the weigh pretty much
confirms this is steel and not a cannon
ball. Cannonballs are almost always
made of cast iron with a few exceptions of copper (Mexican Army) and
wrought iron (Russian and very large
Union Navy shot used to penetrate
I regret I must tell you this as it
would have been wonderful to have
located a War of 1812 cannon solid
shot as most fired in Michigan were
indeed solid shot, but they all have
distinct mold marks when carefully
examined. Some British shot are
highly finished, but they all have a
distinct mold dimple on top. American shot from that era all have a very
crude seam with some slightly off
alignment to the degree at times, you
wonder if they were safe to shoot. But
they did shoot them for sure.
John Biemeck
In reference to A Little Roar in
the last issue concerning the Ames
Model 1835 12-pdr. Mountain Howitzer displayed at the Kansas Museum
of History in Topeka.
Here is some additional information about the Abbott Howitzer.
Major James B. Abbott, head of a freestate militia, traveled back East in 1855
to purchase arms to defend Kansas
territory against the Pro-slavery Party
which became known as Bleeding Kansas. What makes this little
cannon so special is the provenance
from Its purchase by Abbott in 1855
through capture by Pro-Slavery Party
at the sacking of Lawrence in 1856 and
its recovery by Free-State militia that
same year and the role it played during the Civil War. More detailed information is in the fall of 2003 edition

of The Artilleryman. If you are traveling East of Kansas City on I-70, please
make a point of stopping in Topeka
and visiting this wonderful museum.
Bob Meistrell
Plainville, Kansas
My friends found a very nice Parrott percussion fuse in the Battle Camp
of San Juan in Lima, Per.
Un abrazo,
Reynaldo Pizarro Antram
Dear Reynaldo:
Thank you for sharing the information and photographs. The Parrott percussion fuse was manufactured for the
navy. The brass fuse body and anvil
cap are less corrosive than the
pewter Parrott
fuse intended
for the army.
Best regards,
The Publisher

This Parrott
percussion fuse
after cleaning. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3

Federal 5 second Bormann time fuse

Confederate 5 second Bormann time fuse

he Bormann fuse is named after its inventor, Belgian Army Captain Charles Guillaume Bormann
(1796-1873). Bormann was promoted to MajorGeneral by 1862. The Bormann time fuse was employed by
the United Stated Ordnance Department as early as 1852.
The time fuse is contained in a lead and tin disk (1). This
disk has time markings indicated in seconds and quarterseconds graduated up to 5 seconds (U.S. pattern). The
artillerist used a metal punch or gouge to pierce the thin
metal at the desired time marking. This exposed a section in
the horseshoe-shaped horizontal mealed powder train (2).
When the cannon discharged, the flame from the explosion
ignited this powder train. It would burn in a uniform rate in

both directions, but one end would terminate in a dead-end

just beyond the 5 second mark (Confederate copies are
5 seconds). The other end would continue to burn past
the zero-mark, where it would travel through a channel
to a small powder booster (3). This powder then ignited,
sending the flame through a hole (communication channel)
in the fuse support plug (underplug) (4) to the bursting
charge of the projectile located below this plug. The purpose
of the brass or iron fuse support disk or underplug (made
of iron, brass or copper) was to seal the loading hole and
to form a solid base of support for the soft metal Bormann
time fuse, which could have easily been damaged during
initial discharge of the cannon.


The Artilleryman

Time Fuse

Horseshoe powder
train sealed

Tin seal punched

with small holes
to expose the
priming powder

Quote below from Confederate

Artillery Service, by General E. P.
Alexander, late Chief of Artillery of
Longstreets Corps, A. N. V., pages
32-33, Transactions of the Southern
Historical Society, Volumes 1-2.

his ammunition was all put up with the Bormann fuse, and this fuse being adopted by the
Confederate Ordnance Department, a factory
was established for its manufacture. Large quantities of ammunition fitted with these fuses were sent to the field in the
summer of 1861, and complaints of its bad quality were immediately made. Careful tests being made of it, it was found
that fully four-fifths of the shell exploded prematurely,
and very many of them in the gun. The machinery for their
manufacture was overhauled, and a fresh supply made and
sent to the field, where the old ones were removed and the
new were substituted, but no improvement was discernible. The trouble was found to be in the hermetical sealing
of the under-side of the horse-shoe channel containing the
fuse composition. Although this was seemingly accomplished at the factory, the shock of the discharge would
unseat the horse-shoe-shaped plug which closed this channel, and allow the flame from the composition to reach the
charge of the shell without burning around to the magazine
of the fuse. Attempts were made to correct the evil by the
use of white-lead, putty and leather under the fuse, and in
the winter of 1861 these correctives were applied to every

shell in the army with considerable but not universal success. Repeated attempts were made to improve the manufacture, but they accomplished nothing, and until after the
battle of Chancellorsville the Bormann fuse continued in
use, and premature explosions of shell were so frequent
that the artillery could only be used over the heads of the
infantry with such danger and demoralisation to the latter
that it was seldom attempted. Earnest requests were made
of the Ordnance Department to substitute for the Bormann
fuse the common paper-fuses, to be cut to the required
length and fixed on the field, as being not only more economical and more certain, but as allowing, what is often
very desirable, a greater range than five seconds, which is
the limit of the Bormann fuse. These requests, repeated and
urged in January 1863 on the strength of casualties occurring from our own guns among the infantry in front during
the battle of Fredericksburg, were at length successful in accomplishing the substitution. The ammunition already on
hand, however, could not be exchanged, and its imperfections affected the fire even at Gettysburg. The paper-fuse
was found to answer admirably, and no further complaints
of ammunition came from the smooth-bores. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3

Bormann Time Fuse

12-pounder Case Shot

Horseshoe shaped powder train

in this sectioned Bormann fuse

Bormann time fuse

Leather washer
Iron support plug
(underplug) with
two spanner
wrench holes

Black pitch matrix

known as asphaltum
Tin cylinder that
contained the black
powder bursting charge

.69 caliber lead

case shot ball

The Bormann time fuse is an alloy of equal parts of lead and tin, has 12 threads per inch and is 1.65 inches in diameter.
This example has a leather washer for sealing against moisture and the propellant charge flames from penetration around
the Bormann time fuse threads. The washer is 1.56 inches diameter and .06 inches thick. The iron support plug or underplug
is 1.09 inches in diameter, .42 inches thick and has 12 threads per inch. The spanner holes are .62 inches apart on center. The
horseshoe powder train can be seen in the half sectioned Bormann time fuse to the readers right. Fuse assembly on the upper
left was recovered from the Federal battery position before Coosawhatchie, South Carolina.

Diameter: 4.50 inches

Bore Diameter: 4.62 inches
Gun: 12-pounder Smoothbore
Weight: 11 pounds (whole)
Construction: Case shot

The Artilleryman

Fusing System: Time, Bormann

Fusing Material: Lead and Tin Alloy
Fuse Threads Diameter: 1.65 inches
Fuse Hole Length: .68 inches
Sabot: Cup

Sabot Material: Wood

Wall Thickness: .43 inches
Matrix Material: Asphaltum
Case Shot Material: Lead
Case Shot Diameter: .69 caliber

Bormann Fuse
Gouge (Punch)

U.S. regulation Bormann fuse gouge (punch). It has a

wooden handle with a brass ferrule and an iron cutter. Overall length is 3.92 inches. Width of the iron cutter is .23 inches.
Maximum diameter of the wood handle is 1.10 inches.
The artillerist would have used this fuse cutter, or a small
gouge, to cut or punch the Bormann time fuses metallic
cover and expose the mealed powder composition prior to
loading the projectile into the cannon. The number of seconds chosen was based upon the officers instructions for the
desired length of flight.
The U.S. 12-pounder Bormann fused spherical projectile
was recovered from the 1864 Resaca Battlefield part of the
Atlanta Campaign. Courtesy The Atlanta History Center,
Thomas S. Dickey Sr. Civil War Collection. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3

Fuse Wrenches

Stamped N. J
This wooden U.S. Bormann double-slotted fuse wrench measures 8.24 inches width
at the handle, 3.28 inches in height including
bottom post, diameter of handles are .69 and
.73 inches measured across front and rear.
The diameter of face plate is 1.31 inches. This
tool would have been stored in the tool tray
of an ammunition chest.
U.S. Bormann time fuse

The Artilleryman

U.S. Bormann time fuse

Brass Bormann single-slot fuse wrench measures 4.40

inches width at the handles, 3.13 inches in height including bottom post, diameter of handles are approximately
inches and diameter of face plate is 1.31 inches. Both Union
and Confederate artillerymen used brass Bormann fuse
This fuse wrench was recovered from the 1864 Wilderness
Battlefield area located in Virginia. Courtesy The Atlanta
History Center, Thomas S. Dickey Sr. Civil War Collection. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


his fuze was withdrawn

from British Land Service
in June, 1870 but was still
in Naval Service, with breech-loading
segment shells, for several more years.
The construction is complicated, and
its cost about double that of the Boxer
B.L. time fuzes, but it has several important advantages, especially as a

Armstrong Fuze
No. 22, 1860-1904

fuze for shrapnel. It can be set to very

small intervals, a point of the greatest
importance with shrapnel shell, it can
be altered again after setting, and it is
open to inspection, so that the officer
or the No. 1 of a gun can see that it is
correct, instead of depending on those
employed in preparing shells at the
limber or in the shell room.
It is not necessary to give the
various patterns which have been
introduced, or to dwell on the various
changes of manufacture, as only
one nature of fuze was issued to the
service, and may be known by the
word cap stamped upon the base
of the fuze. Various marks may be
found in combination with this word,
as old fuzes are repaired by having
cap composition substituted for the
amorphous phosphorous composition
which did not stand exposure to
climate and deteriorated.
The fuze being complicated in its
construction demands very careful
manufacture, and in this respect compares unfavorably with the Boxer fuze,
as there are more sources of failure.
Many defects existed in the early
patterns, and so brought the fuze into
The chief faults are:
(1) The fuze occasionally fired
when carried in the limbers. This was

British Armstrong Time Fuze

Patent 779, April 10, 1858

The Artilleryman

due to the pellet containing the detonating composition being supported

by lead feathers, which gave way
under the jolting motion of the limbers. This was remedied by using a
cup-shaped support of thin brass. The
cup was proposed by Col. Freeth, R.A.
(2) The fuze sometimes failed to
ignite when the detonating arrangement fired. This was due to the hard
surface of the fuze composition; the
flash from the pellet failed to light it
with certainty. This was overcome by
boring a small hole in the composition.
The gradual development of the
Armstrong class of fuzes can be traced
there, starting from the Bormann and
Breithaupt fuzes, to those used by the
Prussians, Austrians, and Swiss.
This composition consisted of
amorphous phosphorus (with 10%
calcined magnesia) 8 grs, chlorate of
potash 16 grs, ground glass, 6 grs. The
deterioration was caused by the effect
of moisture, which caused the phosphorous to oxide at the expense of the
chlorate of potash, thereby injuring
or destroying, according to circumstances, and the detonating character
of the composition.
The following is a short description
of the fuze as issued to the Navy:
Both body and nut of the last pattern (E. III.) are made of gun-metal,

British Armstrong Metal Time Fuze E, No. 22

Freeths Modification

British Armstrong Time Fuze

and the graduations for length of fuze
in inches and tenths are marked on
the metal rim instead of on paper, as
in former patterns. The pellet which is
supported by a brass cup is filled with
E.F.G. powder, secured by thin paper
fastened on its base; the detonator in
the head consists of cap composition
(fulminate of mercury, chlorate of potash, and sulphide of antimony), a disc
of brass, 001" thick, covers the detonating composition. The word cap
is stamped on the base of the fuze.
The channel by which the flash
from the pellet reaches the ring of
fuze composition is enlarged in this
pattern, and a strand of quick match is
placed in it; a little hole is bored in the
ring of fuze composition to ensure its
lighting. The fuze composition is pit
mealed powder pressed into a ring or
groove which runs round close to the
exterior of the fuze body; this composition burns at the rate of 1 inch in two
seconds, and, owing to a metal stop,
can only burn in one direction, i.e.,
from left to right.
A leather washer and movable
gun-metal collar cover the ring of
composition. At one part of the collar a
channel, primed with mealed powder
driven and pierced, and marked on the
outside with an arrow, communicates
with a groove round the neck of the
fuze, which contains mealed powder;
this groove is connected by a channel
with the blowing chamber, which is
primed with mealed powder, driven

British Armstrong Time Fuze

with Setting Ring

Armstrong Time Fuze E, III

and pierced; a small brass disc closes

the chamber.
The movable collar is kept in its
place by a nut which screws on to the
neck. The body has a small hole in the
side to fit a projection in the Armstrong
key used in screwing in the fuze.
Stress was made on the importance
of screwing the nut tightly home
when the fuze is adjusted, otherwise
the washer will not be tightly pressed

down on the ring of fuze composition,

and a premature may occur.
On firing the gun, the brass cup
is crushed in, the pellet strikes the
needle, which explodes the detonating
composition, the ring of fuze
composition is ignited by the flash
and burns till it comes to the channel
marked by the arrow head, leading to
the groove in the neck primed with
mealed powder, the flash is then

Bronze Mountain Howitzer

Fitted on a #1 prairie carriage. Tube was made
by Cannon Ltd. Bore is 3" with " thick D.O.M.
liner. Super strong gun made in 1998. Includes
ball mold and leather goods. A fun, safe shooter.

British Bronze Mortar

2 " bore on oak bed. $1,250.00

Leonard Draper Phone: 404-401-5591

Located in Northwest Georgia 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


Armstrong E
Metal Time

B.L. Plain

instantaneously conveyed into the

blowing chamber, and thence into the
The changes introduced, particularly the cap composition, and the ensuring ignition by piercing a hole in
the ring of fuze composition, greatly
improved this fuze.
Divide number of hundreds of
yards in range by 6 for length in
inches, thus for 1,200 yards, length of
fuze= 2 inches.
One in a waterproof bag placed in a
cylindrical tin box wrapped in brown
paper, 72 boxes in a deal case, placed
on the sides or heads, the bottom of
each tin box is marked top to prevent it being placed downwards. Since

June, 1875, the tin boxes containing

E time fuzes, primed with cap composition, are stamped cap, and the
same word is stenciled on the waterproof bag. Since July, 1875, in the case
of repaired fuzes the date of repair
will be labelled on their boxes.
An F time and percussion fuze
was introduced in 1867, but was not a
success, as the percussion action often
failed. It was ordered in February,
1869, to be regarded simply as a time
fuze, and in June, 1869, the manufacture was discontinued, the E time
fuze, Mark III, previously approved
for India, being then brought in for
general service.

Bear River Powder

Est. 1999


GOEX Black Powder

Available in 1F 4F, cannon and reenactor grade

Craig Kirkland GOEX Master Distributor

British Fuzing and Burster Assembly
for Armstrong Segmented Shell
Text and illustrations by John D.
Bartleson Jr., author and illustrator of the
1972 field guide for Explosive Ordnance
Disposal (EOD) personnel titled Civil
War Explosive Ordnance 1861-1865
with radiographs.
Come join our new Forum dedicated to Artillery Enthusiasts!

The Artilleryman

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Showcase. Interpret. Preserve.

Military Images
Americas only publication
dedicated to historic photographs
of soldiers and sailors.

4 quarterly issues, $24.95
Subscribe online:

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Since 1979

MI | 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


By Teresa W. Drushel,
Wayne, Greg and
Kayley Williams
In April of 1978, a handful of people
found themselves sitting in the Ashland Armory for the 1st annual Ohio
Civil War & Relic Show. It wouldve
been nearly impossible to imagine at
the time what the future held for this
newly founded mid-western show,
however it is evident now that it was
an idea aimed only for success. The
Annual Ohio Civil War and WWI &
WWII Show has just celebrated its
38th noteworthy year. This stands as a
living testament to the commitment of
the Williams family in keeping their
fathers wishes and passions thriving.

The Artilleryman 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


onald B. Williams, of Everett, Pennsylvania,

founded the show in 1978 with the desire to keep
history alive. Williams had developed an interest
in the American Civil War at a young age with stories from
his own grandfather. These stories included how Donalds
great-grandfather, Alvah Williams, had lost his right arm
by amputation after receiving a mini ball impalement in his
elbow during General Grants final assault on Petersburg,
Virginia in 1864; a battle that had claimed an estimated
42,000 lives. In later years, Don Williams obtained the very
bullet that was removed during the procedure, as well as
the actual metal prosthesis and documentation; all of which
remain in the family collection today. These most cherished
Civil War relics, as well as many visits to the Gettysburg Battlefield, ignited an early passion in Williams
that would turn into everlasting appeal for Civil War memorabilia.
Williams passions started out
early enough that the buying, selling, and trading of Civil War memorabilia was more commonplace and
astoundingly inexpensive in comparison to todays going rates. Firearms, relics, belt buckles, sabers, and
all memorabilia in between were not
only available, but affordable, and
todays collectors only have a chance
to merely talk about this unbelievable period of access to Civil War

Donald Williams


The Artilleryman

memorabilia. This early on interest also allowed for Don

to further his collection through relic hunting, which was
still allowed at the time. He began relic hunting in 1958 and
always had a great story to share with these adventures.
With an ever-growing collection that paralleled his evergrowing passion and interest, Don was frequently traveling
to locations such as Fairfax and Winchester to take part in up
and coming Civil War shows. He had held admiration for
the strictly affiliated antique arms shows such as the ones
held in Michigan and Baltimore at the time, and became
inclined to start one in Ohio. In 1978, he made his dreams
into a reality and held the aforementioned 1st annual Ohio
Civil War show. This initial show held only 60 tables, and
nearly a third of them he filled with
his own collection. Several friends
and fellow history buffs helped fill
the remaining tables, which was the
start to the ongoing tradition that
stills shines strong today. By the 3rd
year in 1980, he moved the show to
the Ashland College Convocation
Center as the need for a larger facility
became readily apparent. It was here
that the show truly started to blossom, and Don started to more heavily promote the show as he traveled.
As the show grew in popularity,
it once again outgrew its Ashland
College location; a location of which
could hold a maximum of 370 tables. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3



Our last two sales included the renown and esteemed collection of artillery from the Springfield Arsenal, LLC Collection
amassed by renowned cannon expert John Morris. Prices were strong and consistent throughout both sessions of the Morris
auction and included a number of exciting prices. In addition to Mr. Morris collection the sale also included select items from
other collections. We are now accepting consignments of single items and/or entire collections for our upcoming October, 2015
sale including Fine Artillery, Class III, Military items, quality Winchesters, fine Colts, important Sporting Arms, Historic
weapons, Civil War and Confederate items, fine Kentucky rifles and more.

We are the worlds leading auctioneers of rare, high-grade, quality firearms. We do not sell the
greatest number of firearms in a year, we sell the greatest number of expensive firearms in a year.

Extremely Rare Confederate New Orleans Made 12-Pound Bronze Napoleon on Carriage With Limber

SN 30. This spectacular gun, just recently discovered, is the only privately owned New Orleans made Napoleon cannon. Bronze gun metal was not available to the foundries in New Orleans so a
proclamation was sent out from Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to the Southern States to send their bells to N.O. to help the war effort. This is no doubt one of the Napoleons cast by Leeds from bells
sent to New Orleans from churches, plantations and such across the South. Records of Leeds & Co, New Orleans indicate they shipped two light 12 pdrs on the December 19, 1861probably
foundry #19 & 20; by February 19th they shipped four more #5,30,37,and 38. Robertsons Alabama Battery had four Leeds Napoleons on Ruggles line at Shiloh in April of 62 of which gun was
most likely one. The Federals reported capturing six Leeds Napoleons after the battle of Missionary Ridge. It seems safe to say this gun was at Shiloh and quite possibly captured at Missionary
Ridge. The other five known examples listed in Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War by Hazlett, Olmstead & Parks, 2004 are all in museums or owned by National Park Service. Other listed
existing SNs are 19, which is at the Petersburg National Battlefield Park; SN 38, at John Browning Museum, Rock Island. IL; SNs 45 & 53, on display at Augusta Arsenal Museum, GA; and
SN 49, at Carlisle Barracks, PA. SN 30, which we offer here, is in beautiful condition with complete markings as on other examples: 1862 on left trunnion, LEEDS & CO. NEW ORLEANS
on right trunnion. This cannon is mounted on an exacting #2 regulation field carriage with limber and implements. This cannon is ready to be taken into the field and get revenge on the Yankees
who originally captured her and took her to New York. This is the only Confederate Napoleon to ever be offered at public auction and we can find only two Confederate 6-pound bronze tubes
ever auctioned in the last 30 years. There are no more than 4 or 5 Confederate bronze Napoleons by any maker that are privately owned; this is your opportunity to get the most desirable bronze
Confederate cannon extant. CONDITION: Very good as can be seen in photographs, as is carriage and limber. Markings are crisp and fine. Please Note: Additional history on this cannon. It was
NOT taken to New York, but was according to Wayne Starks 1984 Cannon Registry, donated to a GAR Post #134 in 1946 and was on display at the local GAR in Wood River, Nebraska until it
eventually sold. It was also featured on a television series Sons of Guns on Discovery Channel in 2010. 4-54465 (Pre-sale estimate: $200,000 - $250,000)

Sold for $350,750

A New World Auction Record for the Most Expensive Piece of American Artillery sold
at auction and a New World Auction Record for the Most Expensive Confederate Arm
of Any Variety sold at auction.
06-10-15artilleryfull.indd 1

5/27/15 9:51 AM


Below are just a few of the successes from the Springfield Arsenal, LLC Collection amassed by John Morris

Spanish Siege Mortar Dated 1750 Captured By Dupont at

Fernandina Florida 1862 (est. $90-125,000)

Sold for $97,750

Dahlgren Heavy 12-Pounder Boat Howitzer on Original

Carriage (est. $60-90,000)

Sold for $92,000


Model 1906 Krupp 50 MM Mountain Cannon

(est $35-45,000)

Sold for $70,800

Sellers Commission Rates on

High Value Items as low as...

Rare & Historic U.S. Navy Light Bronze 12-Pounder

Dahlgren Boat Howitzer and Orig. Carriage (est. $50-60,000)

Sold for $92,000

Rare Civil War 8 Siege Mortar

(est. $15-25,000)

Sold for $34,500

Ames 1861-Dated Bronze 12 Pounder Mountain Howitzer

Registry Number 1 (est. $30-50,000)

Sold for $63,250

Pair of French Model 1786 Bronze 2-1/2 Bore Cannon on

Carriages (est. $15-20,000)

Sold for $27,025

Elegant Spanish 1803 8-Pound Bronze Field Gun

(est. $35-45,000)

Sold for $63,250

Ames Model 1841 Bronze 6-Pounder Gun on Original

Carriage (est. $50-70,000)

Sold for $92,000

Hotchkiss 2-Pounder Breech Loading Mtn Gun

(est. $20-30,000)

Sold for $46,000

US Navy 500-Pound Breech Loading Cannon SN 19 on

Original Carriage (est. $20-30,000)

Sold for $40,250

Contact Francis Lombardi or Wes Dillon Email: | 203 Skowhegan Rd., Fairfield, ME 04937 | Tel: (207) 453-7125 | Fax: (207) 453-2502 | Auctioneer: James D. Julia Lic#: ME: AR83
06-10-15artilleryfull.indd 2

5/27/15 9:51 AM

One of the key attractions held at

the show is the twice daily artillery
cannon firing demonstrations; and
with up to eleven guns on the line,
its one to make some noise!


The Artilleryman

Don was pleased to have an extensive waiting list, and with

the need to eliminate problems such as parking and overcrowded aisles, he searched for a facility that would keep
it in the immediate area that was becoming so well known.
With the selection of the Richland County Fairgrounds in
neighboring Mansfield, Ohio, Don had found a venue that
gave him the space he needed with room to grow. In 1993,
the 16th annual Ohio Civil War Show opened utilizing
three of the primary buildings. Some feared that the split,
and having multiple locations, could be problematic. Don,
however, saw potential, and with the help of his three
children, Teresa, Wayne, and Greg, acting as building
directors in a coordinated effort, the show became even
more successful.
Todays show, now in its 38th year, showcases nearly
800 tables, as well as outdoor displays, living history encampments, period music, and other special features. The
public can witness Abe Lincoln presenting the Gettysburg
Address, a unique hospital scenario with a wounded soldiers amputated leg, Revolutionary War drills, Union and
Confederate musket firing, and cannon firing presentations.
With Dons passion for artillery, the show also underwent an addition of an Annual Artillery show, of which
is now in its 23rd year. At each show, artillery units meet
twice daily to reenact cannon firing demonstrations for
the crowd. This years show exhibited nine cannons and
full crews, including reenactors of both the Union and
Artillery enthusiasts also bring original and
reproduction cannons to put on display. This years show
included guns such as a US Model 1905 Field Gun, an
M1897 75mm French Gun, an M1885 3.2-inch US Field
Gun, a 12-pounder Mountain Howitzer and a 1.65-inch
Hotchkiss breechloading gun.
With each passing year, this aspect of the show grows
and changes. In previous years, guns on display ranged

Gerald Payne of Wooster, Ohio, more likely recognized as

Abraham Lincoln. From his presentation of the Gettysburg
Address to his special knack of enriching the knowledge
of the younger crowd, any interaction with Lincoln is sure
to be a memorable one. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


from Revolutionary War through World War II, including

examples such as an 1763 Muller Rev War cannon, a
10-pounder Parrott, M1841 6-pounder, a 3-inch Ordnance
rifle, 12- and 24-pounder Mountain Howitzers, a 1.5-inch
Ellsworth Rifle, a 2.6-inch Wiard rifle, a WWI 1917 Gun cart,
and an 1866 J. J. Maritz on a naval carriage. This impressive
Annual Artillery Show addition is the only show of its kind
in the nation.
Dons passion for artillery specifically also lead him to
recreate a Civil War artillery unit, the 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery D, which was originally formed in the Ashland and Mansfield, Ohio area, and also participates in the
shows. The unit continues today with six full size cannons,
a caisson and even a battery wagon.
Co-managers of the show, Teresa Williams Drushel,
Wayne Williams and Gregory Williams, all under the guidance of Dons wife, Dorlene Williams, have made sure to

keep a personal touch in the organization and promotion of

the show. With the help of family and family friends, they
are happy to say that it is the exhibitors and their unique
wares and quality memorabilia that help keep the show
running strong and prosperous. The family is committed
to displaying quality items, and continuously trying to add
new exhibitors and interests to the show each year. Educating todays youth with respect for our history is their key
focus, and they hope this is a trend that will continue for
years to come. The family is proud to keep their commitment to the late Donald Williams, and continue the legacy
of keeping history alive.
Teresa W. Drushel, Wayne Williams and Greg Williams, continue the tradition of their father Don Williams. They are co-managers of the Ohio Civil War Show and have worked with the show
since 1978. For more information visit
Next years show is April 30-May 1, 2016.

Group photo of Civil War artillery unit, the 1st Ohio Light Artillery, Battery D from left to right: Standing: Gerald Fry, Jerry
Imperio, Joey Gotter, David Brockway and Greg Williams. Kneellng: David Gotter, Wayne Williams and Brandon Warner.

The Artilleryman

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Mike Kent and Associates, LLC PO Box 685 Monroe, GA 30655

(770) 630-7296

ne of the most frequent

questions poised to artillery projectile experts is
by a new collector asking whether
the metal spherical ball they have is a
cannonball? The reason is they have
looked in the Civil War caliber tables
and have a sphere that doesnt match
any known caliber. There are many
reasons for this; the most common is
they have a colonial era cannonball
dated from prior to the Civil War
(the caliber is smaller) or they have a
cannonball fired by one of the many
countries that conducted military operations in North America (British,
French, Spanish, Mexican or Russian).
In addition many solid shot have been
imported from all over the World and

be scratched) and have wear marks.

The most frequently observed mistake at relic shows is that British or
American 3-pdr (2.773-inch) or 4-pdr
(3.053-inch) artillery shells are being
sold as Confederate hand grenades at
over twice the price they would bring
if they were properly identified. The
Confederate spherical hand grenade is
actually about 2.46 inches in diameter
and is a very rare find.
The author enjoys walking around
at Civil War shows and measuring the
diameter of cannonballs that are being
sold as Civil War shot and shell because a great number of these specimens are from the Revolutionary and
War of 1812. The fuse hole is a dead
give-away because it was smaller

are always sold as Civil War cannonballs; as the market for Revolutionary
War, War of 1812 or foreign projectiles
brings much lower prices.
In addition to real cannon shot,
early American industry used cast
iron or steel balls to grind materials; shot were used on ship compass
stands for compass deflection; some
iron spheres were used to decorate
fence posts and any number of large
ball bearings resembling small cannonballs are often sold to the unsuspecting on the internet as Civil War
shot. Railroad wheel ball bearings
are about 2.5 inches in diameter and
weigh about 2.3 pounds and are frequently sold as small cannonballs. But
careful examination reveals they are
made of high quality steel (they cant

during this period. When the author

went back and examined his own collection he noted that a cannonball that
had been given to him was actually a
Russian shot made of wrought iron.
That explained why it was so much
heavier than any service shot of a
similar caliber. The Union Navy used
some wrought iron shot and the author recently acquired a 10-inch shot
that weighs 140 pounds compared to
the cast iron shot that weighs about
125 pounds.
Unfortunately, there is a giant misunderstanding among the public and
even some artillery projectile experts
as to the actual calibers used by the
services that fought in North America
and its almost impossible to find the
calibers of the services in reference


The Artilleryman

material or on the internet. This is

why this writer published the Encyclopedia of Black Powder Artillery Projectiles
Found in North America; 1759-1865, Volume II, (available at www.bpapress.
com). It contains 161 pages of all the
fuses used in North American black
powder projectiles (1759 1865), but
most importantly it contains 227 pages
containing the diameter and specifications of all the shot, shells, grape shot
and canister shot used by all the services that fought in America.
To answer the question of do I
have a cannonball it is critical to have
an exact diameter to at least the closest one-hundredth of an inch. This
cannot be obtained with a ruler alone.
Next, we must know the exact weight

War of 1812 shot with

misaligned mold seam

of the shot or shell to the closest onehundredth of a pound. This cannot

be obtained by using bathroom scales
as they are far too inaccurate to obtain an actual weight. In addition, any
marks noted on the casing, including
the mold/seam mark is critical to the
The best way to obtain an exact
diameter is by using calipers, but they
are often not available so there are two
other methods that work perfectly.
The first is to take a string or a cloth
tape measure and measure the outside
circumference of the shot (this is the
distance around the outside of the
sphere). Since many early shot were
out of round this should be taken at
the seam, when possible. Many early

Use of cloth tape to measure outside circumference to calculate diameter

Testing magnetic attraction

to assess possible weight loss

A triangular engineering ruler can be

used to measure the exact diameter
Paper cut to exact diameter
To allow gap measurement
American shot seams are not aligned
and if the measurement is not taken
at the seam, it will be inaccurate. In
the event the seam is not evident, four
measurements should be taken from
different angles on the sphere and
the largest diameter noted and the
others averaged. Grinding balls are
notoriously out of round as over the
years the sides wore unevenly. Once
the circumference is noted, it can be
divided by Pi (3.1416) and this will
reveal the exact diameter.
Another method the author has
used is to cut a piece of paper carefully
to form a cut out that is the exact size
of the sphere. This can be easily done
with a pair of scissors until the sides

are precisely the diameter of the shot.

A triangular engineering ruler (it is
calibrated in hundreds of an inch) can
be used to measure the exact diameter.
Since all the calibers of the various services are slightly different, it becomes
easy to enter the tables to identify the
exact caliber and service. However, a
word of caution must be exercised here
as many specimens have been overcleaned and are slightly smaller than
the original size. But as a rule enough
of the original surface remains (why
we note the largest diameter) to make
an identification.
The next most important fact is
how much does the shot weigh? The
weight of the iron used is different
between all services and can be used
to make a positive identification. For
example, British cast iron is the most

pure and hence weighs more than any

other service. Since the Americans and
the British used the same calibers from
1759 to 1815 the actual weight of the
specimen determines its providence.
A British 12-pounder shot is 4.4 inches
in diameter and weighs exactly 12.0
pounds compared to an American shot
of the same caliber that weighs about
11.2 pounds. A British 12.0 pounder
imported during the Civil War is
4.522 inches in diameter, but weighs
13.0 pounds, compared to a 4.52-inch
U.S. or C.S. shot that weighs 12.3
pounds. The larger the shot, the more
important the exact weight becomes
in making a positive identification.
Precise weights can be obtained by
using a digital postal scale or a baby
scale that has fine calibrations. Digital
scales can be found on the internet that
are both accurate and inexpensive.
When examining a projectile for
weight its important to know if it has
lost any weight due to being buried
or being recovered from salt water.
Certain forms of inferior service cast
iron are very susceptible to weight loss
when buried in soil and all service iron 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


Typical mold dimple found

on British solid shot

Broad Arrow
on British solid shot

will lose weight in salt water. This can

be easily determined by testing a small
magnet against a modern hammer
head and comparing the attraction
with the surface of the projectile. If
there is a noticeable difference in
the attraction, this should be noted
because the projectile has lost weight
that can be factored back into the
original weight.
Mold or other marks are also
very important in making a positive

identification. The British poured

their shot from the top which leaves a
distinct-indented circular mold mark
where the pour vented. The British
left this indented because British cast
iron is so pure and hard it cannot be
drilled with ordinary bits and this
indentation made it unnecessary to
finish this surface. Some cannonballs
have foundry or service marks that
will allow a positive identification,
including the foundry that cast them


AMERICA; 1759 1865
Civil War (Union & CSA); Revolutionary
War; War of 1812; and Mexican War
Contains drawings, pictures; descriptions, dimensions, weights, functioning,
bursting charges and technical data on all spherical smoothbore projectiles (Shot,
shell, repeating shells, carcass, incendiary shells, canister, grape shot, and bar shot)
for all services that fought in North Americas wars (Colonial America; British;
French; Spanish and Mexican; Russian; and Union and Confederate forces. (Over
650 projectiles)
Contains drawings; pictures; descriptions, dimensions; weights, functioning and
all data on fuses used on both smoothbore and rifled projectiles used in North
America with special emphasis on Union and Confederate fusing (Over 200 fuses
and variants).
Includes over 1,200 drawings and pictures and 400+ data charts.
The book is fully footnoted and references projectiles showing the book(s) and
page number of the book or document where additional information can be found,
making additional research easy. The book is also indexed.
It is the most comprehensive book published to date, on this subject.

$44.45 postpaid in U.S.A. Order from our website or the

Black Powder Artificer Press, Box 575, Colonial Beach, VA 22443. For additional
information, visit our website or call 410-491-1052 to place phone orders.

The Artilleryman

or the inspector that accepted it.

Anyone that has a sizeable collection that carefully examines their
specimens may be surprised to see
how many spherical projectiles are
not from the Civil War, but have been
sold as such. But the good news is the
projectile may be identified as simply
from a service that fought in North
America. The most common projectile thus identified is usually from the
Revolutionary or War of 1812 that was
kept as a souvenir or recovered from
one of the many battlefields or ranges
that overlap Civil War activity. If you
are a serious collector, it makes sense
to know exactly what you have.
Longtime subscriber John Biemeck
is a retired U.S. Army Ordnance Corps
Colonel that has collected, studied and
deactivated black powder ordnance for 60
years and has participated in the recovery
of over 1,600 projectiles. He is preparing a
five volume Encyclopedia on black powder
projectiles found in North America. He
has earned the title of Mr. Cannonball
for his work in this field.

Gun Works, Inc.

The Dixie Gun Works story is legendary, and
the catalog has been a tradition for more than
60 years. Our 2015 edition has over 10,000
itemsthe worlds largest selection of blackpowder replica arms and accessories for reenactment enthusiasts
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FOR ORDERS ONLY (800) 238-6785


PO Box 130 Dept. 66 Union City, TN 38281
INFO PHONE: (731) 885-0700
FAX: (731) 885-0440

News from the U.S. Army Artillery Museum

The museum recently put on exhibit, a M1819 6-pdr.
Walking Stick Gun, which it received on loan from
the Sacketts Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, New
York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. The gun now sits beside the fractured example of the gun which the museum acquired in October.
The Army accepted 74 of these guns in 1821-22. The
two Walking Stick guns are used as a teaching point
about the problems with cast iron cannon.
In March the museum installed a large new exhibit
on Trench Art. Containing 185 pieces of many sizes,
shapes and types, this fine collection was donated last
year by Mr. Raymond D. White of Nashville, TN. The
majority of this collection was made during or shortly
after World War I. The collection includes a Spanish-

American War lamp commemorating the 1898 Battle of

Manila Bay, a sizeable variety of World War II pieces
and pieces made as recently as the Bosnian War, 1992-95.
The museum exhibit shop is restoring a M1898
5-inch Siege Rifle that it acquired last year. Restoration
of the wooden wheels is in progress. The carriage has
been dismantled and the breech opened. Once completed it will be placed in the museum.
Gordon A. Blaker
US Army Artillery Museum
238 Randolph Road, Fort Sill, OK 73503. (580) 442-1819

M1819 6-pounder Gun Walking Stick and fractured remains of another.

Trench Art exhibit.

of M1898 5-inch
Siege Rifle.

M1898 5-inch Siege Rifle carriage. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3



The Artilleryman

Federal soldiers stand

guard over a 2.75-inch
mounted on a carriage built
and marked by the C.S. Arsenal at Richmond. Courtesy Library of Congress. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


hen chased they [blockade runners] invariably make for the shoal water, and,
if likely to be captured, increase their
head of steam, beach the vessel . . . so high on the
beach it is almost a work of impossibility to drag her
off. On these occasions, as soon as the report of our
guns are heard or the signals of the blockade-runners
are observed, the light batteries of Whitworth guns
are brought down and used.1
- Report of U.S. Brigadier General Charles K. Graham, January
25, 1864

n January, 1865, the only thing standing between

the besieged Army of Northern Virginia and
complete starvation was the port of Wilmington,
North Carolina, located about twenty miles up the
Cape Fear River. In the last eighteen months of the war,
Wilmington was the Confederacys chief port for blockaderun arms, uniforms, and equipment shipped from England
by way of Bermuda. From April to November, 1864, the
C.S. Quartermaster Bureau imported more than 311,000
pairs of shoes, 170,000 blankets, and 803,000 yards of
uniform cloth; from October, 1864, through January, 1865,
the C.S. Ordnance Bureau imported more than 50,000
arms and 400,000 pounds of lead. The great majority of


The Artilleryman

these supplies as well as nearly all the salted and tinned

meat consumed by the Army of Northern Virginia came
through Wilmington.
Protecting that vital lifeline near the new or northern
inlet of the Cape Fear was Fort Fisher, popularly dubbed
The Gibraltar of the South. In July, 1862, Colonel William Lamb, a twenty-nine year-old native of Norfolk, Virginia, had taken command of a hodge-podge collection of
poorly-built fortifications on Federal Point (todays Pleasure Island), a six-mile long peninsula between the Cape
Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean. Using as a model the
Russian defenses at Sevastopol during the Crimean War,
Lamb determined at once to build a work of such magnitude that it could withstand the heaviest fire of any guns in
the American navy.2
Two years later, Fort Fisher was the largest earthen
fort in the Confederacy, mounting forty-seven heavy guns
amid ramparts twenty-five feet thick at the base. The forts
massive defenses were so intimidating that blockading
ships dared not venture within range of the forts guns.
In the middle of its mile-long sea face was the forts most
formidable weapon, an 8-inch Armstrong rifle (a gift from
London merchants), while at its southern end was the
forty-three foot high Mound Battery with its 10-inch Columbiad and 6.4-inch Brooke rifle. A half mile to the south,
at the very tip of Federal Point, Battery Buchanan mounted
four more heavy guns, while Batteries Anderson and Gatlin were positioned three
and five miles north of the
fort, respectively.
Some of Fort Fishers
most effective guns were
also some of its smallest:
four 2.19-inch (6-pounder)
muzzle-loading and as
many as eight 2.75-inch
(12-pounder) breechloading Whitworth rifles.
Four of the breechloaders
were salvaged from the
blockade runner Modern
Greece in June, 1862; four
more arrived on board
two blockade runners in
the late months of 1864,
though it is unclear how
many were actually put to
use in or near Fort Fisher.
Although slight in caliber,
these odd guns with the
distinctive hexagonal
bore possessed a critical
advantage: they were the
most accurate long-range

Below: 6-pounder Whitworth bolt recovered from

Fort Fisher. Courtesy The
Atlanta History Center
Thomas S. Dickey Sr.

Muzzle of the 2.19-inch caliber Whitworth rifle illustrating

the hexagonal bore.
The perfectly-angled spiraling planes of a 2.19-inch bolt
(left) and 2.75-inch shell (right) clearly illustrate Whitworths
principle of pre-guided rifling.

Fort Fisher, N.C., Interior view of first three traverses

on land face. Courtesy Library of Congress. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


artillery pieces in the world. At maximum elevation, a 2.75inch Whitworth could spit defiance up to 10,000 yards
well over five miles and well beyond the effective range of
most blockaders guns.
By 1865, British shipyards had turned out more than one
hundred steamships designed specifically for blockade running. Typically, these sleek craft approached the Cape Fear
River twenty or twenty-five miles north of the new inlet,
running close along the shore so that their profiles would
be concealed against silhouetting by the slight rise of the
shoreline. Once within the protective range of Confederate
guns at Fort Fisher, only a lucky long-range shot from a
Union warship could stop a blockade runners passage into
the Cape Fear River. Nevertheless, it was a constant game
of cat-and-mouse. Inbound ships were always in danger of
being run ashore by blockading ships that managed to spot
them in time to cut off their approach.
To give cover to incoming runners, Colonel Lamb organized his Whitworth guns into several quick-response


The Artilleryman

flying batteries which roamed north to the Masonborough Inlet, about fifteen miles above Fort Fisher, and sometimes further. Despite the small caliber of the guns, all it
took was a single shot to disable a steam boiler or punch a
hole beneath the water line of a blockading ship, thus discouraging further pursuit. At 4:30 p.m. stood inshore in
company with the Eolus to shell blockade runners ashore,
reported the disgruntled captain of the U.S.S. Monticello on
December 27, 1864. At 6 p.m. hauled off; was struck once
below the water line, port quarter, with shot from Whitworth gun.3 Another Union report neatly summed up the
problem: The [flying] battery is shifted from point to point
as its services are required. Our blockading squadron has
been a good deal annoyed by it.4
These highly-accurate artillery pieces were the brainchild of Sir Joseph Whitworth, Britains foremost mechanical engineer. Whitworth was most famous for introducing
the first standard measurement for screw threads, known as
the British Standard Whitworth, which is still in use today.
In rifling tests commissioned by the British Board of Ordnance, Whitworth concluded that relying on ordinary rifling
with spiral grooves to spin a bullet was
mechanically inefficient. Instead, he revived the old idea of a polygonal bore
within which slightly twisting planes
pre-guided a projectile made in precisely the same shape, not unlike a screw
threading a nut. Whitworths mechanical rifling system proved to be about
six times more accurate than that of the
standard-issue British Pattern 1853 infantry rifle-musket.
Yet the salient feature of Whitworths
system was also its chief drawback. With
an extraordinarily fine tolerance between bore and projectile, the hexagonal
bore was easily fouled with powder residue and had to be cleaned after only a
few shots. This problem, combined with
the exorbitant expense of their manufacture, meant that the British Government
eventually deemed Whitworths hexagonal-bore small arms unsuitable as
infantry weapons. Nevertheless, it was
still interested in using Whitworths system for artillery pieces. So, too, was the
Confederacy, which badly needed longrange artillery and had already invested
heavily in Whitworths extraordinarily
deadly scoped sniper rifles.
Confederate Army and Navy agents
purchased cannon from Whitworths
Manchester Ordnance and Rifle

Company in at least eight different calibers, from the

smallest 1.25-inch (one-pounder) shipboard swivel guns
to the largest 6.4-inch (120-pounder) seacoast guns. Most
of the Confederacys Whitworth projectiles were also
imported from England, where machinery existed to cut the
precisely-measured and angled planes for the hexagonal
bores. However, some noticeably cruder but entirely
functional projectiles were made in the Confederacy,
probably by a very skilled machinist in Richmond.
Whitworths artillery pieces suffered from much the
same problem as his small arms. Most famously, two
5-inch rifles (variously referred to as 70- or 80-pounders)
captured from the blockade runner Princess Royal and used
by the U.S. Navy in the siege of Charleston in 1863 had to
be abandoned due to defective shells and the projectile
wedging when part way down which made loading
all but impossible.5 In his diary, Colonel Lamb reported
the same issue with one of his 2.19-inch muzzleloaders:
November 14 [1864]. Fired at a blockader rather close in

worked with difficulty and every one of the six was at

some point disabled by breaking some of its parts but all
were repaired and kept in service. Alexander added that
the Whitworths efficiency was impaired by its weight
and the very cumbrous English carriage on which it was
mounted.7 On the other side of Mason and Dixons line,
Charles Knap, owner of the Fort Pitt Foundry in Pittsburgh,
agreed: As a toy it is the most wonderful gun in the world,
but it is not fit for actual service. . . . it requires very delicate
manipulation, and common soldiers in action are not very
delicate fellows in handling their projectiles, and those guns
would be very apt to jam.8 For this reason, Confederate
gunners often kept the screw-cap breech closed to allow the
guns to be used as muzzleloaders.

These 1978 Polaroid

snapshots show the
Whitworth rifle in its un
restored condition wit
makeshift carriage co
bbled together from
machinery. Courtesy Atl
anta History Center.

to-night, and think we struck her. A 6-pounder Whitworth

bolt got jammed in the gun, but was extracted.6
The breech-loading mechanism of the 2.75-inch
Whitworth rifles also proved problematic. Regarding
his experience with these guns in the Army of Northern
Virginia, Brigadier General Edward Porter Alexander
remarked: They fired solid shot almost exclusively, but
they were perfectly reliable and their projectiles never
failed to fly in the most beautiful trajectory imaginable.
Their breech-loading arrangements, however, often

Despite these drawbacks, Colonel Lambs Whitworth

guns served quite well along the shoreline north of Fort
Fisher. Here, they were not subject to the wear and tear of
everyday use, they could be moved reasonably quickly to
any danger point, and they enjoyed the clearest possible
field of fire at the greatest possible range. Colonel Lamb
had found the perfect niche for Whitworth field artillery.
Ultimately, however, there were limits to the effectiveness of field guns against naval firepower. On August 18,
1863, the blockade runner Hebe, a new twin-screw steamer
loaded with blankets, cloth, and other supplies for the C.S.
Quartermaster Bureau, was forced ashore about nine miles
north of Fort Fisher. Despite heavy seas and a gale force
wind, Union sailors managed to board the Hebe and attempted to burn her, but to no avail. A detachment from 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


Lambs flying battery soon showed up on the scene, positioned themselves behind the dunes for protection,
and drove off the attackers. They continued to guard the
stricken Hebe as her precious cargo was off-loaded onto
the beach. Five days later, four U.S. Navy gunboats and
the frigate Minnesota closed in for the kill. The detachment,
comprised of one 2.75-inch Whitworth breechloader and
one 4-inch (18-pounder) Blakely muzzleloader, was quickly
overwhelmed by the concentrated fire of sixty-eight Federal
guns. The Confederate crews spiked the Blakely gun, threw
the handle of the Whitworths breech block into the marsh,
and fled for their lives. The victors quickly destroyed the
Hebe, and, for good measure, a shore party took off the Confederate guns as trophies. Today, both guns are displayed
at the Washington Navy Yard.9
On December 25, 1864, a similar fate befell the defenders of Battery Gatlin, five miles north of Fort Fishers main
works, during the first of two attempts to capture the fort.
Here, U.S. Navy warships opened an intense bombardment
of the battery prior to a planned troop landing. Confederate
Lieutenant Colonel John P. W. Read responded immediately with the long-range guns, but had to fire very slowly,
as it was almost impossible to make the cannoneers do their
duty. The 32-pounder at Fort Gatlin never fired a shot, and
neither am I aware of the 6-pounder Whitworth having
been used. Complaining that the men under his command
behaved very badly, Read was seriously wounded in the
one-sided exchange of fire.10 Two miles south, Whitworth
guns at Battery Anderson were similarly overwhelmed.
On January 15, 1865, Fort Fisher was finally subdued by
the firepower of 275 guns aboard fifty-six Navy warships
combined with a landing force of more than 9,600 soldiers,
sailors and marines. Among the ninety-one Confederate artillery pieces of all calibers captured that day were four 2.2inch rifles in good order almost certainly the 2.19-inch
Whitworth muzzleloaders. Three other guns reported
only as 3-inch rifles may have been the surviving 2.75inch Whitworth breechloaders.11
The muzzle-loading 2.19-inch Whitworth rifle featured
on these pages is the only known surviving example of its
type and is believed to have been one of the four captured

at Fort Fisher (a fifth 2.19-inch Whitworth was reported

to have been used in the Army of Northern Virginia). Its
steel barrel measures sixty-seven inches in length from the
muzzle face to the tip of the cascabel. The only clearly visible marking is WHITWORTH stamped across the top
of the barrel just in front of the vent, though there are research notes indicating that it is marked in the same area
with 1861, 11 (or possibly 17), and 4CWT 1 QRS.
The latter marks give the weight of the gun using British
Imperial measures of four centum weight (448 pounds) and
one quarter (28 pounds), or 476 pounds in total. The right
trunnion has been tapped with three holes for a high-elevation long-range trunnion sight, a significant clue strongly
suggesting Confederate use.
After the war, this Whitworth rifle was displayed at
Stevens Post 517, Grand Army of the Republic, in Lititz,
Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Three regiments of
Pennsylvania volunteers the 76th, 97th, and 203rd were
engaged in the final assault on Fort Fisher and their commander, Colonel Galusha Pennypacker, was awarded the
Medal of Honor for his actions there. It is possible that
veterans of these regiments had something to do with obtaining this particular gun as a trophy from the U.S. War
After Post 517 disbanded in 1928, the gun was displayed
outside a general store near Highland Falls, New York. In
1978, Atlanta collector George W. Wray Jr., discovered the
gun and bought it from an antiques dealer near Highland
Falls. For the next twenty-five years, Wray researched the
guns origins and sought out the specifications for the
missing sights and carriage. The result was a beautiful
reproduction British Army gun carriage built by Historical Ordnance Works, Inc., of Woodstock, Georgia, in 2003.
Today, this rare survivor of Colonel Lambs flying battery
is exhibited at the Atlanta History Center, which purchased
George Wrays extensive collection of Confederate arms,
uniforms, and flags in 2005. For more information about the
Centers Civil War exhibits and collections, visit us online
at Endnotes for this article
can be found online at

Artillery Drawings
Contact us for a catalog sheet. Drawings with dimensions
of carriages, limbers, ammunition chests and more.

Antique Ordnance Publishers

PO Box 610434
Port Huron, MI 48061 (810) 987-7749


The Artilleryman

Gordon L. Jones, Ph.D., is the Senior Military

Historian and Curator at the Atlanta History
Center, where he has worked since 1991. He is the
author of Confederate Odyssey: The George
W. Wray Jr. Civil War Collection (University
of Georgia Press, 2014).

Atlanta History Center

Tu r n i n g Po i n t :

Th e A m e r i c a n Ci v i l Wa r
One of the largest Civil War
exhibitions in the nation

Featuring the Beverly M. DuBose, George W.

Wray, and Thomas S. Dickey Collections

Over 1,500 Union and

Confederate artifacts
Free audio tours

Fair Oaks, Va., vicinity. U.S. 3-inch Ordnance Rifle with Lt. Robert Clarke, Capt.
John C. Tidball, Lt. William N. Dennison, and Capt. Alexander C. M. Pennington.
Courtesy Library of Congress. Colorized by

The Artilleryman

n June of 1862, George Barnard

made his way from the Mathew
Brady studio in Washington,
across the Potomac to Fort Richardson,
which was located a little over three miles
from the White House. He had come to
photograph one of the forts that had been
built to defend Washington D.C.
Just over a year earlier, Fort Washington was the only fort defending the city.
It had been built prior to the War of 1812
to defend the capital from a sea attack.
At the start of the war, Union Forces captured the area of Virginia immediately
near the capitol and began
building forts on
the surrounding
and Maryland
On his journey, Barnard
travelled past
the dozens of
forts that had
been built in the
fifteen months
since the start
of the war. Prior
to the war, Union forces had made scouting trips to determine the best locations
to defend Washington. At the time of this
photograph, the fortifications had grown
from a single fort to 48 forts and batteries.
By the close of the war that number had
increased to 68 forts and an additional
93 batteries, comprising more than 800
cannons and more than 90 mortars with

more than 20,000 artillerymen, infantry

and cavalry.
On this day Barnard was only concerned about one gun and one crew. Captain Rufus D. Pettits Battery B, 1st New
York Light Artillery was his focus. It had
been established at Baldwinsville, NY
(about 30 miles from the Canadian border near Lake Ontario) in August of 1861
and became the first battery to be fully
mounted in defense of Washington. What
they did not know was that this would be
one of the last peaceful days they would
have during the war.
moment, the
enjoy a carefree
day and had
fun posing for
George Barnard
setup his stereo
inserted a glass
negative that
was four inches
tall and ten
inches wide.
The camera had
two lenses designed to take a photograph
that could be viewed in 3D using a special
viewer of the day. Following the photo
shoot, the negative, along with at least
one other photo he took of the fort, turned
up at the Brady studio. It changed hands
a few times and was finally purchased in
1943 by the Library of Congress. At some
point, the fragile glass broke into five 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


pieces, producing damage on both

the left and right sides of the image.
Despite the damage, the Library of
Congress chose to scan it along with
over 7,000 Civil War glass negatives in
its collection.
When I first saw the image in
2010, I knew that I wanted to see if
I could repair the damage that 150
years had caused and bring it back
to life. Since 2009, I have restored

hundreds of images for my websites, and civilwarin3d.
com. They have been used in books,
various magazines (including the
new masthead for The Artilleryman
magazine) and even TV shows. The
recent Blood and Glory The Civil
War In Color, that appeared on the
History Channel, includes more than
75 of the images which we provided.
I have also been asked to showcase

my colorized images at numerous

Civil War Roundtables as well as at
For this image, the damage was
fairly severe and it would take more
than just adding color to make this
right. The Library of Congress had
done a terrific job of scanning the
image which was the size equivalent
of using a 24 mega pixel camera. The
broken pieces had been placed in the

Captain Rufus D. Pettits Battery B, 1st New York Light Artillery in Fort Richardson. Courtesy Library of Congress. Colorized

The Artilleryman

approximate positions, but needed

adjusting to get to the correct location.
First step, each of the pieces was separated into its own layer; so it could
be moved around, to fit, like a puzzle
piece into the proper position. After
each piece was in place, the damage
between the broken lines could be
corrected and with other repairs the
image was restored to its 1862 shape.
Now is the time to think about the
color. Before I colorize an image, I like
to find out as much as possible about
it prior to making the color selections.
I learned early on that research is more
important than just picking colors that
look good. Basically, I try to do three
things. First, if possible, I will visit the
location and take photographs. Next
museum collections are studied, either online or in person. Finally for
some images I will reach out and find
experts to consult and ensure I am
getting it right. In fact, my association
with the editor of this magazine was
made as one of those consultations.
Using my reference images, the
detective work to obtain the proper

color begins. Importing the reference

image into Photoshop allows me to
sample the color to be added to the
vintage image. It is not a simple matter
of knowing that the carriage of a gun
should be olive drab but which shade
is correct. The paint on most of the
original carriages has been replaced
over the years (along with the carriages
themselves). Nevertheless, I try to find
modern carriages that have already
been painted to the proper colors.
I have a few hundred reference
images for everything from what a
proper sky looks like, to the color of
the boots the soldiers wore. For artillery pieces, I was lucky enough to find
locally a period gun that had been
mounted on a reproduction carriage.
I took dozens of photos showing the
proper paint scheme and giving me
the details needed in my final images.
At this point, I may have already
spent several hours of restoration and
research on an image. I have pulled
together from my reference collection the proper colors and conferred
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| Vol. 36, No. 3


color selections. Now the color process

begins. Each color is laid down one at
a time and then adjusted to give the
desired shade and intensity. Simple
images, such as a studio image may
require 20-25 layers of color. More
complex outdoor scenes may require
70-100 layers of color and adjustment.
Initially, the color is applied much
like painting a house. It is solid, nontransparent and completely covers
any visible sign of the original underlying image. Next, the blending mode
is adjusted to reveal the original B&W
image. Think about this sort of the
way a pair of sunglasses works. You
can see through the glass clearly but
the image is now tinted. When you
do this with dozens of layers of color
that only cover a specific part of the
image, you slowly build a full color
image such as stained glass uses colored glass to make an image.
Unlike stained glass that has a single piece of glass for each color, colorized images may have a half dozen
or more colors stacked on top of each
other to produce the desired effect.
This allows for the natural variety and
subtle differences that occur naturally,
to appear in the colorized image. Next
the colors are adjusted to increase or
decrease the saturation, change the
brightness, etc.
Sometimes during this process I
find that a mistake was made. A section either does not have the right
color or it extends into an area for a
different part of the image. A common
example of this is the wheels of an artillery piece. I will outline the area for
color and then use a fill tool to flood
the center with color. To achieve this
on the wheels of a cannon, I need to
outline each of the spokes and then
add the color to the center. Occasionally, I will find that I missed part of
an outline and the olive drab that was
added to the spokes also extends to
the areas between the spokes requiring time spent correcting the mistakes.
When everything is cleaned and
looking correct, I will usually send
it for a final review with any experts

The Artilleryman

that had been consulted. First an artillery expert, then an expert on swords
to ensure that the proper pieces of the
swords had been colored and finally
an expert on clothing to review uniform choices.
The finished image is now ready
for public display. Usually this starts
with my website. However, in the case
of the Blood and Glory TV program,
many images went straight to the production crew. They had contacted me
about 7-8 months before the show
aired, inquiring about the possibility
of using a few images. At that time
they had wanted 8-10 images to showcase during the show. Eventually, the
program used about 500 finished images provided by 9-10 different color
artists. Since we had a large collection
of several hundred already completed
JOHN B. GALLIE painted on breech
of this 8-inch smoothbore gun. Note
the painted lines of elevation in degrees. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Colorized by

images, they both selected images and

requested new images to be produced.
About half of the 75 images I provided
came from work produced specifically
for the show.
While I am not an expert on any
specific area of the Civil War, I can
often tell from the research for images
that I have done, if an image is correct for the context it is being used or
the colors chosen. One such example

was a series of artillery images. One of

the guns had a very unusual wooden
carriage with scroll work painted on
it. I checked the Library of Congress
description for the image and it indicated that it was the Swamp Angel.
I knew from previous research that the
Swamp Angel was an 8-inch bore,
200-pounder Parrott rifle used to bombard Charleston. This gun was clearly
not a Parrott rifle and looking closer
at an enlargement the name John B.
Gallie was painted on the breech.
I looked him up and found that
Maj. Gallie was the commander of Fort
McAllister (outside of Savannah) and
had been killed in 1863. Why would
a Union artillery piece in Charleston
harbor bear the name of a Confederate
commander that had died two years
before near Savannah?
After discussing and sharing the
image with Jack Melton and Talley
Kirkland (retired ranger at Fort McAllister State Park) we all came to the
conclusion that it was unlikely that the
gun was in the Charleston area when
the image was taken. Fort McAllister
did not fall into Union hands until two
weeks before Christmas in 1864 and
Charleston surrendered after McAllister in February of 1865. If it had been
used as a Union artillery piece the
name of the Confederate commander
would have been removed.
The consensus was that the most
likely explanation was the gun had
been misidentified either by the photographer at the time or by one of the
people that had handled it between
the image being taken and the photograph being posted on the Library
of Congress site. Either way, this was
exciting because this meant that there
was a new image of Fort McAllister
that was previously unknown. Without other corroborating evidence to
clearly place this gun at Fort McAllister, I am hesitant to contact the Library
of Congress to update the listing.
As excited as I was to discover
something new in one of the Civil
War images, I was shocked when the
production studio sent me a review

copy of one hour of the show. During the portion they sent, Jack Melton
was talking about the Swamp Angel
while several of the artillery images
I had completed for them was displayed. Then during the highlight of
Jacks narrative up popped the John
Gallie gun! I immediately wrote to
the producer including my research
of the Gallie gun, as well as images
of other 8-inch Parrott rifles for them
to see the difference. It still took some
convincing, including a lengthy telephone call with the producer, that
while it may not be apparent to a nonartillery audience this image needs
to be replaced. In the end, Jack found
an image of the Swamp Angel to use
and the image of the John Gallie gun
did not make the final show.
As for Fort Richardson, it, like
the other defensive forts was closed
following the war and has long
disappeared. The location today
remains in the hands of the Federal
Government as part of an Army/
Navy golf course. A few of the forts
have been restored in recent years and
are now preserved as historic sites but
most are just historic marker signs.
George Barnard continued to
work as a photographer, relocating to
Chicago. His studio and much of his

original negatives were destroyed in

the Chicago fire of 1871. He died in
New York in 1902. Rufus D. Pettit, for
whom the battery was named, stayed
with the unit for another 11 months,
resigning for medical reasons.
The battery Captain Pettit had established went on to have a very illustrious career. Within days after this
image was taken, the unit would participate at the battle of Savage Station,
followed by Antietam, Fredericksburg
and Chancellorsville, after which Captain Pettit resigned. Captain Rority
(who assumed command after Pettit
resigned) was killed four weeks later
with his battery at Gettysburg. Following Gettysburg unit participated at the
battles Spotsylvania and Petersburg.
Between its formation in 1861 and
mustering out in 1865 it had participated in a total of 22 battles.
I love discovering new things in
the images I work on and hope that
adding color to them can help others
appreciate the details of what they are
David Richardson is the author of Restoring and Tinting Vintage Images and
has colorized images for TV, magazines and
museum collections. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


urrent convention attributes the manufacture of

Wiard field rifles to the
John ODonnell Foundry in New York
City. This hypothesis was first presented by researchers James C. Hazlett, Edwin Olmstead, and M. Hume
Parks in their seminal work, Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War, specifically stating: Right trunnions [of
Wiard rifles] often show the distinctive array of initials:
N. W.
N. Y. C.
O. F.
While the first two lines are surely
the initials of Norman Wiard and of
New York City, identity of O. F. is
conjectural. The initials of N. Y. C. are
not compatible with reports of a large
Wiard factory in Trenton, New Jersey.
Warren Ripley has discovered the existence of a John ODonnell foundry
in Manhattan during the Civil War, an
explanation we accept until someone
documents a better one.1 This conclusion has been frequently repeated
in subsequent books and on internet
sites devoted to the study of Civil War
artillery. Fortunately, a better explanation is now available.
Though an obvious advertising
ploy, a comprehensive description of
Norman Wiards rifles and the manufacturing process used to produce
them appeared in the 1861 edition of
The American Annual Cyclopdia:
The [Wiard] guns bear a high
reputation as being most accurate,
substantial, and effective, and at the same
time lighter than other pieces of the same
calibre. They are forged under heavy steam
hammers from puddled steel blooms,
specially made for this purpose at the

The Artilleryman

rolling mills at Troy, N. Y., and Trenton,

N. J.; the puddling process being stopped
at the point where the carbon unexpelled
gives to the metal a steely character. The
weight of the 6-pounders is 700 lbs., and
of the 12-pounders 1,200 lbs. each. They
are forged solid at the works of Messrs.
Tugnot & Dally, New York, and bored
by Messrs. Plass & Co. [Carpenter &
Plass]. The trunnion bands are shrunk
on, and do not affect the strength of the
piece in resisting the explosive action. The
6-pounders are of 2.6 inch bore, and the
12-pounders 3.67 inches. The rifling turns
to the left once in 9 feet in the 6-pounders,
and once in 12 feet in the 12-pounders,
the former having 8 and the latter 12
bands and furrows [lands & grooves].
The projectile preferred is the Hotchkiss.

6-pounder Hotchkiss shell and

12-pounder Hotchkiss bolt for the
Wiard rifles. Courtesy The Atlanta
History Center Thomas S. Dickey Sr.
With a 6-pounder, at an elevation of 39,
a flight of 5 miles has been obtained.
The carriages, which are made by Messrs.
Stephenson [John Stephenson Car
Company], of New York, are peculiar
in the construction of the wheels with

iron adjustable hubs and felloe wedges,

so that by the aid of a small wrench the
wheels can be set up or taken down, and
the tire be set, and any shrinking of the
wood be compensated for at any time. The
corresponding parts of all the wheels in
any number of batteries are counterparts
of each other and interchangeable. The
trail is hung under the axle, which admits
of a much greater elevation being given
to the piece than is practicable on the
standard carriage. The forward portions
of every part of the carriage are rounded
off, so as to render it more secure against
harm when struck by shot in action.2
Significantly, the details provided
above are corroborated by a letter
found in the National Archives from
William L. Miller, a senior official at
Carpenter & Plass, to the Ordnance
Bureau dated 14 March 1863:
I am named as a silent partner in the
firm of Carpenter and Plass, which is correct as such. I attended to the financial
part of the business. Mr. Carpenter had
charge of the Machinery Department.
Mr. Plass had charge of the Pattern and
Draughting [drafting] Department. Each
one was held responsible for the management of their part of the business. Previous to the breaking out of the Rebellion
our establishment was almost exclusively
occupied in the manufacture of machinerySuch was the state of affairs when
the Rebellion broke out previous to which
we had built an Ice Boat [steam powered
passenger craft designed to travel on
water or ice] for Mr. Wiard who promised to pay for it while it was in process
of building[,] but unfortunately for us the
money never cameMr. Wiard suggested
that we should enter in the business of gun
making as our business was about broken
up [ruined] by the Rebellion Mr. Wiard

asserted at the same time that he was thoroughly conversant with semisteel [and]
that a gun made of that material could
not be burst[,] and that he had a talk with
some U. S. officers and that all guns we
could make could be disposed of as soon
as madeWe consented to enter into the
manufacture of the same [and] Mr.
Wiard stated that he had an order from
Gen. Sickels [Sickles] for three batteries.
He then made arrangements with Tugnot,
Dally, and Co. by which they were to furnish the forgings for the guns and Carpenter and Plass for the finishing of the same.3
These two primary sources clearly
demonstrate that the Wiard rifles were
manufactured by several companies
contracted independently by inventor
and entrepreneur Norman Wiard to
produce his field guns. Semi-steel ingots, or blooms, were furnished by
rolling mills in Trenton, New Jersey,
and Troy, New York, to Tugnot, Dally
& Company in Manhattan. Tugnot,
Dally & Company operated one of the
largest steam-powered hammer forges
in the world the Franklin Forge.
Raised by steam pressure, the hammer
fell under its own weight of 7.5 tons,
pounding numerous superheated
blooms into a solid rectangular block
of semi-steel.4 The unfinished block
was then transported four city blocks
north to Carpenter & Plass, where the
semi-steel mass was bored, turned,
and transformed into a rifled artillery
tube. This firm also added the trunnions and the reinforcing breech cap.
The finished barrels were then sent to
John Stephenson Car Company, one of
the largest producers of street and railroad passenger cars in the country, to
be married to new carriages of Wiards
unique design; Stephensons operation
was also conveniently located a short
distance away in New York City.5 Interestingly, JOHN STEPHENSON
and NEW YORK can be discerned
under high magnification on the carriage of a 2.6-inch Wiard rifle in one
of Matthew Bradys wonderful photographs of Sickles New York batteries. Therefore, to summarize, Norman
Wiards semi-steel artillery tubes were


stamped into the iron cheek piece.
manufactured by the cooperative efforts of Tugnot, Dally & Company
and Carpenter & Plass, while the gun
carriages were made by the John Stephenson Car Company all located in
A note of caution regarding
the manufacture of Wiard rifles is
required given the number of original
tubes still fired today by artillery
aficionados and living history units.
An 1863 letter to Ordnance Bureau
officials from Francis S. Carpenter,
senior partner of Carpenter & Plass,
describes a decision by Norman

Wiard to substitute conventional iron

blooms for semi-steel ingots at some
point in the production run.6 Wiard,
who failed to make this fact known to
government authorities, was obviously
experiencing financial distress
and sought any means available to
reduce his cost per unit. Regrettably,
Carpenter does not supply the tube
number that this significant change
was made; the author surmises,
however, that this decision likely
resulted from the stress placed on the
fledgling enterprise in the final two
months of 1861 to fill simultaneous
contracts for the Burnside Expedition,
as well as for the States of Ohio and
New York. Wiard, who was not paid
in advance, deliberately cut corners in
production and, as a result, eventually
found himself in hot water with the
Ordnance Bureau. Overextended, he
came up short filling the Burnside
Expedition contract for 3.4-inch boat
howitzers due on 7 January 1862, and
desperately attempted to make up the
shortfall by converting 2.6-inch field

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| Vol. 36, No. 3


rifles into boat howitzers. Therefore,

while it is probable that the early
rifles made to fill the Sickles contract
and the Fremont trial (estimated tube
numbers 1 23) are of semi-steel
construction, it must be recognized
that subsequent guns (tube numbers
24 62) run the risk of being made of
much weaker iron. A 3.67-inch Wiard
rifle assigned to Battery F, 3rd New
York Artillery, exploded while firing
during the Goldsboro Expedition
in December 1862 making it quite
probable that this was an iron gun as
semi-steel would likely not fail under
normal chamber pressures.
Moreover, a metallurgical analysis of Wiard tube number 56 by W.
Rostoker, E. Olmstead, and J. Dvorak
determined that the gun was made
of wrought ironof not very high
quality, being too high in phosphorus
and too coarse in grain size. The authors further note that the inferior iron
is prone to cold shortness (brittle in
moderately low ambient temperatures
under rapid application of stress), a
likely contributing factor in the failure
of the Battery F rifle in frigid winter
temperatures. In surmising why tube

number 56 was not made of semi-steel

as advertised by Wiard, they suggest
correctly as it turns out that cost
might be a factor as steel blooms were
very expensive at the time.8
If Wiards field rifles were not
made by ODonnell Foundry, a final
question is germane. What do the
initials O. F. represent on the right
trunnion? Given the usual markings
found on Civil War artillery, O. F. is
undoubtedly the inspector. Regrettably, the identity of O. F. still eludes
the author!
Endnotes for this article can be
found on
(Note: The author is currently
working on a comprehensive study
of Norman Wiard, his field rifles, and
their service history during the Civil
War. If any reader has suggestions
concerning the identity of inspector O.
F., he welcomes your assistance).
Capt. (ret.) Steven W. Knott, USN is a
retired Navy helicopter pilot with 29 years
of service. He commanded a squadron in
Norfolk, Va., and participated in deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian

Gulf and waters off Somalia. His last assignment was as an instructor at the U.S.
Army War College. He has led numerous
leadership seminars for senior business
executives and governmental officials at
Gettysburg, Antietam and Virginia Civil
War sites. His first book, The Confederate Enfield, was published in 2013. He
also was an expert commentator in Ridley
Scotts award winning History Channel
documentary, Gettysburg.

Stamped on the right trunnion
of a Wiard rifle.

U.S. Wiard 6-pounder Rifle by Brady at the Washington, D.C. Arsenal in or around 1862. Courtesy Library of Congress.

The Artilleryman

By Peter A. Frandsen
Encyclopedia of Black Powder Projectiles Found in North America 1759 1865.
(Volume II, chapters 7, 8 and 9)
By Colonel John F. Biemeck,
Black Powder Artificer Press, Inc.
598 pages, Copyright 2013
ISBN 978-0-9891165-0-3
The substantial heft of this encyclopedic tome matches the quantity and quality
of the information contained therein which
is one indication of how much work has
gone into this projected massive five volume work on black powder ammunition.
This first volume published (Volume II)
is proof that this work is the capstone of
50 years of research and inquiry into this
important topic for without ammunition,
which does the real work of the arm of fire,
artillery is useless.
The whole encyclopedia set will cover
the period of 1759 to 1865 including the
War of the Revolution, the War of 1812, the
Mexican War, and the Civil War, or basically the time of smoothbore muzzle loading artillery and the beginnings of rifled
artillery. It roughly covers the period of
the development of true smoothbore field
artillery until the introduction of rifled
cannon. It covers ammunition from the
smallest field type to the largest siege type.
Unfortunately much of the detailed
information concerning this type of ammunition was not documented to todays
standards or lost as armament design and
materials moved into the modern era after
the Civil War. One of the few dedicated
works published at the time is Ammunition:
a descriptive treatise on the different projectiles, . . . manufactured in the Royal Laboratory (1867) by Vivian Majendie which has a
decidedly English view. Further, that work
relegates spherical projectiles to the past
and therefore incomplete for encyclopedic
purposes. A more limited, but valuable

text, is the reprint British Artillery Ammunition, 1780 (1979) by Adrian Caruana.
Consequently, the authors bringing together all his research from documentary
material to extensive empirical work on
hundreds of actual surviving projectiles
and fuses for the last fifty years is a great
and necessary accomplishment. It also can
be safely stated that there is no other comprehensive work like this with the monumental amount of research (although he
readily acknowledges the important work
of earlier pioneers) and, perhaps more importantly, the compilation and organization of the material in a form that can be
easily used by all who are interested in the
subject today.
There is detailed information of every
type of military and naval fuse and round
and certainly more than any student of old
artillery could imagine. The author has
discovered variations on variations between similar items and many variations
between what is stated in official contemporaneous manuals (which even if not out
of date, contained inaccuracies or only
generalities) and actual practice.
To show the incredible variety of ordnance made, the author has identified
about 400 types of spherical projectiles
from the smallest to the largest that were
developed or used in North America by
American, British, French, Spanish, Mexican, and Russian tube artillery. For each
type of round the author gives commentary; dimensions; weight, either stated or
projected or calculated, along with variations due to different manufacturing processes; payload, if appropriate; fuses; use;
references; and more. For guns and howitzers of 12-pounder caliber, a common type,
just as an example, the author describes
some eighteen major types with multiple
variations of some groups just used by
American forces (including Confederate).
The view of the author of projectile
ordnance, is almost completely oriented

toward the caliber of the ammunition and

not toward the cannon tube that fired it.
In fact the author appears to run together
at times howitzers and guns of the same
caliber which have different functions in
the field artillery, and sometimes appropriately different ammunition. The cannon
tube is merely a symbol.
The author rightly and forcefully and
repeatedly warns throughout against
playing with or attempting to deactivate
rounds of unknown origin or type because they can be extremely dangerous.
The author himself, as expert as anyone
on the subject, discovered more than a
few rounds not only in his own collection but others as well that he thought
deactivated only to realize in researching
this book that the fuse or the detonating
charges were still very much alive. Because
of wide variations in manufacturing, there
are many unknowns in dealing with old
ammunition and supposedly deactivated
rounds. Similarly, deactivating a round
can be dangerous without extensive safety
precautions which explains the common
practice today of simply blowing up and
destroying unknown but otherwise collectible ammunition.
The book is indexed and contains
a bibliography of all references (most
published) used making further research
much easier. Tables at the back of the
book list projectiles by diameter making
identification easy. There are over 1,200
pictures and drawings and over 400 data
A reference work of monumental proportions by an author with extensive military experience, it is a necessary addition
to any military reference library and for
anyone interested in artillery of the 19th
century. Volume II is the first published
and the rest are much anticipated. 

| Vol. 36, No. 3


WWI Field Cannon Model 1906

4.7-inch, with limber. Hard-to-find Northwestern

Ordnance Co. Ready for easy restoration. U.S Armys
standard medium field gun in 1917, with 60 in service.
Production was increased when the U.S. entered WWI.
Northwestern Ordnance Co. produced 98 more of them
in Madison WI during1918. Limber has stamp on it
that says Rock Island Arsenal. $21,900 or reasonable

Civil War Deck Cannon

We believe this to be one of the original 6 ordnance

rifles converted. No. 11 P.I.C 1861, 813 lbs. TTSL,
complete with original U.S. base. Manufacturer:
Phoenix Iron Co. Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, Model
1861. Maximum Range 1830 yards. Barrel/Tube
length 69 inches. Original Bore: 3 inches converted to
3.18 inches. This gun was altered to a breech loader at
Fort Mackenzie, Wyoming. $17,000 or reasonable
(Source: Wayne Starks notes)

Located in California. Call Jeff for more information (916) 410-3993

CANNON FRICTION primers: 95 cents.

Lanyards $12. Gimlets $15. Bronze vent
picks $10. Bronze vent brush, wood handle
$10. Primer extractor $7. Shipping $15 up
to 100 primers, $1 each additional 100. UPS
Ground. Phil Boom Boom Sieglein, 5026
Mile Stretch Dr., Holiday, FL 34690.
WANTED: COMMEMORATIVE Remember the Maine cannon. Contact Steve
Kapp, 704 West 5th St., Grove, OK 74344.
Cell: 918-791-1262;
REPRINTED EARLY 20th century U.S.
Army coast artillery ordnance manuals for
sale. For list send two first-class postage
stamps to Peter A. Frandsen, 9900 Georgia
Avenue #302, Silver Spring, MD 209025242.
12-PDR MOUNTAIN Howitzer blueprints
- barrel plans $42. Carriage plans $52. Both
sets $87. 12-pdr. plans $42. Prices include
USPS priority postage. Helmut Sakschek,
PO Box 3, Neenah WI 54957-0003. www.


The Artilleryman

TRAILROCK Ordnance offers metal parts

for the #1 and #2 Field Carriages, Field
Limber and 1st Model Prairie Carriage. We
also offer 1st Model Prairie Carriages for
$5,000, and #1 Field Carriages for $7,200.
We offer an ever growing line of shooting
accessories, implements, ammunition and
other goodies for the artillerist. Color catalog available for $7 ppd. Steve Cameron,
1754 Little Valley Rd, Blaine TN 37709,
CIRCA 1862 three-barrel Norwich Arms
Gatling type gun. One-inch rifled barrels.
All complete with original carriage $61,000.
Confederate manufactured Memphis cannon with original carriage $61,500. Circa
1700-1750 Dutch bronze VOC cannon with
museum-copied carriage $15,500. Additional Dutch carriages available $2,000 each.
Gatling/Gardner style gun with original
carriage $36,500. Museum quality Dahlgren
carriage $12,500. Hotchkiss 1.65-inch mountain cannon as carried on mules $36,500.
Other cannons available. Email for pictures:; 859-983-3911.

STATE OF NY original Delafield Rifle 3.67in No. 3 1862. Excellent condition, fired in
N-SSA competition. Only rare Delafield
with shootable bore. $85,000. Fits No. 1
carriage. Ken: 845-831-1170
FRICTION PRIMERS $1 each. Free Shipping. Quality dependable. Philip Walczak
Jr. Please call before ordering. 440-283-9680.
8948 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Mentor,
Ohio 44060.
TWO SPONGE buckets, close reproductions, $95 each postpaid. 1841 Mountain
Howitzer pendulum sight, $75 postpaid.
Call Len, 1st St. Paul Artillery 651-799-6299.
128 ISSUES of The Artilleryman for sale.
Vol. 1 through Vol. 35, $650 postpaid.
NUMBER ONE LIMBER new condition
walnut ammunition chest with copper top,
built correct and very good $6,500 Leonard Draper, Cedartown, Ga . 404-401-5591,

Bronze mortar from the

Georgius Rex period of
King George II (1727-1760)

George Weller Juno

1348 SW Cottonwood Cove Port St. Lucie, Florida 34986