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hese guns were much more dreaded than the bomb-shells from the mortars. The latter remained silent in the morning, but opened again in the afternoon with more energy than ever. Minie balls from the lines also came into the city and wounded some of the citizens. In the night there was heavy artillery firing on the lines, but the mortars did not operate very actively. Friday, June 19.--The morning opened with the same old story of shells, shells in all directions-shells everywhere. The Parrott guns were most engaged in shelling the Catholic church, and nine small shells entered the building on this day. From the position which the batteries held they appeared to have a cross and an enfilading fire over the whole city. As usual, the shelling was much more serious at night than in daytime. Saturday, June 20.--This morning the furies seem to have broken loose on the Federal lines. The shells came with a fiendish rapidity, and the air was so full of the missiles that the unbroke
Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 19: battle of the forts and capture of New Orleans. (search)
ned with grape and canister. Scarcely were we above the line of fire when we found ourselves attacked by the Confederate fleet of gun-boats. This was hot but more congenial work. Two large steamers now attempted to board, one on our starboard bow, the other astern; a third on our starboard beam. The 11-inch Dahlgren being trained on this fellow, we fired at a range of thirty yards. The effect was very destructive; he immediately steered in shore, ran aground and burnt himself up. The Parrott gun on the forecastle drove off one on the bow, while we prepared to repel boarders, so close was our remaining enemy. About this time Boggs and Lee came dashing in, and made a finish of the Confederate boats-eleven in all. In the gray of the morning discovered a camp with Confederate flags flying; opened with canister, and at 5 A. M. received the sword and flag of Colonel Szymanski and his command of five companies, arms and camp equipage. While engaged at this point, observed the Var
ilip, when we opened with grape and canister. Scarcely were we above the line of fire, when we found ourselves attacked by the rebel fleet of gunboats. This was hot, but more congenial work. Two large steamers now attempted to board at our starboard bow; the other astern, a third on our starboard-beam. The eleven-inch Dahlgren being trained on this fellow, we fired at a range of thirty yards. The effect was very destructive. She immediately steered in shore, run aground, and sunk. The Parrott gun on the forecastle drove off the one on the bow, while we prepared to repel boarders, so close was our remaining enemy about this time. Boggs and Lee came dashing in, and made a finish of the rebel boats, eleven in all. In the grey of the morning we discovered a camp, with the rebel flag flying; opened with canister at five A. M.; received the sword and flag of Colonel Szymanski, and his command of Fire companies, arms, and camp equipage. While engaged at this point, observed the
ir fire until the enemy left the field. In the evening of the same day it was again engaged at Gaines's farm; the three howitzers being stationed on the brow of the hill, near the barn, where they shelled the enemy's position in the woods. The Parrott piece on the right of the barn engaged one of the enemy's batteries on the south side of the Chickahominy, thus drawing a raking fire away from our infantry, while charging the enemy's position. The Parrott gun continued to fire until the enemyParrott gun continued to fire until the enemy's battery became silent; but I myself, being accidentally present, withdrew the howitzers early in the evening. They were inefficient against the battery because of their short range, and they could no longer shel the enemy's infantry without endangering our own troops. This battery was subsequently engaged on this side of the Chickahominy, in the battle of Monday, thirtieth, near Enroughty's house. It fired but a few rounds. Still it was much exposed to the fire of artillery and infantry.
t Totten, east of Fort Stevens; Fort Lincoln, still farther south; and finally Fort C. F. Smith, to show the type of construction of the later forts. Thus the reader completely encircles Washington, and beholds varied types of sixty-eight forts and batteries. These mounted 807 guns and ninety-eight mortars, with emplacements for 1,120 guns more. There were also 35,711 yards of rifle-trenches and three blockhouses. Fort Lyon, above pictured, lay across Hunting Creek from Alexandria. The Parrott guns were rifled cannon of cast-iron, strengthened at the breech by shrinking a band of wrought-iron over the section which contained the powder charge. The body of the larger Parrott guns was cast hollow and cooled by the Rodman process — a stream of water or air flowing through the interior. About 1,700 of these guns were purchased by the Federal Ordnance Department during the war and used in the defense of Washington and in the great sieges. and create uncertainty among public servant
in security for the gunners while loading, is by elevating the breech and depressing the muzzle, until the piece stands at an angle of 30°, or thereabouts. The charge is then inserted through a hole in the deck, if on shipboard, or from below the top of the parapet, if mounted in a fortification en barbette. For heavy guns the rammer is worked by steam-power. This plan of loading was tried on the Naugatuck, a small iron-clad presented by Mr. Stevens to the United States government. The Parrott gun mounted on this vessel burst while she was engaged with the Confederate forts on James River. The disaster was supposed by some to be the result of the manner of loading, as affording the shot a chance to slip forward after being driven home. Eads's system of working barbette-guns consists in removing the piece bodily below the parapet while loading, and only elevating it to position at the moment of firing. Fig. 3409 shows a carriage for operating a gun in this manner. The reco
James Russell Soley, Professor U. S. Navy, Confederate Military History, a library of Confederate States Military History: Volume 7.1, The blockade and the cruisers (ed. Clement Anselm Evans), The blockade and the cruisers. (search)
fully tested, and the prescribed service-charge was smaller than it was afterward found that the gun would bear. The latest development of the smooth-bore gun was the Xv-inch, one of which was generally mounted in each monitor turret. Rifled guns were gradually introduced during the war. These were chiefly Parrott guns, 20-, 30-, and 100-pounders. They were cast-iron guns, strengthened by a wrought-iron band around the breech. Later, 60-pounders and 150-pounders were manufactured. The Parrott gun of the smaller calibres was serviceable, but as a heavy gun it was dangerous, and occasionally burst. Besides the Parrott guns, a few light cast-iron Dahlgren rifles were made; and in the Western flotilla, when it was transferred to the navy, there were several army rifled 42-pounders, which were so dangerous as to be nearly useless. The demands of the new service were many and various. There was the river service, where the navy acted largely in co-operation with the army, in the
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 16. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The Wee Nee volunteers of Williamsburg District, South Carolina, in the First (Hagood's) regiment. (search)
the most highly-colored accounts which I have ever heard. No words in the English language can exaggerate it. The mortar shells of the enemy, which could be seen throughout their entire flight, fell so fast that they could not be counted. The Parrott guns were so near that the explosion of their shells in the fort drowned the report of the guns. Many men were killed and wounded; some of them, without being struck, rendered for a while completely insensible by concussion. All of our guns in off the greater portion of his head. A Christian gentleman, true-hearted patriot, and brave soldier was lost in him. A good many of the mortar shells being visible, as they came hissing and spluttering into our works, could be avoided. The Parrott guns sent their shells without warning. The fort was now being so rapidly demolished that it soon became evident that it could not stand a much longer continuation of the bombardment. The parapet of the salient was gone, and the ditch at that
Comte de Paris, History of the Civil War in America. Vol. 4. (ed. Henry Coppee , LL.D.), Book III:—the Third winter. (search)
nificant. Since the 19th of July the garrison had lost two hundred and ninety-six men, almost all of them during the latter days. It had abandoned twenty-five cannons to the besiegers. Out of the seventeen pieces which Fort Wagner mounted, only three had been dismounted. The besiegers, on the other hand, had not lost a single piece by the fire from the place, but a large number of guns had been rendered unfit for service, owing either to accidents or to firing too long continued. The Parrott guns of large calibre had, in this ordeal, shown a great firing power, but a great inequality of resistance. The three-hundred-pounder, six two-hundred-pounders, and seventeen one-hundred-pounders had burst during the progress of the siege. It must be said that some of these accidents were caused by the premature explosion of the shells, and could not, therefore, be blamed on the gun itself. The task assigned to the land forces had been accomplished; their feeble effective numbers, as
The Daily Dispatch: July 2, 1861., [Electronic resource], The Read shell in the fight at Bethel. (search)
d, rendered efficient aid in discomfiting the invaders of the Old Dominion. The Howitzer Battery, under Col. Magruder, did good service; but the prominent place is assigned to a Parrott gun, firing the Read shells, which were purchased last year by the Military Commissioners of Virginia. These shells, it seems, were fired with much precision, and exploded with such fatal effects in the ranks of the enemy as to render the working of the hostile artillery almost impossible. The Parrott guns, prudently provided by Virginia, were cast iron six-pounders, manufactured and rified expressly for firing the Read shells. We do not wonder that they should have made their mark at Bethel, as we have just inspected a table of practice with one of these same guns at West Point, last summer, showing that a shell weighing nine and a half pounds, fired with only one pound of powder, ranged two miles and a quarter at 15 deg. elevation, and at 35 deg. elevation struck three miles and a hal
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