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A mammoth sea-coast cannon aimed by wooden wedges--1861 this Rodman smooth-bore gun in Port Royal, South Carolina, is mounted on a wooden carriage of a type prevalent during the war. These carriages were sufficiently strong to carry the guns of that time, being made of selected oak, beech, ash, hickory, cypress, or some other durable and resisting wood; but at the close of the war the increased size and power of the guns had surpassed the strength of the old carriages, and the Ordnance Department was confronted with the problem of replacing all the old carriages and making iron carriages for the guns then in process of construction. The elevating device seen on this carriage is primitive, consisting of wooden wedges to be inserted, one on top of another, until the required elevation of the breach was obtained. The recoil on firing sent the piece back, and it was loaded in its recoil position. The piece was returned “in battery” by inserting the bars in the holes in the wheels of the upper carriage. The piece is centered on a pivot, and wheels running on the circular track allow it to be “traversed.” this was known as a “center-pintle” carriage. It could be revolved in a complete circle.

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Port Royal (South Carolina, United States) (1)

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T. J. Rodman (1)
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