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 worked with difficulty, and every one of the six was at some time disabled by the breaking of some of its parts, but all were repaired again and kept in service. As a general field-piece its efficiency was impaired by its weight and the very cumbrous English carriage on which it was mounted, and while a few with an army may often be valuable, the United States three-inch rifle is much more generally serviceable with good ammunition. The Blakely guns were twelve-pounder rifles, muzzle-loaders, and fired very well with English ammunition (‘built-up’ shells with leaden bases), but with the Confederate substitute, they experienced the same difficulties which attended this ammunition in all guns The only advantage to be claimed for this gun is its lightness, but this was found to involve the very serious evil that no field-carriage could be made to withstand its recoil. It was continually splitting the trails or racking to pieces its carriages, though made of unusual strength and weight. Of the Armstrong shunt-guns, six were obtained just before the close of the war, and they were never tried in the field. They were muzzleloaders, and nothing could exceed their accuracy and the perfection of the ammunition. Their heavy English carriages were more unwieldy than those of the American rifles, but taking all things into consideration, the guns are probably the most effective field-rifles yet made. Besides these English rifles, a few captured James rifles (brass sixpounder smooth-bores, grooved to fire the James projectile), and some old iron four-pounders grooved, were tried in the field for a short while, but were found to be very poor, and as a multiplicity of calibres rendered the supplying of ammunition very difficult, they were soon turned in. In fact, the variety of calibres comprised in the artillery was throughout the war a very great inconvenience, and materially affected the efficiency of the ordnance-service both in the quantity of ammunition carried and the facility with which it was supplied. At the commencement of the war this variety was often almost ludicrously illustrated by single batteries of four guns, of four different calibres, and it was only after the battalions were well organized in the winter of 1862 that anything was done to simplify this matter. The heavy guns which defended the James river against the enemy's fleet were principally the ordinary eight-inch and ten-inch columbiads,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Beauregard 's report of the battle of Drury's Bluff .
Federal testimony as to the Merrimac and Monitor.
Report of General Braxton Bragg .
List of officers of the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia, March 8th , 1862 .
[read before the Louisville Southern Historical Association .]
Paper no. 4 .
A lecture delivered in Baltimore , in November , 1872 , by Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney .
Letter to General Bragg .
[funeral eulogy at Port Gibson , December 27th , 1882 .]
Address of Hon. C. E. Hooker , of Mississippi .
Confederate Artillery at Second Manassas and Sharpsburg .
Our fallen comrades.
Speech of Colonel T. L. Bayne , of the Washington Artillery .
Unveiling of Valentine 's Recumbent figure of Lee at Lexington, Va. , June 28th , 1883 .
General Lee in command of the Army of Northern Virginia —Richmond, Manassas , Harper's Ferry , Sharpsburg , Fredericksburg .
Sketch of the Lee Memorial Association .
The artist and his work.
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Lee and Scott .
The Kentucky campaign.
The twenty-fourth South Carolina at the battle of Jonesboro .
Official report of Colonel George William Logan , on the engagement between the Federal gunboats and Fort Beauregard , on the 10th and Sixth May , 1863 .
Who fired the first gun at Sumter ?
A narrative of Stuart 's Raid in the rear of the Army of the Potomac .
The annual meeting of the Southern Historical Society .
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Address of General Dabney H. Maury at the Reunion of Confederate veterans, Maury camp, no. 2 , Fredericksburg, Va. , August 23 , 1883 .
Stray leaves from a soldier's Journal.
Correction of errors in statement of Governor Anderson , and letter of General Echols .
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.