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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sullivans Island in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Civil War Armament

1861 - 1865

 
 
Civil War Armament Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, May 17, 2009
1. Civil War Armament Marker
Inscription. The row of cannon in front of you dates from the Civil War, when radical advances in technology increased power, range, and accuracy.

Union armories produced new, larger rifled cannon; the South had few foundries and used existing weapons, often "rifling and banding" older smoothbore cannon to increase firepower. Confederates used a wide variety of weapons at Fort Moultrie. If you look into the cannon barrels here you can see some smoothbores and some that are rifled.

Banding cannon increased its firepower. A band of wrought iron expanded by heat, was slipped over the cast iron barrel. The band cooled, shrinking tightly in place, strengthening the breech to withstand the pressure of a greater powder charge. For more strength, additional bands were added.

Rifling (cutting spiral grooves in a weapon's bore) gave a stabilizing spin to a projectile. Rifled cannon had greater range than smoothbores of similar size, and their new projectiles were usually more accurate and destructive than the old round shot and shells.

The new elongated shells had an aerodynamic shape, and were larger, heavier, and could be filled with explosives.

Lanyard
To fire mortars and cannon, the hook of the lanyard was attached to the friction primer. When the lanyard cord was pulled, the primer's flame ignited the powder
Civil War Armament Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Stanley and Terrie Howard, May 17, 2009
2. Civil War Armament Marker
charge.

The short-barreled mortar fired spherical shells with timed fuses. Mortars were designated to fire upward in an arc, while cannon fired in a low trajectory.


 
Erected by National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 32° 45.537′ N, 79° 51.419′ W. Marker is in Sullivans Island, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is on Poe Avenue. Click for map. Located on "Cannon Row" at Fort Moultrie National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Sullivans Island SC 29482, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 13-Inch Seacoast Mortar (here, next to this marker); 10-Inch Confederate Columbiad (a few steps from this marker); 10-Inch Columbiad (Rodman) (a few steps from this marker); H.L. Hunley Disappears (a few steps from this marker); 10-Inch Columbiad, Rifled and Banded (within shouting distance of this marker); 7-Inch Brooke Rifle, Triple Banded (within shouting distance of this marker); Battle of Fort Sullivan (within shouting distance of this marker); 8-inch Parrott (200 Pounder) (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Sullivans Island.
 
More about this marker. Across the bottom of the marker are drawings
Civil War Armament Marker and Artillery Row Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, May 3, 2010
3. Civil War Armament Marker and Artillery Row
illustrating banding and rifling of cannon, the cross section of an elongated shell, a friction primer, and a mortar. In the upper right is a drawing captioned, A cannon barrel is rifled at the West Point Foundry, Cold Spring, N.Y. This Union foundry could turn out 25 heavy guns and 7,000 shells a week.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Row of Civil War Era Cannon Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, circa 1993
4. Row of Civil War Era Cannon
The first gun in this row is a 10-inch Parrott Rifle. Next in line is a 6.4-inch Parrott. And third in line is a rare Triple Banded Brooke 7-inch Rifle.
More Civil War Era Cannon Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, circa 1993
5. More Civil War Era Cannon
The guns seen here include a 10-inch Columbiad which was banded and rifled by the Confederates (originally a Model 1844), two 10-inch Rodman Seacoast Guns, a Confederate 8-inch "Rodman" gun, and a 13-inch Seacoast Mortar.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,053 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina.   3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   4, 5. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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