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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Atlantic Beach in Carteret County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Hot Shot Furnace

 
 
Hot Shot Furnace Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010
1. Hot Shot Furnace Marker
Inscription. This replica Hot Shot Furnace stands on the foundation of Fort Macon's original Hot Shot Furnace, built in 1836. Hot Shot Furnaces were used in forts to heat non-explosive cannonballs red hot for use against the unarmored wooden enemy warships of the period. Once heated to red heat in the furnace (about 1077), the cannonballs were loaded into cannons and fired into enemy warships to set them afire.

This furnace, and another used on the fort's outer wall, stood until the advent of armored warship in the War Between the States made them obsolete. They were dismantled by 1867.

How the Furnace Works
Cold cannonballs are placed on the shot rails from the high end of the furnace. They roll down over the firebox. When those directly over the firebox are heated to red heat, they are removed, allowing the next cannonballs to roll into their place over the fire to begin heating.

How do you handle red hot cannonballs?
These implements were used to remove the red hot cannonballs from the furnace and carry them up to the cannons for loading. In loading hot shot into a cannon, gun crews placed wads of clay or wet hay between the cannon's gunpowder charge and the red hot cannonball to prevent a premature discharge of the cannon.
 
Location. 34° 41.763′ 
Hot Shot Furnace and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010
2. Hot Shot Furnace and Marker
The metal cleats on the outside of the furnace anchor bars which support the rails and other components.
N, 76° 40.719′ W. Marker is near Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, in Carteret County. Marker is on Fort Macon Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located on the Parade Field of Fort Macon, Fort Macon State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Atlantic Beach NC 28512, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Model 1841 Navy 32-pounder (a few steps from this marker); Rifled 32-pounder (within shouting distance of this marker); Model 1841 6-pounder Field Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); Model 1861 10-inch Siege Mortars (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Fort Macon (within shouting distance of this marker); Mortar Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); Cistern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Bogue Banks Lighthouse (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Atlantic Beach.
 
More about this marker. The marker has a plan view of a hot shot furnace and diagrams of implements used to handle hot shot.
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Rails in the Furnace image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010
3. Rails in the Furnace
Back Gate in Furnace image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, May 2, 2010
4. Back Gate in Furnace
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 800 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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