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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Sharpsburg in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Load” “Commence Firing”

 
 
"Load" "Commence Firing" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 9, 2008
1. "Load" "Commence Firing" Marker
Inscription. Civil War canoneers of both armies learned from the Artillery Drill manual:
"To the Field Artillery belongs the service of the batteries which manoeuver with the troops on the field of battle. It is divided into two parts. Horse Artillery, which is generally attached to and manoeuvers with cavalry, the cannoneers being mounted on horseback; and Mounted Artillery, which is generally attached to and manoeuvers with infantry, the cannoneers marching at the sides of their pieces or, when necessary, mounting the ammunition chests."

The cannon "are assembled in batteries of six pieces on the war establishment."

"The cannoneers of a piece when united for the service of the gun constitute a detachment, which is composed ordinarily of eight men, commanded by the gunner."

"The Caisson"
"It consists of a frame, mounted on wheels, for the transport of two ammunition chests, a spare wheel, and other spare parts, tools, etc. Its limber is similar to that of the piece. In case of necessity, cannoneers may be transported on the chests."

"The Limber"
"The limber is the forward part of the carriage, and runs upon the two fore wheels .....The ammunition chest serves to transport ammunition, and is placed on the limber."

"The gunner gives all executive commands in action .... When the piece
Marker next to the Artillery Display image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, February 9, 2008
2. Marker next to the Artillery Display
is loaded and pointed, he removes the hausse (sight), gives the command READY, and, stepping clear of the wheel to the side where he can best observe the effect of his shot, gives the command FIRE."

 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 39° 28.491′ N, 77° 44.742′ W. Marker was near Sharpsburg, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker was on Dunker Church Road / Old Hagerstown Pike, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Located at an artillery display just to the north of the Antietam National Battlefield Park Visitors Center. Marker was in this post office area: Sharpsburg MD 21782, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. 10-Pounder Parrott Rifle (a few steps from this marker); 3-Inch Ordnance Rifle (a few steps from this marker); Lee’s Artillery Battalion (a few steps from this marker); Model 1857 12-Pounder Gun-Howitzer (a few steps from this marker); A Converging Storm of Iron (a few steps from this marker); Model 1841 6-Pounder Gun (a few steps from this marker); A Savage Continual Thunder (a few steps from this marker); Longstreet's Command (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Sharpsburg.
 
More about this marker.
Caisson image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 5, 2007
3. Caisson
A caisson and a James Type 1 3.80-inch Rifle are part of the artillery display. Behind the gun is a limber. The field gun is rifled using the James system, and is often referred as a 14-pdr rifled field gun.
On the lower left of the marker is a drawing from the Ordnance Manual of 1861 depicting a caisson. In the center is an Alfred R. Waud drawing of Union artillery at White Oak Swamp, Virginia, June 30, 1862. On the lower right is an illustration from Patton's Artillery Drill of 1861 showing Posts of cannoneers. Piece unlimbered.
 
Regarding “Load” “Commence Firing”. This marker was replaced by one named "A Savage Continual Thunder" (see nearby markers).
 
Also see . . .  Antietam Battlefield. National Park Service site. (Submitted on March 18, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 867 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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