“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Parkers Crossroads in Henderson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Manning the Guns

Manning the Guns Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
1. Manning the Guns Marker
Artillery played a decisive role in many Civil War battles, including Parker's Crossroads. Few people realize, however, that manning and equipping a six-gun battery involved approximately 150 men, 110 horses and mules, and hundreds of pieces of equipment.

The Men
A captain commanded the battery. There were four lieutenants, one to command each two-gun "section" and one to command the caissons. There were also two staff sergeants, five mechanics, two blacksmiths, two buglers and a standard bearer. Each gun had one gunner, usually a sergeant, seven artillerists, and at least two horseholders. Almost 70 drivers were needed for the teams that pulled the caissons, limbers, supply wagons, and traveling forge.

The Guns
A full battery consisted of six guns, although four-gun batteries were common, especially in the Confederacy. The most common field pieces were the 3-inch ordnance rifle, the 10-pounder Parrott field rifle, and the 12-pounder Napoleon. Early in the war, 6-pounder bronze field guns and 12-pounder howitzers were common.

The range of these guns varied. Both the Parrotts and the 3-inch ordnance rifles had a range of over one mile. The Napoleon had less range, .92 mile, but because it was a smoothbore was more effective with canister.

The Equipment
Manning the Guns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
2. Manning the Guns Marker
the march, each gun was hooked behind a limber, which carried a chest containing ammunition, primers, and fuses. The limber also carried the tar bucket, canvas water buckets, and a tarpaulin. For each gun in the battery there were at least two caissons, which carried additional ammunition chests, axes, and a spare wheel and pole. The battery wagon carried everything needed to keep the battery in good running order – oil, paint, spokes, spare gunners' tools, harness, spades, scythes, picks, and a complete complement of carriage makers' tools and saddlers' tools – over 125 different items. A rack carried forage for the horses. The traveling forge sat on a limber that also carried smiths' tools, spare hardware, nails, and 200 pounds of horseshoes. There might also be several wagons for extra fodder and supplies.

The Horses & Mules
A battery depended on its horses. A four or six-horse team was needed to pull each caisson, each gun and limber, the battery wagon, the forge, and each additional wagon. Officers rode horses, as did artillerists in a horse artillery battery. Ten or more spare horses were a necessity. Without horses a battery's guns were immobile. They were so important that they, as well as the guns they moved, became targets in combat.
Erected by Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association.
Manning the Guns Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, April 24, 2012
3. Manning the Guns Marker
Looking west on the trail extension toward the marker and the copse of trees.

Location. 35° 47.629′ N, 88° 23.198′ W. Marker is in Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, in Henderson County. Marker can be reached from Tennessee Route 22 0.6 miles north of Interstate 40, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is on the North Loop Walking Trail 0.4 miles from the start of the trail. This marker is found halfway along on the east extension off the loop trail. The North Loop Walking Trail is at Tour Stop #1 (Parkers Crossroads City Park) of the Driving Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Wildersville TN 38388, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Fire Terrible In Its Intensity (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Confederate Horseholders (about 400 feet away); The Battle Begins (about 400 feet away); Fuller's Assault (about 800 feet away); "Give 'Em Hell" (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Charge Them Both Ways" (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle of Parker's Crossroads (approx. 0.2 miles away); Flight to Safety (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Parkers Crossroads.
More about this marker. Marker includes drawings of a Field Carriage , Caisson, Limber, Six-Mule Team and Battery Wagon. Illustrations are from the U.S. Ordnance Manual, 1861
Additional keywords.
Manning the Guns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, October 8, 2010
4. Manning the Guns Marker
Marker in distance (yellow arrow)
Parkers Crossroads
Categories. War, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 255 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   2. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   3. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia.   4. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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