Sullivans Island in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Civil War Armament
1861 - 1865
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
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 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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 32° 45.537′ N, 79° 51.419′ W. Marker was in Sullivans Island, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker was on Poe Avenue. Located on "Cannon Row" at Fort Moultrie National Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Sullivans Island SC 29482, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Civil War Defense of Sullivan's Island (here, next to this marker); Cannon Row (here, next to 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 Discovering the Hunley (a few steps from this marker); The Hunley Recovery Project (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sullivans Island.
More about this marker. Across the bottom of the marker are drawings 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2017. It was originally submitted on May 22, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,195 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 22, 2009, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. 3. submitted on June 21, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4, 5. submitted on May 24, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.