Lonoke in Lonoke County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
A Gun for All Reasons
3-inch Gun was light, accurate and lethal
The 3-inch Ordnance Rifle was also known as the ordnance rifle, the ordnance gun, the Griffen gun, and was sometimes erroneously referred to as the Rodman rifle.
The gun was invented by John Griffen, superintendent of the Safe Harbor Iron Works in Pennsylvania. His initial design was built by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, which manufactured most of the 3-inch Rifles used in the Union Armies. Griffen developed a process whereby strips of wrought iron 3/4 inches thick and 4 1/2 inches wide were wrapped around an iron core by a lathe. The tube was then heated and rolled to a length of seven feet before trunnions were welded on. Finally, a bore was reamed out. This process made the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle the lightest gun in field artillery service during the Civil War.
Despite its light weight, the process of wrapping the wrought iron bands around the core made it the strongest, most durable gun in the field. The gun was deployed in support of infantry to repulse enemy assaults, often positioned behind the lines and fired over the heads of friendly troops. Range made the piece excellent for long-range shelling.
The rifle that stands before you was brought to the Lonoke County Courthouse before 1911 through the efforts of John Hallum, a soldier in the Civil War and a one time lawyer in Lonoke.
Inset table of information
U.S. M-1861 3-inch Ordnance Rifle
Bore diameter 3 inches
Tube composition Wrought Iron
Length 73 inches
Length of tube 69 inches
Weight of tube 816 pounds
Local stories about the rifle are that it was uned in the Brooks/Baxter War of 1874 and that it was taken from Federal forces and hidden in a bayou and nicknamed the Lady Furlow. It was restored in the 1920s in a blacksmith shop across from the courthouse.
Little documented history of Rifle No. 705 can be found. However, guns of this type were in the area from September, 1863 to 1865, being deployed by such units as the Battery K, Second Missouri Light Artillery (US) and The Twenty-fifth Ohio Battery (US) in the Little Rock Campaign, including Browsville and Reed's Bridge.
Inset table of information
The Hotchkiss Shell (image actual size)
Weight 9.5 pounds
Powder charge 1 pound
Range @ 5° elev. 1,830 yards
Muzzle velocity 1,215 ft./sec.
This projectile was invented by Andrew Hotchkiss of Sharon, Connecticut, and patented October
In addition to the Hotchkiss Steel Shell, a 3 Inch Shenkle round was used under certain circumstances.
This wayside exhibit was made possible by a generous gift from Arkansas Senator Bobby Glover (D)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1863.
Location. 34° 47.117′ N, 91° 53.983′ W. Marker is in Lonoke, Arkansas, in Lonoke County. Marker is on North Center Street (State Highway 31) north of 2nd Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker and rifle are located on the grounds of the Lonoke County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lonoke AR 72086, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Senator Joe T. Robinson (here, next to this marker); Lonoke County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Lonoke Landmarks (within shouting distance of this marker); Hicks' Station in the Civil War (approx. 1½ miles away); Battle of Brownsville (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Little Rock Campaign - BrownsvilleAction at Ashley's Station (approx. 8.7 miles away); William H. Fuller (approx. 8.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lonoke.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2013, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 903 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on June 6, 2013, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.