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Mystery civil war gun...

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  • Mystery civil war gun...






    Right ,I find two opposite references for this civil war gun, I think its a confederate gun due to the photos of this gun crew.

    The siege of richmond is where I found it.

    So what is it?
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

  • #2
    Not much to go on but I'm guessing that it is at minimum a 24-pounder Siege Gun maybe larger. If I recall correctly the troops in the picture are all Union.
    My worst jump story:
    My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
    As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
    No lie.

    ~
    "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
    -2 Commando Jumpmaster

    Comment


    • #3
      From the rough scaling it appears to be a 60 pound Parrott Rifle on a boat carriage mounted to a railcar. With the complete lack of uniformity, I'm not able to definitively say if it's confederate or federa troops, as confederates also wore blue throughout the war. It could also be a 6.4in Brooke Rifle. Both had that banded breech, though it looks like a parrot to me from this angle.
      Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
        From the rough scaling it appears to be a 60 pound Parrott Rifle on a boat carriage mounted to a railcar. With the complete lack of uniformity, I'm not able to definitively say if it's confederate or federa troops, as confederates also wore blue throughout the war. It could also be a 6.4in Brooke Rifle. Both had that banded breech, though it looks like a parrot to me from this angle.
        Likely a Parrott.... not Confederate.
        My worst jump story:
        My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
        As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
        No lie.

        ~
        "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
        -2 Commando Jumpmaster

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 101combatvet View Post
          Likely a Parrott.... not Confederate.
          Looks like a parrott to me as well. Just the distance on the breech of the band seems to scream Parrott. Now it could be a 32 or 60 pounder, I'm having some trouble with figuring out the exact scale.

          As for the uniforms.....the man sitting on the rails is wearing a cadet uniform, likely, as he has a white crossbelt and that is most certainly not a USMC uniform (it's a sack coat not a frock coat). One possibility there is that the crossbelt is a holdover from a militia or cadet status and the uniform has come from other sources later, as other accoutrements don't really match. The man with his hand on the gun is wearing a matching sack coat and trousers. I don't know of any Federal units that had matching coats and trousers as their TO&E. It's possible that it's a combination of uniforms, but it appears that indeed the color of the uniform is lighter than navy blue. Since the US military wore sky blue trousers and navy blue sack coats or frocks, it appears to be a butternut or grey color uniform. I would further support that by saying that it matches the lumber of the carriage in contrast, which is unlikely to have been painted, and would be a brown or gray color with age. His felt hat is also very non-regulation, but that's only support, not evidence in itself, as the kepi, bummer, and random felt hats were all commonplace. The Officer behind him is wearing a light colored sash over a very dark (navy blue or black) frock coat and trousers. His hat also doesn't quite match the norm for officers of the period....maybe it's well-worn, damaged, or a latecomer to the ensemble. The man (officer?) standing behind the carriage is wearing a kepi that might or might not have braid on it, possibly an artillery officer or naval officer. He is wearing what is likely a raincoat, not an overcoat, which could imply a naval officer as those were more common to the naval service than the land services, and it does not appear in this photo to be particularly cold. The picture is too poor for the last man to give much indication.

          As for the Railcar, if you look at the smaller picture, you'll notice that the iron armor on the carriage is bands approx 4" in width. If you look at the edge of the armor on the large picture, you'll notice that it appears to be 90 degrees offset from the front shot of the armor. Confederate Ironclads of the mid-late war were made with 2x4" iron bands because no ironworks in the South was capable of mass producing larger plate. The crossways laminating of 2 layers of plate backed by 2-4 layers of hardwood was the practice used to make the ironclads such as the CSS Albemarle. Taking a look at the carriage (minus the RR tracks) it appears that someone literally took a slice of an ironclad casemate, or manufactured an exact copy of one (even the angle is approximately the correct 30 degrees).

          Also, a note that the carriage is most definitely a naval gun carriage of the period, and on the left appears to be an eye and a part of a line that would have been used with tackles to bring the gun back into battery after loading.

          The gauge of the tracks is inconclusive.

          With all the factors in mind, I'm 75% certain that it's a Confederate gun crew and weapon system. Both sides worked on railway guns at different points. But most pieces of this photo scream Confederate to me.

          Oh, and I found a possible source for it. Still digging though. Wikipedia has this photo as being of 'disputed origin'. According to this source, it was made for the battle of Savage's Station, by request from Lee that such a gun be made to help compete with the larger number of Federal Siege artillery. The project also involved 2 naval officers, which could explain the somewhat oddly clad officers in the photo. The gun in question was a 32 pounder, and that type was ubiquitous throughout the war, just in small quantities and normally used in a naval or seacoast setting. The naval carriage is also in agreement with a project by naval artillerists.

          http://markerhunter.wordpress.com/20...avage-station/
          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

          Comment


          • #6
            It was the first "railway gun" commissioned to be built by no less than Robert E. Lee himself IIRC, it was first used during the "Peninsula Campaign" during the summer of 1862.
            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
              It was the first "railway gun" commissioned to be built by no less than Robert E. Lee himself IIRC, it was first used during the "Peninsula Campaign" during the summer of 1862.
              "The first railway gun used in combat was a banded 32-pounder Brooke naval rifle mounted on a flat car and shielded by a sloping casemate of railroad iron. On 29 June 1862, Robert E. Lee had the gun pushed by a locomotive over the Richmond and York River line (later part of the Southern Railway) and used at the Battle of Savage's Station to interfere with General George McClellan's plans for siege operations against Richmond during the Union advance up the peninsula.[5] Photographic evidence exists of at least one Union 13-inch siege mortar mounted on a rail car during the Siege of Petersburg. It was nicknamed the Dictator or the Petersburg Express.[6] Another photo exists of a gun mounted on an armored rail car with the caption of "Railway battery used in siege of Petersburg" although no textual evidence survives in support of the caption, which makes the claim that it is a photo of the Confederate gun from 1862 dubious."

              I now recall the photo being in Miller's 10 volume history. So the gun is Confederate but might have been taken after it's capture?

              Here Union troops are "clowning" with a Brooke.

              Last edited by 101combatvet; 20 Sep 12, 19:15.
              My worst jump story:
              My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
              As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
              No lie.

              ~
              "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
              -2 Commando Jumpmaster

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for catching that 101. I couldn't tell if it was a brooke or Parrott from the photo. My research had just led me to Lt. Brooke, who was actually on the design team for this project....makes it a no brainer that it's a brooke rifle.
                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                Comment


                • #9
                  John nailed it.... and I should have known but that cascabel is different in the pictures that I looked at.
                  My worst jump story:
                  My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                  As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                  No lie.

                  ~
                  "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                  -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd say it is more likely a 8" or 10" Columbiad than a Brooke. The knob on the back matches those on Columbiads more closely and many Columbiads were banded. I'll see if I can find some photos to put up.

                    http://www.flickr.com/photos/america...os/5989297844/
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 20 Sep 12, 23:09.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Many CW photos are miss labeled so I wouldn't be all that surprised.
                      My worst jump story:
                      My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
                      As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
                      No lie.

                      ~
                      "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
                      -2 Commando Jumpmaster

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would also say that it is possible that it is a Confederate piece. The gun looks more like one the Tredgar Iron works produced than a Union made gun.

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