Artillery at Antietam, Part 2
Eight cannoneers are needed to fire field pieces. Five are at the gun--the gunner and cannoneers 1, 2, 3, 4. The gunner is in charge of the piece, he gives the commands and does the aiming. Cannoneers 1-4 actually load, clean and fire the gun. Cannoneer 5 runs the ammunition from the limber to the gun. Cannoneers 6 and 7 prepare ammunition and cut the fuses.
Cast iron with no explosive. Used against cavalry, troops in a column, buildings and other solid objects. More accurate than shell or spherical case with a longer range.
Round, hollow projectile with a powder-filled cavity. Fused; exploded into 5-12 large pieces. Loud air burst terrorized troops and horses.
Developed by British General Henry Shrapnel. Hollow shell with powder and 40-80 musket balls that exploded in all directions. Fused; used 500- 1,500 yards. More effective than shell, but more difficult to manufacture.
Tin can containing 27 iron balls packed in sawdust. Tin can ripped open at the muzzle and showered the balls directly at the troops. Good for repelling the enemy at close range--50-300 yards. For more devastating effect, could be used in double load. Turned cannon into giant shotgun.
At Antietam, Did You Know . . .
Did You Know?
Alexander Gardner's photographs of Antietam were the first ever images to show dead soldiers on the field of battle. A New York Times article about the photographs said it was if the "dead had been laid at our doorsteps." More...