Beginning Monday August 25, the infantry barracks museum will be closed for remodeling and to prepare for a new theater and exhibits. Work is expected to be completed by spring of 2015. The site's movie will be played in the visitor center upon request.
Artillery - Types of Rounds
The types of rounds fired out of the 6-pound field gun were solid shot, spherical case, and canister. All three rounds were fixed ammunition. This means that the ball and black powder charge, a flannel bag filled with powder, were connected with metal straps.
Solid Shot - This is classically known as a cannonball. The weight of the solid shot that a gun would fire determined whether a cannon was a 6-pounder, 12- pounder, etc. Solid shot did serve as an antipersonnel weapon, but its main purpose was to batter down walls, buildings, and other fortifications.
Spherical Case, or Case Shot - This round was the same size as the solid shot. The one major difference was it was hollow in the middle. Inside the hollow case or round was black powder filled with iron balls. Initially, when the powder bag was ignited, the fire would encircle the round inside the cannon tube, igniting a paper fuse that was inserted into a wooden plug at the top of the round. As the ball traveled down range, the fuse would burn until it reached the inside of the round and the black powder would be ignited. The case would burst in the air and above the enemy causing fragments of iron and balls to reign down upon the unlucky foe
Canister - This round was also an antipersonnel weapon. The size of a large orange juice can, it was packed with layer upon layer of 1 inch diameter iron balls and sawdust. When fired, it was basically a gigantic shot gun shell as the powder charge disintegrated the can and it would mow down anyone by spraying out iron balls 400 yards down range within a width of 25 yards as it was being propelled out of the tube.
The information for this section was written by staff at Fort Scott NHS.
Did You Know?
All supplies had to be strictly accounted for at Fort Scott. Upon discovery of 31 barrels of pork that had turned "soft and rusty", Lt. George Wallace, post quartermaster, recommended selling it to the Indians at $4.00 a barrel rather than disposing of it.