• Poplar Grove National Cemetery Luminary Event (photo courtesy of Joanne Williams)

    Petersburg

    National Battlefield Virginia

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Artillery Equipment

Artillery Crew "The gun is the rallying point of the detachment, its point of honor, its flag, its banner. It is that to which the men look, by which they stand, with and for which they fight, by and for which they fall. As long as the gun is theirs, they are unconquered, victorious; when the gun is lost, all is lost."
Robert Stiles, Major of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia



Artillery Trousers "They make a fine appearance in their beautiful uniform, which is made of dark blue material, the coat buttoning straight up the front, fastened by the waist by a belt, with a short skirt below it. The pants and coat are trimmed with red, which is the style for artillery suits, and above all a cap to match, mounted with two brass cannon crossed obliquely."
- Bedford Light Artillery




Kepi "Caps were destined to hold out longer than some other uncomfortable things, but they finally yielded to the demands of comfort and common sense, and a good soft felt hat was worn instead."
Francis McCarthy, Richmond Howitzers


Mortar "...to sit behind a bank of earth and hear one of these old mortars belch, look up and see the shell going up toward the skies until out of sight, knowing that it was going to come down and perhaps burst in the air just above the ground and the instruments of death sent hither and tither over a line of helpless men."
George Harrison Dorman


Shell "Seeing a large shell descending directly toward him, I called to him to look out! When he raised his head, this shell was within five feet of him and grazed his back before entering the ground close behind him. He was severely shocked, and for some days unfit for duty."
Edward A. Moore, Rockbridge Artillery

Cannon "For one hour without cessation or interval the iron storm raged over our heads, the screaming hurtling misiles suggesting that ten thousand devils were holding high carnival in mid air, or forty thousand juvenile hogs had attempted a passage through a fence and stuck."
Lt. J. J. Scroggs, 5th USCT


Spongerammer "At last a little fellow who had been in my Sunday-school class in New Haven recognized me. How he happened to do this is a mystery...I had lost my hat, my hair was close-shingled, skin tanned red brown; I had on only flannel shirt, pants, belt and shoes; shirt front wide open, sleeves rolled up, clothes and skin spattered black with powder water from the sponge--indeed I was, all in all, about as desperate looking a ruffian as could well be found or imagined."
Robert Stiles

Artillery crews used a number of implements to fire cannon. Each of the artillerymen was assigned a position on the cannon, and the implements were assigned according to the position. Illustrated below in order from left to right: gunner's haversack, sponge bucket, friction primer, gunner's pouch, and a lanyard

Gunner's Haversack Sponge Bucket Friction Primer Gunner's Pouch Lanyard

Did You Know?

Poplar Grove National Cemetery

Poplar Grove National Cemetery, located just south of Petersburg, Virginia, has two Medal of Honor recipients buried there: Lewis Morgan (Grave #3142) and Henry Hardenburg (Grave #1283). (Petersburg National Battlefield)