A strong cord with a hook at one end used to fire a cannon. In use, the wire of the friction primer was hooked to the lanyard. The long tube of the friction primer was inserted into the vent. A steady, quick pull on the lanyard set off the powder which ignited the charge. It was a convenient and generally sure method of firing artillery.
Each limber carried an ammunition chest that contained various quantities of ammunition depending on the cannons in the battery. In addition, friction primers and fuses were to be found in the chest, and the limber itself was a means of hauling a cannon. The limber was pulled by 4 to 6 horses.
Did You Know?
Union Brevet Brigadier General Frederick Winthrop was Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop's sixth great-grandson. Winthrop was mortally wounded at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. (Petersburg National Battlefield)