Cannon, mortars and howitzers made up the three types of artillery used at Yorktown by the Americans, French and British.
Cannon included both field guns, which were lightweight, mobile pieces and heavy siege guns which had limited mobility. Field guns, firing solid shot, grapeshot and canister in a fairly flat trajectory, could tear large holes in the enemy’s infantry ranks. Siege cannon fired solid shot, destroying fortifications and buildings. Against ships, cannon crews utilized hot shot, a superheated cannon ball that could set a ship on fire; and bar shot and chain shot, (two halves of a cannon ball attached by either a bar or chain) that could pull down a ship’s mast and rigging.