Howitzers from Poplar Avenue: 12-pdrs from Quinby & Robinson

Time to discuss some of the products from my favorite Confederate gunmaker.  Even before Tennessee had officially seceded, the firm of Quinby & Robinson began casting cannon at their Memphis foundry located near the corner of Poplar and Front Streets.  Hindered by a fire which destroyed much of the foundry, Quinby & Robinson still managed to deliver over 75 cannon before Memphis fell to Federal forces.  The majority of those pieces, forty or so, were 12-pdr field howitzers.   Eight of those are reported as survivors today.

One of those howitzers ventured far from its western Tennessee home, standing today as part of Poague’s Howitzers near the Virginia Memorial at Gettysburg.

Gettysburg 184
Quinby & Robinson 12-pdr Field Howitzer

Externally, Quinby & Robinson followed the Federal Model 1841 pattern rather closely.

Gettysburg 181
Muzzle Moldings on Quinby & Robinson Howitzer

Missing is the thin fillet on the muzzle ring, but that ring and the chase ring are within tolerances for the Model 1841 pattern.  The Memphis-made howitzer has a bit more muzzle lip however.

Gettysburg 180
Neck and Fillet on Breech

Quinby & Robinson allowed nearly a half-inch fillet for the cascabel neck.

Gettysburg 179
Trunnions and Reinforce

The reinforce and trunnions also matched the Federal pattern.  The howitzer at Gettysburg has a thin line behind the trunnions, almost delineating a trunnion band.  But this appears to be a variation on this piece and not a feature on all weapons in the series.

Gettysburg 178
Right Trunnion

The right trunnion reads “Quinby & Robinson // Memphis Tenn.”

Gettysburg 182
Left Trunnion

And the left simply reads “1861.”

The 12-pdr at Gettysburg certainly adds to the “Confederate” flavor to the display, standing next to other howitzers of southern origin (a Washington Foundry and two Noble Brothers howitzers along with an Alger piece). But the Quinby & Robinson howitzer is out of place geographically.  More to my taste are these two examples at Shiloh.

Ruggles bty 371
Bankhead's Battery on Ruggles' Line at Shiloh

Two Quinby & Robinson howitzers represent Bankhead’s Tennessee Battery on Ruggles’ Line.  One of the pair was cast in 1861.  Since Bankhead’s formed in Memphis, and was equipped with 12-pdr howitzers, this raises a possibility that very piece was on the field with the battery during the battle.  I bet someone was thinking about that possibility when they put it there.