Bottom of the Barrel, part 2: Confederate use of “ancient bronze mortar”

Earlier I mentioned an old Spanish mortar, now at Castillo de San Marcos, which, if inscriptions are believed, was used by the Confederates in Florida.

Recently, searching for wartime illustrations to support a blog post, I ran across another incident where the Confederates used weapons better suited for a museum, even 150 years ago.

The caption reads, “One of the ancient bronze mortars of the time of George II, found at Island No. 10. Formerly in Jackson Square, New Orleans.” The royal seal is fairly well reproduced in the drawing. Better than most of us could probably draw. If the artist did not take artistic license with the perspective, this mortar must be a Coehorn class. I can only speculate some Confederate officer saw this mortar as something to fill a gap…or at least cover a flank.

So from a trophy display in New Orleans to the front lines of the Civil War, a weapon well past its prime saw some limited service. The Confederates drafted what they had on hand to meet needs. And these were not isolated cases of appropriated “trophies”. I’ll offer up more from my files as time permits.


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