12-pdr Napoleon Gun

Posts discussing the 12-pdr Model 1857 Light Field Gun, a.k.a. the “Napoleon”:

The First American “Napoleons”

Napoleons with handles – photo from 1864.


Cyrus Alger production  (A walk around of an “early” production model)

Ames Manufacturing production

Henry N. Hooper production

Greenwood (Eagle Iron Works) production

Revere Copper production

Rifled Napoleons

Phoenix Wrought Iron Napoleon

Bore wear of 12-pdr Napoleons


Overview of Confederate Types

Leeds & Company Napoleons, called “Type 2” by some secondary sources – A look at the guns and more on the weapon’s background

Quinby & Robinson Type 3 Napoleon

Augusta Arsenal Napoleons (Type 5)

Charleston Arsenal Napoleons (Type 5)

Columbus Arsenal Napoleons (Type 5)

Macon Arsenal Napoleons (Type 5)

Tredegar bronze Type 5 Napoleons

Type 6: Confederate Iron Napoleons from Tredegar

Type 6 Iron Napoleons from Augusta Arsenal (Working)

Other Posts

“False Napoleons”

Napoleons at Antietam

Suggestion to use Napoleons as mortars (including test data)

4 thoughts on “12-pdr Napoleon Gun

  1. One question comes into my mind when looking at all those photos of guns from the Civil War you have collected here with all those fantastic posts from your enormous research, givin me a lot of hours of joyfull studying.
    Guns were either made of Bronze, Iron or Steel. Today your photos show that the Iron/Steel guns are all painted black while all Bronze guns stand beautifully patinated without paint.
    The Iron and Steel guns would either have been painted or treated with the preservation methods you use for hand-weapons today (if they knew that process then), otherwise they would be rusting rather fast, giving the crew a lot of work removing the rust and oiling the gun, but that would leave a rather shiny surface, visible at very long distance.
    Now to my question:
    Would Bronze guns be painted too, or would they just be left to get their patina (starting with a matt brownish surface that after many years would get the greenish color you see today)?
    This would either have left the guns very shiny for the first months or they would have gotten a chemical treatment at the factory, giving them the matt brownish patina they would get by time.
    Just curious, knowing all the effords soldiers do today to make their guns “not shiny”.

Leave a Reply to Jeanette Ankerstjerne Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.