Bottom of the Barrel, Part 3: Confederate 13-inch Mortars

Another example of Confederate use of old ordnance comes from the service files of William Richardson Hunt: The document accounts for the issue of a 13-inch mortar, mortar bed, 12 shells, and 250 fuse plugs in April 1862 for use at Fort Pillow. Hunt sent the mortar to Captain Hugh T. Scott, ordnance officer atContinue reading “Bottom of the Barrel, Part 3: Confederate 13-inch Mortars”

What can a picture tell us? : Mortars at Yorktown

No doubt you’ve seen this wartime photo a time or two. Yes, Federal officers and crews proudly posing with those massive 13-inch seacoast mortars. Usually, this photo carries a caption mentioning McClellan’s slowness and maybe something about poor intelligence. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The scene is Battery No. 4, near the Moore House, facing the ConfederateContinue reading “What can a picture tell us? : Mortars at Yorktown”

The Mortar Schooners: Bombarding the Mississippi Forts

Continuing the discussion of 13-inch mortars in action, I’ve posted an article on the Civil War Navy Sesquicentennial blog detailing the Navy’s mortar schooners used below New Orleans.   The piece complements a series of cross-posts between the CWN150 blog and the Civil War Monitor’s Front Line blog, all focused on the campaign to take NewContinue reading “The Mortar Schooners: Bombarding the Mississippi Forts”