Mortars That Signaled the Start of the War

Continuing with my discussion of the cannons used at Fort Sumter in April 1861, I turn now to the mortars employed by the Confederates.  One of these weapons signaled the “start” of the war (although I plead ambiguity there). A drawing in the first volume of Battles and Leaders depicts two mortars on Morris IslandContinue reading “Mortars That Signaled the Start of the War”

The Siege of Fort Pillow

While Fort Pillow is know best for the infamous massacre which occurred when General N.B. Forrest attacked a Federal garrison there on April 12, 1864.  Often overlooked is the siege of Fort Pillow two years earlier as part of the combined Army-Navy advance down the Mississippi River.  Like many of the battle sites in thatContinue reading “The Siege of Fort Pillow”

Mortars at Vicksburg

In our zeal to examine Gettysburg, we often overlook the other major Federal victory in July 1863.  As both armies at Gettysburg reeled from three days of bitter fighting, on July 4 the Confederate defenders of Vicksburg, Mississippi surrendered, marking the end of a protracted campaign aimed at opening a section of the Mississippi River. Continue reading “Mortars at Vicksburg”