Shrapnel from mortars: “far more effective than shell in… silencing batteries”

During the Civil War, as can be said for most of the “black powder” age, mortars usually fired one type of projectile – the shell.  There were a few variations, which were mostly incendiary shells.  The main disadvantage to the shell when fired vertically was the need to time the burst in order to achieveContinue reading “Shrapnel from mortars: “far more effective than shell in… silencing batteries””

June 4, 1864: Mortars to the front

Even though June 3, 1864 at Cold Harbor is best recalled as an infantryman’s fight, as mentioned yesterday, the Fifth Corps artillery launched over eighteen tons of ordnance towards the Confederate lines.  While massed batteries, as done with great effect just miles to the south at Malvern Hill in 1862, was not an applicable tacticalContinue reading “June 4, 1864: Mortars to the front”

“Light 12-pounders to be used as mortars”: A Spotsylvania ‘what if?’ from the artillery persepctive

I’m a bit behind on “coverage” of artillery subject on my planned sesquicentennial-themed time line.  So I hope you readers will indulge as I back-track here (and a few more times over the next few weeks), chronologically speaking.  The letter below properly fit into a post for the first week of May when I referredContinue reading ““Light 12-pounders to be used as mortars”: A Spotsylvania ‘what if?’ from the artillery persepctive”