August 19, 1864: “Receipt of heavy cannon by this department is insufficient” and the Ordnance Department wants more Rodman Guns

A theme I have researched for many years is wartime cannon production, on the Federal side, and how that reflected defense policy more so than wartime needs.  While the Confederate side of the story is largely “not enough capacity, make what we can,” the Federal side is much more complex. One might guess, without consultationContinue reading “August 19, 1864: “Receipt of heavy cannon by this department is insufficient” and the Ordnance Department wants more Rodman Guns”

August 10, 1864: Big guns going to… not Charleston… not Petersburg… but San Francisco!

Maybe this sesquicentennial stuff is limited to east of the Rocky Mountains and mostly even east of the Mississippi at that.  Yes, most of the Civil War was fought in what we’d consider today the “eastern” United States, with relatively little activity in the “west” of the modern definition.  But as all good Civil WarContinue reading “August 10, 1864: Big guns going to… not Charleston… not Petersburg… but San Francisco!”

15-inch Guns for Pensacola Harbor

Military activities at Pensacola, Florida had long faded even from the back pages of the newspapers by 1864.  At the onset of the secession crisis, Fort Pickens had been, like Fort Sumter, one of the “hot spots” that lead to war.  But with the Confederate withdrawal in early 1862, that Gulf Coast harbor was inContinue reading “15-inch Guns for Pensacola Harbor”