Here’s why Polk needed that Gun

Why did General Leonidas Polk need an 8-inch rifled gun? Maybe due to rumors of this “turtle.” Starting in the summer of 1861, rumors floated down river of ironclad gunboats under construction in the shipyards of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Just as similar rumors about Confederate river ironclads caused concerns on the Union side,Continue reading “Here’s why Polk needed that Gun”

Fort Sumter’s Largest – The 10-inch Columbiads

According to the reports forwarded prior to the opening of hostilities, the largest caliber weapons mounted in Fort Sumter in April 1861 were 10-inch Columbiads.  Two of these guns sat on the barbette tier facing Morris Island.  The defenders mounted a third to fire at extreme elevation to fire as a mortar from the paradeContinue reading “Fort Sumter’s Largest – The 10-inch Columbiads”

Pointed at Fort Sumter: The 8-inch “New Columbiad”

I know, more 8-inch caliber Columbiads? Yes.  Perhaps no better illustration of the evolution of heavy artillery in America than to look at the varieties of 8-inch weapons present at Charleston in 1861.  Thus far I’ve discussed the Bomford “Seacoast Howitzers,” which evolved into the Columbiad Model 1844 (arguably more of a “shell gun”).  NowContinue reading “Pointed at Fort Sumter: The 8-inch “New Columbiad””