Beauregard to Gorgas: “I prefer that we should try the experiment on our enemy…”

Throughout 1863, General P.G.T. Beauregard authorized programs to convert both 8-inch and 10-inch columbiads into rifled guns for the defense of Charleston.  These modifications did not receive the full blessing of those in Richmond.  In fact, Colonel Josiah Gorgas, Confederate Chief of Ordnance, voiced concerns in a letter to Beauregard in November 1863. Beauregard wiselyContinue reading “Beauregard to Gorgas: “I prefer that we should try the experiment on our enemy…””

Captured guns turned on Confederates: Federal use of “Revised Columbiads”

Confederate observers on Fort Sumter and other points around Charleston harbor were very good at identifying Federal batteries on Morris Island.  Their reports often detailed even the make and model gun in the individual positions. An entry from November 14, 1863 described Battery Gregg, renamed Fort Putnam after capture in September, as containing “Four 30-pounderContinue reading “Captured guns turned on Confederates: Federal use of “Revised Columbiads””

150 years ago: Arms buildup for Vicksburg

The string of tactical defeats and strategic withdrawals for the Confederates in the Western Theater through 1862 not only conceded territory to the Federals but also translated to lost war material.  At the Iron Buffs of Columbus, Island No.10, Fort Pillow, and Memphis, the Confederates shed much needed heavy ordnance and material.  Likewise, the rebelsContinue reading “150 years ago: Arms buildup for Vicksburg”