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””

Fort Sumter’s Small Guns: 24-pdr Siege Guns

Continuing with my survey of guns used at Fort Sumter in April 1861, let me move down the scale to the 24-pdr Siege and Garrison Gun.  Yesterday’s trip to Fort Washington, Maryland allowed me to re-examine one of these gun again. The 24-pdr class dated back to the American Revolution, but became the favored heavy-caliberContinue reading “Fort Sumter’s Small Guns: 24-pdr Siege Guns”

Improved 32-pdr Guns – Models of 1840 and 1845

After the long production run of the 32-pdr Model 1829, the Army turned to simplified and improved designs.  In parallel to 42-pdr seacoast gun developments, two experimental “new model” guns appeared in 1839.  Columbia and West Point foundries cast one Model 1839 each.  As noted on the chart below, the design shortened the reinforce andContinue reading “Improved 32-pdr Guns – Models of 1840 and 1845”