“I would propose … the train be intrusted to Colonel Abbot”: Organizing a Siege Train for the 1864 Campaign

Earlier I posted about the reorganization, or if you prefer, consolidation, of the field artillery in the weeks before the start of the Overland Campaign.  Another organizational action, no less critical to the ultimate objective of the campaign, for the artillery supporting the Army of the Potomac was the re-creation of the siege train.  IfContinue reading ““I would propose … the train be intrusted to Colonel Abbot”: Organizing a Siege Train for the 1864 Campaign”

Gorgas sends “Long Tom” to Wilmington

On January 5, 1864, Major-General W.H.C. Whiting wrote Colonel Josiah Gorgas, at the Confederate Ordnance Department, requesting assistance: Colonel Gorgas: My 30-pounder Parrott burst yesterday fighting the enemy at Lockwood’s Folly, killing 1 man and wounding officer in charge.  It was at third fire.  This is all the Parrott gun I have.  Hurry the others. Continue reading “Gorgas sends “Long Tom” to Wilmington”

Putting shells on target: Aiming the siege mortars

Earlier posts about mortars have focused on the weapons, projectiles, mountings, and means of transportation.  Let me turn now to some discussion about how the weapon was used.  Mortars typically sat in “pits” which precluded direct observation of the target.   Sighting the mortars was not like the practice used for direct fire weapons (suchContinue reading “Putting shells on target: Aiming the siege mortars”