Don’t mix your Hotchkiss and Schenkl shells!

I always like to hear General Henry J. Hunt’s opinion about any artillery subject.  That’s because Hunt was more often than not offering blunt advice based on field experience.  On November 3, 1863, Hunt offered, by way of his Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain John N. Craig, advice and directions concerning ammunition handling and selection to Lieutenant-ColonelContinue reading “Don’t mix your Hotchkiss and Schenkl shells!”

“There is much complaint of the inefficiency… of the canister”: Hunt on 12-pdr canister

Canister receives an undue level of importance if you ask me. We often hear canister described as “a big shotgun blast” that dominated the battlefield.  And the greatest combination, as often cited by those offering this view of battlefields swept clean by canister, was when the projectile belched forth from the 12-pdr Napoleon.  Oh, theContinue reading ““There is much complaint of the inefficiency… of the canister”: Hunt on 12-pdr canister”

The Role of Civil War Field Artillery on the Battlefield

Some points to ponder as I work up some posts regarding field artillery tactics. First – In 1845, the Army published its consolidated Instruction for field artillery, horse and foot.  Note the last three words offer variations for artillery accompanying cavalry and infantry, respectively.  “Mounted” artillery was not standardized until later.  This manual, for theContinue reading “The Role of Civil War Field Artillery on the Battlefield”