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”

Siege Mortars: A War of 1812 Veteran begats Civil War models

More mortar talk today. Allow me to highlight an artifact that bridges between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Thus far, my posts on mortars have focused on the seacoast mortars. Although designed for coastal defense, as highlighted in previous entries, the Army and Navy pressed those heavy mortars into use reducing ConfederateContinue reading “Siege Mortars: A War of 1812 Veteran begats Civil War models”

Photo Examination: 10-inch Mortars at Dutch Gap

In an earlier post, I discussed the 10-inch seacoast mortars in this photo: The photo is remarkable at several layers.  I suspect the photographer captured work being done in July 1864.  The photo caption carries the caption “Work party and mortars at Butler’s Crow’s Nest.”  That leads me to dispatches appearing in the Official RecordsContinue reading “Photo Examination: 10-inch Mortars at Dutch Gap”