Bottom of the Barrel, Part 3: Confederate 13-inch Mortars

Another example of Confederate use of old ordnance comes from the service files of William Richardson Hunt: The document accounts for the issue of a 13-inch mortar, mortar bed, 12 shells, and 250 fuse plugs in April 1862 for use at Fort Pillow. Hunt sent the mortar to Captain Hugh T. Scott, ordnance officer atContinue reading “Bottom of the Barrel, Part 3: Confederate 13-inch Mortars”

Evolution of the Big Mortars: 13-inch Mortars Model 1861, Part 1

Yesterday I discussed the classifications of mortars used in the Civil War period.  Today I’ll focus on the largest of the “heavy” mortars – the 13-inch Model 1861.  Due to employment, this mortar fits into two of those classifications – seacoast and sea.  So let me provide a brief history of the type and someContinue reading “Evolution of the Big Mortars: 13-inch Mortars Model 1861, Part 1”

Mortars That Signaled the Start of the War

Continuing with my discussion of the cannons used at Fort Sumter in April 1861, I turn now to the mortars employed by the Confederates.  One of these weapons signaled the “start” of the war (although I plead ambiguity there). A drawing in the first volume of Battles and Leaders depicts two mortars on Morris IslandContinue reading “Mortars That Signaled the Start of the War”