Civil War Artillery: Some Union Guys

We’ve been talking about Civil War artillery with generalized facts and processes. I approach history wanting to talk about real people, so let’s spend this blog post focusing on some Union artillery commanders. Now, full disclaimer – I’ve picked three of my favorites and three that I’ve spent some time researching. (I’m well aware that they are all eastern theater officers and perhaps we’ll circle back to the subject when I’ve had a chance to read about western theater artillerymen.)

Today, we’ll be talking about Union artillery officers Justin E. Dimick, Alonzo Cushing, and Henry DuPont…

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Civil War Artillery: Load & Fire A Cannon

So…what were the steps for loading and firing a Civil War cannon on the battlefield? In this blog post, we’ll explore the basic steps for that process, but keep in mind that “protocol” and rules were sometimes changed by necessity, especially if a gun crew lost men in battle.

The process for loading and firing would have been usually done on orders and under the direct supervision of the battery’s captain. Unless told otherwise, the crew would have fired the cannon on his command. This is a quick overview of the process.

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Artillery – A Few Notes

Artillery! The big guns of the forts and battlefields. For the last year, I’ve been studying Civil War artillery with a focus on tactics and artillery officers. It’s been fascinating and the project has led me into large archives and to remote, unprotected battlefields.

In the next couple weeks, I’m looking forward to sharing some historical notes, and today I thought we’d start with some “general rules” about Civil War artillery and a few helpful tips for looking at gun lines on battlefields. Let’s get started…

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