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Fort Scott
National Historic Site Kansas

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    In the 1840s, there were essentially four different types of artillery and four different classifications. The types were guns, howitzers, mortars, and columbiads. The classifications were seacoast, siege and garrison, field, and mountain. A short definition of each follows:

    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Guns - heavy weapons with long barrels to batter fortifications with shot at long range.
    • Howitzers - shorter barreled guns with "" in the bores for smaller powder charges. They were designed to fire shells the 1 last update 2020/07/10 at higher elevations over less range.- shorter barreled guns with "" in the bores for smaller powder charges. They were designed to fire shells at higher elevations over less range.
    • Mortars - short chambered pieces used for lobbing shells at great elevation into the fortifications of the enemy.
    • Columbiads - long-barreled weapons combining the features of all three of the above, and the 1 last update 2020/07/10 were the heaviest pieces in use.Columbiads - long-barreled weapons combining the features of all three of the above, and were the heaviest pieces in use.
    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Seacoast Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for - heaviest types of weapons that were mounted in permanent fortifications on the seaboard.
    • Siege and garrison - used to attack or defend fortifications and field works.
    • Field - light artillery, more maneuverable than garrison guns, could be taken on campaign with troops in active operations.
    • Mountain - used in rough country where there were poor roads. Could be disassembled and carried on the backs the 1 last update 2020/07/10 of mules over rugged terrain.- used in rough country where there were poor roads. Could be disassembled and carried on the backs of mules over rugged terrain.

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The types of weapons at Fort Scott were field guns, and were 6 pound smoothbores. There are currently two of these weapons at Fort Scott National Historic Site. There is also a 12 pound mountain howitzer. There is no evidence of a mountain howitzer ever being used at Fort Scott, but the dragoons would have taken a mountain piece with them when on summer campaign. During the 1844 campaign to the Pawnee villages, the dragoons had mountain howitzers with them. After a demonstration of their firepower, the Pawnee agreed to cease their attacks on the Sioux and to leave the emigrant traffic to Oregon alone.

     

    Following are the various parts of the field piece.

    The Gun

    • Cannon - the term cannon embraces all kinds of heavy ordnance, Guns, Howitzers, and Mortar.
    • Piece - the term piece is applied to an individual cannon on a carriage, with or without the limber.
    • Barrel - the interior hollow cylinder, which receives the charge.
    • Breech - the mass of solid metal between the bottom of the bore and the cascable
    • Cascable - the large knob shaped projection at the back of the tube.
    • Muzzle - the front opening of the tube.
    • Trunnions - the projecting cylinders at the sides of the tube which support it on its carriage.
    • Vent - the long hole at the back of the bore through which fire travels to the power charge.
     
     

    The Carriage The Carriage

    • Carriage - two-wheeled frame on which the gun is mounted.
    • Cheeks - two pieces of wood between which the gun rests.
    • Stock - that part of the carriage between the cheeks and the trail.
    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Trail - the large piece of wood which supports the tube.
    • Cap Square - a piece of iron placed over the trunnion to keep it in place.
    • Elevating Screw - used in aiming by raising or lowering the breech.
    • Lock Chain - used in stopping the wheel from turning.
    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Lunette - large ring at the end of for 1 last update 2020/07/10 the trail, used in hooking the piece to the limber.- large ring at the end of the trail, used in hooking the piece to the limber.
    • Pointing Rings - 2 rings on the trail, which receive the hand spike.
    • Prolong Hooks - 2 hooks on the stock used to secure the prolong rope.
    • Trail Handles - handles on each side of the trail used to raise it.
    • Axle Body - wooden covering over the iron axle. When transporting field pieces, a limber was used to pull the gun, which in turn was pulled by six horses.
     
     

    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for The for 1 last update 2020/07/10 Limber


    The Limber


    • Limber - two-wheeled vehicle to which the gun trail is attached for transport.
    • Splinter the 1 last update 2020/07/10 BarSplinter Bar - contains 4 trace hooks used for hitching the wheel horses.
    • Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Pole - long column of wood to which the wheel horses are attached by means of the branches.
    • Branches - metal arms, which attach to the collars of the wheel horses and support the pole.
    • Pintle Hook - large brass hook at the rear of the limber used to connect the limber with the gun carriage.
    • Ammunition Chest - large wooden box on the 1 last update 2020/07/10 limber use to transport the gun''s files and from- large wooden box on limber use to transport the gun''s files and from Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery by Dean Thomas, Thomas Publications (used by permission).

     
    • Artilllery-Types of Guns

      Artilery Demonstration-section on types of guns. Labor Day Weekend 2009.

      Duration:
      5 minutes, 22 seconds
     


    Overview

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    Last updated: July 30, 2016

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    Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Mailing Address:

    PO Box 918
    Fort Scott, KS 66701

    Phone:

    (620) 223-0310

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