August 23, 2004
face off one more time. This time it is
“If All of
Arkansas Read the Same
Book” is a program that brings an author into the state for a book
In the fall of 2005, they have scheduled
Shaara and his book
“GODS AND GENERALS”. Come, meet, and chat with the author.
27, 2005 – Regular Meeting
Vicksburg NMP –
“A Tragedy of
Errors: Failure of the Confederate High Command in the Defense of
October 25, 2004
November 22, 2005
Election of Officers
Scheduled in December
We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!
battery of field artillery is worth a thousand muskets.
Only about six percent of the soldiers in the American Civil War
were enrolled in the artillery branch of the service, yet the
artillery played a pivotal role in almost every major engagement of
the War. From the massed Union batteries at
and Malvern Hill to
the intrepid fieldwork of Pelham's horse artillery at
, the big guns were always a
factor, and often the decisive one.
The purpose of this site is to acquaint the reader with basic
information about the topic and provide some suggestions for further
viewing and reading. Much of the focus is on the field artillery,
which saw the most battle action during the War, but the growing
Encyclopedia of Civil War Artillery provides examples of every type.
The Evolution of Ordnance
The Civil War accelerated the technological
development of ordnance. Before the War, the typical cannon was a
bronze, muzzle-loading smoothbore. Though such cannon were still in
heavy use at the end of the War, it was apparent that the next
generation of guns would be steel, breech loading rifles.
Rifles vs. Smoothbores
The principles of rifling had long been understood; the spin
imparted to the projectile by forcing it into spiral grooves in the
bore of the gun made it fly straighter, farther, and with more power
on impact. Rifling of bronze guns was not an effective solution,
because the friction of the ammunition wore down the rifling in that
relatively soft metal. (Many older weapons, particularly the nearly
obsolete 6-pounders, were rebored with rifling at the start of the
War, and proved to be of very limited use after a very short time.)
Effective rifled cannon required harder metal, but cast iron, the
logical choice, was too brittle.
As with rifling, the advantages of loading cannon at the breech
are clear, as the men serving at the front of a gun could attest.
Breech loading guns required a mechanism that was able to withstand
the strain of firing and still operate smoothly and quickly to allow
the next round to be fired. This required not only a superior
material but also expert machining. The famous
Whitworth was an early but unreliable
example, and its cannoneers not infrequently had to fasten the
breech closed and load it from the muzzle.
A Comment on Materials
The disadvantages of bronze as an ordnance material have just
been listed, and to them may be added its excessive weight. But
bronze had for centuries the signal advantage of toughness; absent a
serious defect in manufacture, bronze guns were reliable and safe.
Superior smelting techniques developed during the early industrial
revolution raised hopes that cast iron might be a suitable material
for guns, and there were many experiments. However, the explosion of
the Peacemaker aboard the Princeton halted the production of
iron cannon in the
for over a decade, and only the largest, and most over-engineered,
guns were made of iron.
Reinforcement of cast iron forward of the breech was an obvious
solution, but Robert Parker Parrott was the first to successfully
turn out quantities of cast iron cannon. The novelty in his method
was not in the reinforce, but in the method of attachment; the
wrought iron band was allowed to cool in place while the gun was
rotated, which allowed the reinforce to clamp on uniformly around
the circumference of the breech. The resulting guns still did burst
occasionally, but could be produced quickly and cheaply at a time
when they were desperately needed; the cost to the government was
about $187, versus about $350 for its nearest rival, the wrought
iron 3-inch ordnance rifle. The Parrott system became the workhorse
rifle of the artillery for the first years of the War, and continued
to be produced in quantity even after the introduction of
the ordnance rifle, which was preferred by many artillerymen.
Advances in materials superseded both models within a few years; the
steel rifle soon took over the field. The Wizard, made of what the
designer called "semi-steel" (puddled wrought iron) and the small
and Armstrongs of true steel, were
precursors of the revolution in materials that would take place in
the following decades.
holds Chalk Bluff meeting
The citizens of Marmaduke contacted the Northeast Arkansas Civil
War Trails Committee group about placing a marker to honor the
town’s namesake and within 10 months the marker was placed.
The town of Marmaduke
Northeast Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails Committee, Col. Robert
G. Shaver Camp #1655, Sons of Confederate Veterans and the
#280, Military Order of Stars and Bars, conducted a historical
marker dedication on Saturday, July 2.
The marker dedication took place at the
at 10 a.m. following the parade at Marmaduke, which began at 9 a.m.
The events were part of the Annual Marmaduke Fourth of July weekend
that is held on the weekend nearest the Fourth of July.
After the dedication, the Marmaduke marker was placed at the corner
of Arkansas Highway 49 North and Arkansas Highway 34 on the
northeast corner of the Marmaduke post office property.
The ceremony included the dedication and the unveiling of a new
historical marker at Marmaduke. The NEACWHTC, Sons of Confederate
Veterans members, Military Order Stars and Bars, 30th Arkansas and
Seventh Arkansas Infantry reenactors and Hubbard’s Battery
reenactors were outfitted in full Confederate regalia during
ceremonies and conducted a three-volley gun salute at the side of
the marker. Over 30 reenactors from all over the region filled the
ranks of the honor guard.
State Representatives Dustin McDaniel and
, and State Senator Tim Wooldridge
attended the marker dedication. Over 500 people watched as
unveiled the new marker to
We had a meeting with the Woodruff County Judge and the mayor of
on May 12. The Lunday brothers, Larry
spearheading the drive to mark the site of this battle. The county
and city committed to the project and are going to apply for a grant
for the site.
marker is scheduled to be
placed by September 2006. This will be part of the 150th anniversary
are working with us on a place to locate the marker for the events
that took place in Pocahontas
and Walter Meals want to invite everyone down on Friday, Sept. 9,
from 5-8 p.m. for gospel singing. Then, on Saturday from 9 am to 5
p.m., join the Stone House Pioneer Days Celebration. The NEACWHTC
will have a signup on Saturday to let everyone know where we are to
hold our meeting.
It will start Saturday, Sept.10, at 11 a.m., at the Stone House at
See y’all there!
The latest news just one penny
Get your news
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT, March 9, 1861, p. 2, c. 4
Thursday, March 7th, 1861,
And during the Week,
The Mirror of the World!
Painted on Two Miles of
Price of admission as before.
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT, March 9, 1861, p. 2, c. 3
A New England
woman declares in
print that "Fanny
" has done more to injure her
sex and make men disrespect them than any female writer since the
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT, March 12, 1861, p. 3, c. 3
Important from Texas
We extract from a private letter, just received from Brazos San
Diego, Texas, the following extract. The writer is a member of
a military company, recently organized at Galveston, for the purpose
of assisting in the capture of the forts now occupied by the federal
troops in that State.
He says: "We arrived here on the 20th
inst., Col. Ford
being commander-in-chief of our company. He is better known in
the State as 'Old Rip,' and is said always to be in a bad humor
unless he is engaged in a fight. He had scarcely gotten more
than half way from the steamer to the barracks, before he ordered
the American flag to be pulled down and the lone star, to be raised
in its place. But after some time parlying [sic] he was
persuaded by his brother officers to show the enemy a little more
respect, and he accordingly gave them an hour to breathe. The
flag was then struck
in silence, no one seeming to exult over it. But when the lone
star went up, a long deafening shout came up from Ford and his four
hundred and fifty rangers.
"We have taken about fifty pieces of artillery, and will go over to
the Rio Grande
to-morrow for the
purpose of attacking the fort at
. They are aware of our
intentions, and are said to be busy in making preparation to give us
a 'warm reception.' They have one hundred and forty field
pieces and about three hundred and fifty soldiers, their position
behind the fort giving them greatly the advantage. We received
a dispatch this evening, informing us that they intended to resist
to the death.
"Our men are nearly all armed with a Minnie
rifle, a six-shooter, and a cutlass. You may look for
interesting news by the next steamer."
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
TRUE DEMOCRAT, April 25, 1861, p. 2, c. 1
The ladies we understand have taken up the cause in earnest.
They were up till on o'clock Tuesday night making uniforms for the
Prairie company, who came in about twelve o'clock on Monday, on
their way to Fort Smith
Fifty jackets had to be bought, cut and made; and though they were
not finished in time, as they had left at eleven, yet they were sent
up on the first boat.
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
TRUE DEMOCRAT, April 25, 1861, p. 2, c. 3
We have been permitted to publish the following letter from a
gentleman in Clark
county to a citizen o this place:
Arkadelphia, April 20, 1861
I have this moment participated in raising the first flag that I
ever did in my life, except that of the old thirteen stars; but this
time I participated with as good a grace as ever I done anything in
my life, and I am proud to say to you that I do not believe there is
more than three
men that now say they are for union
So when I tell you that one of the largest secession flags is now
floating from the Bell pole, you will scarcely believe me, but
nevertheless it is true. We had speeches from
, Dr. Huey of
Col. Bozeman, etc. There is petitions unanimously signed to
send to the president of the convention to call it at the earliest
day possible. This is the first time I ever saw the people of
Arkadelphia a unit in my life on any subject.
Yours in haste,
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS
DAILY TRUE DEMOCRAT, March 12, 1861, p. 3, c. 4
We copy from the South Western Democrat resolutions passed by the
general council of the Choctaw Nation. We are glad to see our
neighbors taking such a bold and manly position, and think that some
of our own people might learn a lesson from them. The message
, the principal
chief, is an able paper, and we regret that we have not space to
republish it. It takes the position boldly and unequivocally
that in the event of a dissolution of the Union
the Choctaw Nation will go with the southern States.—Read the
From the South Western Democrat.
Expressing the feelings and sentiments of the General Council of
the Choctaw Nation, in reference to the political disagreement
existing between the northern and southern States of the American
Resolved by the General Council of the Choctaw Nation, assembled
That we view with deep regret and great solicitude, the present
unhappy political disagreement between the northern and southern
States of the American Union, tending to a permanent dissolution of
the government, and the disturbance of the various important
relations existing with that government, by treaty, stipulations and
international laws, protending [portending?] much injury to the
Choctaw government and people.
, that we express the earnest desire and
ready hope entertained by the entire Choctaw people, that any and
all political disturbances agitating and dividing the people of the
various States may be honorably and speedily adjusted; and the
example and the blessing, and fostering care of the general
government, and the many and friendly social ties existing with
their people, continue for the enlightenment in moral and good
government; and prosperity in the material concerns of life, to our
, That in the event of a permanent
dissolution of the American Union takes place, our many relations
with the general government must cease, and we shall be left to
follow the natural affections, education, institutions, and interest
of our people, which indissolubly bind us in every way to the
destiny of our neighbors, and brethren of the southern states; upon
whom we are confident we can rely for the preservation of our
rights, of liberty and property, continuance of friendship, general
counsel and fraternal support.
, That we desire to assure our immediate
neighbors, the people of Arkansas and Texas, of our determination to
observe amicable relations in every way so long existing between us,
and the firm reliance we have, that amid any disturbance with other
States, the rights and feelings so sacred to us will remain
respected by them, and be protected from the encroachment of others.
, That his excellency, the principal chief,
be requested to enclose, with an appropriate communication from
himself, a copy of these resolutions to the Governors of the
southern States, with the request that they be laid before the State
convention of each State, as many as have assembled at the date of
their reception; and that in such as have not, they be published in
the newspapers of the State.
, That these resolutions take effect, and be
in force from and after their passage.
[This comes from original reaserch by
, Professional Librarian
Cataloging and Reference
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