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Cochran

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Cochran

J. Webster Cochran was a longtime inventor of weapons and projectiles.1 He designed

2 and was granted patents on projectiles and fuzes from the 1850s through at least 1863.

His only success in terms of government purchases appears to be the family of Cochran projectiles and fuzes purchased and used very early in the war by the Union Navy. These were produced in navy calibers only, except for a 3.8-inch bolt that is in the West Point collection. The navy calibers documented for Cochrans were 3.4-inch, 5.1-inch and 6inch. There are no known surviving specimens in the 5.1-inch caliber.

Cochran designed a convex brass ring sabot that screwed on to the projectile. The sabot contained a grease ring and had numerous small holes around it. As the sabot squeezed into the rifling upon firing, grease was squeezed out to lubricate the barrel.

Fired specimens appear to have taken the rifling well and retained their sabots. It is not clear why Cochran failed to get follow-on contracts with the navy, but the complicated design probably made the Cochran shells too costly.

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Absterdam

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Absterdam

John Absterdam patented a number of projectile designs in 1862 and 1864. The Union

Army Absterdam shells were made in the 3-inch and 4.5-inch calibers. Two of these 4.5inch designs are included in the book, having been used in the 1864-65 RichmondPetersburg siege.

There are three designs of Absterdam projectiles: Type 1 has a lead cup sabot and two lead bourrelets; Type 2 has a lead cup sabot and one (upper) lead bourrelet; and Type 3 has a brass ring sabot with no bourrrelets. A hybrid Type 2/3 is documented in this book, with a brass ring sabot and one upper lead bourrelet.

Absterdam had contracts with at least three foundries in addition to his own foundry to manufacture his projectiles: Dickson & Zane of Philadelphia; Chase, Sharp & Thompson of Philadelphia; and A.J. Smith.1 The first 3-inch Absterdam shells were ordered by the

Union Ordnance Department from Chase, Sharp & Thompson on July 28, 1863, and delivered on February 8, 1864.2 The first 4.5-inch Absterdam projectiles were ordered by the Union Ordnance Department through Dickson & Zane on March 17, 1864, and delivered on September 27, 1864.3

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Appendix B Civil War Cannon Rifling

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix B

Civil War Cannon Rifling

The rifling found on the sabots of fired Civil War rifled artillery projectiles provides important information to the artillery student. Usually, it indicates which type of cannon fired the projectile. This in turn often allows a person to identify the specific cannon and perhaps the battery or ship that fired the projectile.

Listed below are the known types of rifling for all the calibers of rifled cannons thought to have been used in the Civil War. Obviously the list is not complete. Projectiles are still being recovered with rifling on their sabots that have not been previously documented. Some of the rifling documented for this appendix are from actual projectiles with rifling that are not recorded in reference books. The reference column indicates the source of the information.

Additions that can be documented by actual projectiles or cannon or from authoritative reference books are welcomed. See “Notes” at the end of this appendix.

Caliber

(Inches)

Type Rifle

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Rugs

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Enamel

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Baskets

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Doorstops

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Jewelry

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Tips, Tools, & Techniques

76

- Fill a small bowl with any liquid soap and a teaspoon

-

or more of clear ammonia. The ammonia adds luster to the gold and brilliance to any encrusted stones.

Immerse the pieces in the bowl. Let stand for a few minutes.

Remove one piece at a time. Using a soft toothbrush, gently brush the piece.

Rinse the piece in a bowl of hot water. Be sure to close the drain if you rinse jewelry in a sink basin.

Dry the piece carefully.

• Another method to clean gold without the liquid soap

is to soak the jewelry in equal parts ammonia and lukewarm water for ten minutes. Rub with a soft brush and let dry without rinsing.

JADE

• Jade is cold to the touch. The term “Jade” is used generi-

cally for two materials: Nephrite and Jadeite. Nephrite comes from China and is softer than true Jadeite. Jadeite comes from Burma, Japan, Guatemala, California,

Hawaii, Russia, and Switzerland.

• Jadeite comes in various colors—green, yellow, orange, and lavender—and has a greater translucent quality.

• To test for real jade, carefully rub the tip of a knife across the bottom of the item. If the mark is white, the item is not jade. If it leaves a black mark, it may be jade.

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Ivory or Bone

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Metals: Identifying with a Magnet

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Buttons

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Buttons

21

• Brass buttons will turn green when the brass plating has

worn off. Copper also becomes covered with green copper carbonate due to exposure to moisture in the air.

Remove the green by rubbing the button gently with acetic acid or any substance containing this acid (such as vinegar). Wash the button with fresh water and dry well with a hairdryer or an absorbent towel. Do not store until completely dry. If the buttons are pierced, be sure that the inside of the button is dry. This is when a hairdryer comes in handy. Gel or regular toothpaste also works, but do not use on pierced buttons. It is too difficult to remove the paste completely from the crevices.

Composite buttons are made of multiple types of materials, such as pearl on brass, metal on plastic, or celluloid on Bakelite. Clean each material using the individual instructions for that material. Use caution when dealing with varied construction.

Composition buttons are made of a mixture of substances. Polish with baby oil, mineral oil, furniture polish, or Johnson’s Neutral Self Shining Shoe Polish.

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Grape Stands and Quilted Grape

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Grape Stands and Quilted Grape

For both smoothbore and rifled artillery, grape stands and quilted grape served a different purpose from case shot and canister. Quilted grape and grape stands were designed to damage ships’ rigging and spars or fortification equipment, with the fragments from this damage causing major casualties to gun crews.

Some confusion exists about the use of grape stands and quilted grape. As general antipersonnel weapons, grape stands and quilted grape in field calibers had been largely replaced by canister by the time the war began. It appears that early in the war grape stands replaced quilted grape for calibers below 8 inch. Quilted grape were used in all calibers above 8 inches, including the 15-inch size, which has been documented aboard

Monitor-type gunboats1 and in postwar Bannerman catalogs.2 However, the Confederates captured a large supply of 32-pounder quilted grape when the Southern states seceded and had others manufactured during the early years of the war. These were deployed to river and coastal gun positions. A number of these 32-pounder quilted grape were excavated near Fort Huger, North Carolina, some years ago, and others reportedly were recovered in gun positions along the Mississippi and elsewhere over the years.

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Colorfast Fabrics

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Wicker

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Blakely

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Blakely

Capt. Theophilus Alexander Blakely, a British inventor, designed a number of rifles and projectiles in a wide variety of calibers, which were sold before the war to individual

Southern states and later to the Confederacy. At least two batteries of Blakely rifles were also sold to Union units. It is well known that South Carolina had acquired a 3.5-inch

Blakely rifle before the war, which participated in the initial bombardment of Fort Sumter.1

Less well known is the fact that Virginia had acquired a 7.5-inch Blakely rifle just before or after hostilities began. That rifle fired some 900 rounds at Union forces at Shipping

Point at the mouth of the Potomac River before being abandoned by Confederate forces in mid-1862.2 It survives today and is located in the gun park at the Washington Navy Yard.

Most Blakely-designed rifles used projectiles designed by Sir Bashley Britten, who received a British patent on the design in 1855, but was unable to obtain a U.S. patent until after the war. Britten’s projectiles are described in the next section. The Blakely rifles firing Britten projectiles used conventional square land and groove rifling. Two other projectile designs—both flanged—were used in Blakely rifles that used the shunt system of rifling. Both are actually Blakely designs, but one is called the Preston-Blakely design and the other is known as the flanged Blakely. Battlefield recoveries of the PrestonBlakely design have been noted in 3.5-inch and 4-inch calibers. In addition, an 8-inch

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