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Britten

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Britten

Sir Bashley Britten designed a lead-cupped rifled projectile and received a British patent on it in August 1855.1 Britten was unable to get an American patent on his projectile design until after the war. Some experts suspect that the U.S. Government’s anti-British sentiment caused this delay.

It may also be due to efforts by Alexander Dyer, a senior officer and eventually the

Chief of the Union Army Ordnance Department. After a trip to England just before the war, Dyer designed a very similar shell, which the Union Army Ordnance Department purchased in large numbers, even though most large caliber Dyer shells failed to explode.

It is noteworthy that Britten was allowed a U.S. patent on his design after the war, when his design was considered obsolete. It is also noteworthy that Dyer never obtained a patent on his design.

Britten’s design (and Dyer’s) had a lead cup sabot that was bonded onto the iron shell body with a hot zinc coating. The base of the shell body is rounded and often shows through the bottom of the sabot.

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Coins

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Whitworth

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Whitworth

Sir Joseph Whitworth designed a family of rifles and projectiles generally recognized as the most accurate and longest range of any used in the war. In a Union Army test reported in 1864, a 2.75-inch Whitworth bolt was fired 10,000 yards.1

The design was unique among Civil War projectiles. All Whitworth projectiles regardless of caliber had six concave sides with a twist matching the twist of the hexagonal rifle bore. The windage on these projectiles is smaller than that in any other period projectile: no more than about 2/1000 inch. Normal windage on large caliber projectiles ranged from 5/100 to 10/100 for rifled projectiles to as much as 20/100 for large smoothbores.2

Both Union and Confederate forces used Whitworth rifles and projectiles. The

Confederates obtained the rifles in several calibers and used the field calibers much more frequently than the Union did. Wartime provenance has been established for large caliber use by Confederates in 3.75-inch calibers. They almost received a shipment of 6.4-inch

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Buttons

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

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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Photography

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Absterdam

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

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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Sawyer

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Sawyer

Sylvanus Sawyer and his brother Addison M. Sawyer developed and patented a system of rifles, projectiles, and fuzes that were highly regarded early in the war. They had a 5.86inch rifle and projectiles under test at Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads in 1859.1 It may have been the same rifle that in 1861 earned Sawyer that high regard. Sawyer’s rifle was the only cannon available to the Union Army that could hit the Confederate batteries defending

Hampton Roads from the Rip Raps, an island about 2,000 yards south of Fort Monroe.2

Three Sawyer shell designs are known. The most common is the flanged model.

Instead of a sabot, the iron shell body has six flanges and is covered completely with a lead sleeve. A second design has the lead sleeve cover only the flanged cylindrical sides of the shell body but not the base or ogive. The third design has a smooth sided shell body completely encased in lead. There are no known battlefield recoveries of this model in large calibers. All three designs are reported to have had a brass foil over the lead sheath to reduce the lead fouling the rifling. One flanged specimen has been documented in the West Point Museum collection with this brass foil largely intact.

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Lace

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Nickel

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Dyer

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Dyer

Prior to the war, Alexander B. Dyer was a junior ordnance officer in the U.S. Army.

Before the war he went to England and observed the performance of Britten projectiles being fired from Blakely rifles. Upon his return home, Dyer designed a very similar projectile. He soon was promoted to captain and became chief of ordnance at Fort Monroe.1

It was while he was in that post that the Union Army began purchasing projectiles of his design. The ordnance officer who recommended the purchase of Dyer shells stated that the Dyer design differed only slightly from the Dimick projectile2 and was almost identical to the design of John A. Dahlgren.3

The Dyer design, like Britten’s and Dahlgren’s, had a heavy lead cup sabot cast on to the shell base. For field caliber shells, Dyer used the same method for sabot attachment as Britten. The rounded shell base was tinned, then a lead cup sabot was cast on to the tinned shell base. For the large caliber projectiles, Dyer designed the shell body with a flat base and used notches in the side of the shell base to hold the sabot in place, differing from the Britten design.

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Glassware

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Glassware

65

PICKING UP BROKEN PIECES OF GLASS

• Never use your bare hands to pick up broken glass. Little

slivers are difficult to see and you could end up injuring yourself. Carefully sweep broken glass into a dustpan.

Wrap the shards in newspaper and throw them out.

• To pick up tiny shards of glass, wipe all around the breakage area with a paper towel smeared with moist bar or liquid hand soap. Rinse with a water-soaked paper towel and wipe the area dry.

CLOUDY GLASS

• Antique decanters or bottles are sometimes stricken

with a cloudy or frosty condition called glass sickness.

This occurs when a liquid has been left in the container too long.

• Mix fine clay or sand with either water or denatured alcohol. Swish it around in the container until the blur disappears. If this fails and your glass is valuable, consult an expert in glass repair.

• If the piece is not very valuable you may also try these other solutions:

- Fill the glass container with water. Add one or two

tablespoons of ammonia, let stand overnight. Wash and rinse.

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Quilts

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

110

Tips, Tools, & Techniques

• Test for colorfastness by placing a few drops of water

on a small corner of the fabric. Press firmly with a white towel. If the color appears on the towel, do not clean the quilt yourself. If no color appears, try again on other spots to be sure that all parts are safe. Next, try with a few drops of water and a mild detergent.

Avoid washing an old quilt in the washing machine unless the quilt is in very stable condition. The twisting and agitation can break the threads and tear the fabric.

Fill a bathtub half full with lukewarm water. Place an old sheet under the quilt to ease lifting it out of the tub. Fold in quarters and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Drain the tub without removing the quilt, then refill.

Add a half cup of mild detergent or textile soap, such as Orvus. Gently agitate. Let soak for about 30 minutes.

Drain and refill tub with cool water several times until all soap is rinsed away.

Get help to lift the quilt out of the water: it will be very heavy and the pressure can tear the fabric and break the stitches.

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Marble

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Wicker

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Hotchkiss

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Hotchkiss

Andrew Hotchkiss of Connecticut developed the Hotchkiss family of projectiles and was granted his first patent on October 16, 1855. He improved the design and was granted subsequent patents on July 24, 1860, and May 14, 1861.1 The dates cast into many of his projectiles—October 9, 1855, and May 14, 1861—are somewhat confusing. The October

9 date is the date the first patent was applied for, not the date granted.2

The initial design was a smooth-sided projectile, now classified as Type I. Flame grooves were added for the Type II shells, which improved the performance of time fuzes, and for some unknown reason, they were also added to bolts. A flat-nose version with a rounded base cup was developed for case shot, identified as Type III. At the very end of the war, a flat base cup was added to the flat-nose case shot, a wooden disk was inserted between the cup and the shell, and the Wright 14-second or 16-second time fuze was added. This is known as Type IV.

In all four types, the base cup pushed into the lead band sabot, forcing it into the rifling. Because of this design, however, the base cup and the sabot often separated, creating major friendly fire hazards to forward troops. Nonetheless, in the 3-inch caliber, the Hotchkiss was the preferred projectile for the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle and saw widespread use through the end of the war and afterwards.

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