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(1863) Battle of Gettysburg
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Larry Purtell
Little Meadows
PA USA
Posts: 1015
Casualties of the Washington (New Orleans) artillery at Gettysburg
Posted on: 8/1/2020 2:10:12 PM


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"My goal is to live forever. So far, so good.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5894
Casualties of the Washington (New Orleans) artillery at Gettysburg
Posted on: 8/10/2020 12:19:03 PM

Hi Larry,

Just as sailing gunners from the 18th, & 19th centuries targeted masts on enemy sailing ships, I think that artillery was targeted by Civil War Gunners! You alway try and destroy the most dangerous targets.

What say you?
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4652
Casualties of the Washington (New Orleans) artillery at Gettysburg
Posted on: 8/10/2020 5:45:21 PM

Quote:
Hi Larry,

Just as sailing gunners from the 18th, & 19th centuries targeted masts on enemy sailing ships, I think that artillery was targeted by Civil War Gunners! You alway try and destroy the most dangerous targets.

What say you?
MD


Gunners at Gettysburg took a lot of punishment . Rebel sharpshooters killed yankee gunners : Hazlett comes to mind. The rebel gunners got badly knocked about by their yankee counterparts : The “ Boy Latimer” was mortally wounded by deadly Union counter battery fire, and his battery was horribly cut up. There was an epic artillery action by Bigelow’s 9th Massachusetts Light Battery in the Peach Orchard/Wheatfield sector, with the yankee gunners subjected to enemy infantry and artillery fire, and paying a very bloody price. Thy withdrew their pieces under close quarters musketry, and “ fired by prolong”....a term I don’t properly understand. Does it mean that the guns fired as they were being taken back, being steadied as they recoiled, and then fired again as they were retreating ?
Confederate Porter Alexander, one of the best artillerymen to serve in that conflict , described the artillery fight he witnessed on Day Two at Gettysburg as the deadliest he ever saw, and his own gunners took a lot of casualties : so much so, that infantrymen had to be commandeered to help out serving the guns, and some of them were killed in doing this.
Principal exemplar must be Alonzo Cushing, a thoroughbred yankee who martyred himself as he fired at point blank range into the confederate hordes ....with his intestines and private parts ripped apart by bullets, he was finally and fatally shot through the mouth as he gave the foe “ one last round”.

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
scoucer
Berlin
 Germany
Posts: 2778
Casualties of the Washington (New Orleans) artillery at Gettysburg
Posted on: 8/11/2020 10:42:59 AM

Quote:

Thy withdrew their pieces under close quarters musketry, and “ fired by prolong”....a term I don’t properly understand. Does it mean that the guns fired as they were being taken back, being steadied as they recoiled, and then fired again as they were retreating ?

Regards, Phil


Jean-Baptiste-Vaquette de Gribeauval introduced in the French Army several very important devices which allowed the guns to be manhandled with ease, thus bypassing the horse team for many movements in battle.
Bricoles were a set of drag ropes and levers by which the gun crew could pull their cannon easily in any direction. Gribeauval also used a split trail with a rounded base which did not stick in the ground when the cannon was pulled backwards.
Combined with this was the use of a long rope called "prolonge" which could be attached to the rear of the gun-carriage at one end, and to the limber at the other. The prolonge was very handy for rapid advances and retreats under fire.

The Prolonge was a large rope that had a toggle on one end, and a iron ring on the other. it was normally carried on the gun trail, secured by the Prolonge hooks.

When "firing by Prolonge" the toggle end was inserted throught the hole in the lunette of the gun trail,the other end with the ring was attatched to the pintle hook on the Limber.

This allowed the gun to be dragged by the limber, and still be serviced by the cannoneers on the move. There was a specific drill used to load and fire the gun as it was being dragged along that differed somewhat from the usual procedure, as it was very difficult to prepare the gun for firing as it was being jerked over the ground.

When the piece was ready to fire, the drivers on the limber would stop long enough so that the gun could be sighted and fired, then they would resume their retreat (or advanceing to the rear movement).

Trevor

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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4652
Casualties of the Washington (New Orleans) artillery at Gettysburg
Posted on: 8/11/2020 11:06:18 AM

Thanks, Trevor.

Imagine trying to do that with hundreds of battle hardened
Mississippians after your blood !

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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