This book is a working reference guide for the study and identification of Civil War heavy explosive ordnance. I hope that it will serve as a useful guide for both the casual collector and the advanced student of Civil War explosive ordnance.
The Civil War was a time of great experimentation, with appalling failures and stunning successes on both sides along the way in the development of heavy explosive ordnance. It was this process of experimentation, failure, and success that produced the wide variety of types of cannon, projectiles, sabots, torpedoes, mines, and fuzes that we see today. It also brought us to the dawn of modern warfare as we know it. This book highlights some of this history as background to its primary role as a reference guide.
As a reference guide, the book covers: (a) large smoothbore artillery projectiles beginning with the 32-pounder caliber; (b) large rifled artillery projectiles beginning with the 4-inch caliber; and (c) torpedoes and mines.
The smoothbore section provides expanded coverage of grape stands to include field calibers, because these were not covered broadly in the earlier field artillery projectile books. Altogether, this book includes about 360 large caliber projectiles and 22 torpedoes and mines. This scope dovetails cleanly with most reference books in print that cover field artillery projectiles.
In all categories, the book includes a number of so-called [experimental] projectiles, for three reasons. First, we now know that a number of these large caliber so-called experimental projectiles were used in actual batttefield situations (e.g., Staffords, Mclntyres, Peveys, etc.). We may discover in the future that other so-called experimental projectiles were also used in actual battles.
Second, research has shown that some projectiles that were thought to be experimental or unique (e.g., the 11-inch triple-fuzed shell), were in fact manufactured in large quantities for battte usage. And third, there are a number of large caliber experimental projectiles in circulation in the collectors' market, and information is needed about them to document their status.
Equally important for coverage of heavy explosive ordnance, research in original period documentation has provided significant new information and perspective about the design and use of heavy explosive ordnance in the war. This is covered in the Introduction and in the second chapter [The Role of Heavy Explosive Ordnance in Major Strategic Battles,] as well as in the text introductions to each section of projectiles and torpedoes.