12-pounder bronze gun, Model of 1857

12-pounder Bronze cannon

Commonly referred to as the "Napoleon", this bronze smoothbore cannon fired a twelve-pound ball and was considered a light gun through each weighed an average of 1,200 pounds. This powerful cannon could fire explosives shell and solid shot up to a mile and charges of canister up to 300 yards with accuracy. The Napoleon was a favorite amongst some Northern artillerists because of its firepower and reliability. Two Union batteries armed with Napoleons at Gettysburg were very effective in holding back Confederate infantry attacks and knocking down opposing southern batteries. Battery G, 4th U.S. repeatedly slowed Confederate infantry attacks against the Eleventh Corps lines on July 1, while Captain Hubert Dilger's Battery G, 1st Ohio Light Artillery almost annihilated two Confederate batteries with accurate and punishing counter-battery fire at long distance. Most Union Napoleons were manufactured in Massachusetts by the Ames Company and the Revere Copper Company. Confederate industry replicated the Napoleon design at several foundries in Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina. The Confederate design differed sightly from Union-made guns but fired the same twelve pound shot, shell and canister rounds used in Union manufactured guns.

12-pounder bronze gun, Model of 1857 Specifications
Tube Material Bronze
Tube Weight 1,227 lb (557 kg)
Powder Charge 2.5 lb (1.13 kg)
Range (5° Elevation) 1,619 yd (1,480 m)
At Gettyburg 142

2.9-Inch (10-pounder) Parrott Rifle

10-pounder Parrott cannon

This iron cannon was rifled and fired an elongated shell made specifically for the gun. Designed before the war by Captain Robert Parker Parrott, this gun was longer than a Napoleon, sleeker in design, and distinguished by a thick band of iron wrapped around the breech. The Parrott design went through several improvements during the war and was changed in 1863 to a larger 3-inch bore and matching Parrott shell. The 3-inch Parrott was standardized the following year and most 2.9-inch guns were withdrawn from service. Parrott Rifles were manufactured by the West Point Arsenal in Cold Spring, New York and also made in 20 and 32-pounders sizes. The 10-pounder Parrotts used during the Gettysburg Campaign had an effective range of over 2,000 yards. The 5th New York Battery was composed of six 20-pounder Parrotts. Confederate copies of the Parrott Rifle were produced by the Noble Brothers Foundry and the Macon Arsenal in Georgia. Parrott Rifles in 10 and 20-pounder sizes were sprinkled throughout some southern batteries.

2.9-Inch (10-pounder) Parrott Rifle Specifications
Tube Material Cast and Wrought Iron
Tube Weight 1,750 lb (794 kg)
Powder Charge 2 lb (.91 kg)
Range (5° Elevation) 2,100 yd (1,920 m)
At Gettyburg 4 (CSA)

3-Inch Wrought Iron Gun

3-Inch Wrought Iron cannon

This sleek weapon was also called the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle and was designed by John Griffen, superintendent of the Safe Harbor Iron Works in Pennsylvania. The initial design was built by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania which manufactured most of the 3-inch Rifles used in the Union Armies. This iron gun was similar in length of the Parrott Rifle, fired an elongated shell, and was deadly accurate up to a mile. Much lighter than the Napoleon, the gun weighed an average of 800 pounds and could be easily transported and manhandled by its crew. Only a limited number of copies of the Ordnance Rifle were produced at Confederate arsenals.

3-Inch Wrought Iron Gun Specifications
Tube Material Wrought Iron
Tube Weight 816 lb (370 kg)
Powder Charge 1 lb (.45 kg)
Range (5° Elevation) 1,835 yd (1,678 m)
At Gettyburg 146 (USA); 73 (CSA)

1 Model 1841 12-pound Howitzer

1841 12-pound Howitzer cannon

A pre-war bronze gun dating back to the 1840's, a number of howitzers were still in use the Army of Northern Virginia during the Gettysburg Campaign. The barrels of these guns are several inches shorter than other artillery pieces giving them a stubby appearance. These powerful guns packed a whallop at close range but were not desirable for long range work. Larger 24-pounder field howitzers were also produced and though some appeared at Gettysburg, their use was mostly limited to forts and stationary defenses by this time of the war.

1 Model 1841 12-pound Howitzer Specifications
Tube Material Bronze
Tube Weight 788 lb (357 kg)
Powder Charge 1 lb (.45 kg)
Range (5° Elevation) 1,072 yd (980 m)
At Gettyburg 2 (USA); 26 (CSA)