12-10-2006, 11:23 AM
I would like to know if anyone can help me with this search. I would like to know if either the USA or the CSA artillery branches used tarps to cover their pieces when not in service. I have seen many of these at events, but I am not sure if they are accurate.
I can't find any documentation on them, but would like to know if they existed.
I have not yet tried the Army QM Museum, but that will be next. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
12-10-2006, 12:15 PM
The tarpaulins were issued to Artillery in 3 sizes: 15x12, 6x10, and 5' square. It's really hard to find any in these sizes, but the 15x12 could cover a limber, including the length of the pole. Because the harness had to be protected from the elements, it would be hung on the limber pole, in an ordered mess (it's amazing what a tangle the straps, buckles, saddles, bridles and such can make), with some items on the small tarp underneath, and the whole covered by the long tarp. The 6x10 covers the gun. Remember that every gun had 2 limbers and a caisson. The tarps covered everything, and underneath the gun makes a mighty fine sleeping place. Once everything is covered, and the horses on a picket line, there is room for an entire detachment, minus senior NCO's a Officers, underneath.
So while it is accurate to see guns/limbers tarped for the night, unfortunately most are covered using a tent fly, rather than the proper size tarps.
Most often, unless we sleep in the woods, my battery likes to tarp the guns, sometimes parking two limbered pieces about 8 feet apart, covering the limbers and guns and the space between with a fly, and everyone sleeping there. Sure beats messing with tents. We'd rather sleep under the guns than in the regular "heavy" artillery camps with all the officers tents and furniture and other claptrap.
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