View Full Version : Swivel Guns

03-18-2006, 04:06 AM

Hello, I'm new to the list. I'm a gunner in a CSA unit and have been doing research on various artillary pieces. I have a question about "Swivel Guns", is there any documentation regarding their use during the war? I would like to infuse this artillary piece with the other pieces that my unit uses. Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you,

03-18-2006, 11:08 AM
March 18, 2006

Article from America's Civil War MagazineStruggle for St. Louis
While Dickey and his band of Wide-Awakes moved toward the area, another small group approached the mansion in an attempt to resolve the matter peacefully. Basil Duke received them cordially but firmly declared there would be no compromise involving the removal of the homespun standard. Dickey and his band arrived shortly afterward, and for several hours both sides engaged in name-calling, blustering and threats. The Minutemen who had been circulating among the crowd remained there with instructions to create diversions should the need arise. Finally, the Wide-Awakes could stand it no longer, and a small group attempted to force the Fourth Street wall. The Minutemen repulsed the foray with bayonets, and Greene gleefully recorded: "The crowd...pressing through the narrow alley...was assailed in the most ludicrous manner with the contents of an odorous vessel and other household missiles freely thrown down from the windows by the Irish servant girls (encouraged by the ladies within)."
Dickey did not take kindly to the setback and led the remaining Wide-Awakes against the front entrance of the mansion. The Minutemen attempted unsuccessfully to fire the brass swivel gun placed at the doorway, and Duke grappled with Dickey on the front steps, the little match ending with Duke holding a knife to Dickey's throat. Muskets and revolvers were brandished on both sides. The Minutemen in the crowd began to brawl with anyone within reach, and the situation soon began to deteriorate, with men who had no strong political feelings trying to find shelter as quickly and as far away from the mob as possible. The affair ended when, as Greene wrote, "Irish from the Biddell Market quarter joined with us in the melee and we were masters of the ground."

bob 125th nysvi
03-18-2006, 08:39 PM
Suspect you are on a wild goose chase here.

The classic use of a swivel gun was as an anti-personnel weapon from a fixed location (ship, fort wal, etc). While they were still sitting around in armories and some may have been issued to ships for use in riverine warfare or to repel boarders, I suspect as soon as both sides got organized any make-shift field mountings went the way of the dodo.

You'll probably find a couple of early war references to their use and maybe even a couple of militia/home defense type actions but in regular combat by a regular unit?

I'd be surprised.

It's time had passed.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

03-19-2006, 08:05 AM

I was going to say the same thing, but I got curious and found that reference. ( I was at work so I couldn't spend too much time on it)

03-19-2006, 08:11 AM

Chief Quartermaster Department of Virginia:

"...SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to opening communication with General Sherman, made at your request:
On the 11th of March, 1865, I received orders from Brig. Gen. George S. Dodge (a copy of which I inclose(+)). I also received verbal orders to procure a launch from the Navy Department; also two swivel guns and the necessary ammunition; also a construction party to accompany me to clear obstructions...."

It's Navy thing....

bob 125th nysvi
03-19-2006, 11:13 AM
Now that quote supports the contention that you aren't going to see one as part of a land action. Unless it is part of a naval landing or raid.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY