View Full Version : CS Artillery/Chickamauga

09-27-2007, 09:50 AM
I don't know who shot this footage, but this is what Mounted Artillery ought to look like:


Frank Brower

09-27-2007, 10:12 AM
Great footage. I was there portraying Cpl. Frank Wood Co. A 7th Texas (Waco Guards). It was great seeing mounted artillery done right and always on the move. One of the "moments" had I was being in line of battle at the base of Snodgrass and having the artillery tear thru the woods behind us to move up to our right flank.The look on those fellas faces holding on for dear life was truly an aspect you don't ever see. Not to mention EVERYTHING we did, was in REAL TIME.

09-27-2007, 10:14 AM
I noticed two limbers, but only one caisson, for the the section. Was that the standard of the time? (mark this down to "stupid infantryman question")

09-27-2007, 10:56 AM
Technically this was a half-section. For each gun, there was a caisson, and two limbers that were interchangeable.


09-27-2007, 08:16 PM
Great vid.

09-27-2007, 08:17 PM
Hello everyone,

First let me say thanks for sharing the clip. The guys and their equipment looked great. Artillery is a very expensive branch of the hobby. That’s the main reason most of us doing artillery impressions can’t afford a horse team (or even know which end is the front. :)

Video clips of events are a great tool to debrief and conduct after action safety reports that will lead to additional training that enforces good habits.

Being an old artillery and safety man, I must comment on the number 3 position on the gun crew. When he was pricking the charge, I noticed he slapped the vent prick several times with an open palm. This is not proper or safe to do. If the round were to discharge premature the vent prick would go into the palm of number 3’s hand causing serious injury.

The proper and safe way to prick the charge is to drop the vent prick into the vent hole allowing the vent prick to rest on the powder charge. Do not tap or expose your palm by placing it over the vent prick. Allowing the vent prick to rest on the charge ensures that the rounded is seated properly in the chamber. Next take the gloved thumb and pointing finger grasping the vent prick at the brass handle or wooden handle (depending on type of vent prick used). Using these two fingers push the vent prick into the charge. If the round were to accidental go off the vent prick would be blown out of the fingers of the number 3 crew members hand and not into the palm of the hand.

To answer the question about how artillery was organized I will redirect you to the 1st Maryland Light Artillery website:


I hope this information is helpful and I explained it clearly.

09-27-2007, 11:09 PM
Mark, your explanation of the make-up of a battery is excellent. Thank you for sharing that.

Regarding the position of #3 in the video, we do not use a "prick" with either a wood or brass handle. Our priming wires are made to the proper length, with a circle formed at one end, as were the originals. Our method of introducing the wire into the cartridge is to grasp the priming wire loop with the thumb and index finger, approaching the vent at an angle, placing the point into the vent, then bringing the priming wire to the vertical and allowing it to drop into the vent, coming to rest on the cartridge. It is then driven into the cartridge with blow given with the BACK of the hand. Depending on the thickness of foil making up the cartridge, it sometimes takes a couple of taps to pierce the cartridge. To remove the priming wire, the loop is grasped by the thumb and index finger, and it is lifted clear. At no time do the digits enter the loop. Rapping it with the back of the hand insures that in the case of a premature discharge, the palm is not exposed to the blast or the exiting priming wire.

In careful review of the video, it appears to me that he was indeed using the back of his hand. He is a very experienced cannoneer, and was serving with a very experienced detachment, everyone one of whom is constantly watching the entire process. I don't believe he would use the palm of his hand, nor do I believe they would allow him to commit such an error.

The method you describe sounds completely safe, also. It speaks highly of your training that you are so observant that this caught your eye.

We can't be too careful, can we?

Frank Brower

09-28-2007, 12:58 AM


Thank you for that detailed explanation. I also agree that we must always share safety tips and watch each other. The big guns are exciting to crew but they can be deadly if you get complacent or start rushing.

The gun crew impression on the video looks great. This is an area that most artillery units can improve upon. I'm always looking to improve upon my kit and gladly seek advice from any friendly source wishing to share their knowledge.

I appreciate the dialog and you sharing your wealth of experience. To me this is what itís all about.