US Civil War
War and Military History
Bombs and Explosive Materials

Were there different kinds of cannons in the civil war?



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Yes. There types included Cannon, Howitzers and Mortars. Some cannon had smooth bores inside the barrel and later ones were rifled with sprial grooves to induce a spin to the shell and make it go straighter and thus more predictable. The smooth bores were easier to load.

Some cannon used shells that were 6-sided shape to fit exactly in the barrel that was cut in 6 sides to the bore.

Mortars were used to throw explosive charges up and over a wall or trench works.

Some cannon could fire a solid ball. Others fired a shell that had a fuse that caused it to explode in the air. Some cannon were loaded with grapeshot, which made it fire out multiple smaller balls like a shotgun.

Then there is a whole category of experimental cannons---ones that never made it into production.


ALSO NOTE: some cannons used in the civil war were much larger then the cannons your probably thinking of.