Bloody Banners And Barefoot Boys

Date:
1997
Creator:
Crowson, Noel
Publisher/Studio:
Shippensburg, PA: Burd Street Press
Location:
6125 Boydton Plank Rd.Petersburg,Virginia 23803
Institution:
Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier

Venetian 5.75 Inch Bronze Howitzer

Publisher/Studio:
Venice: Arsenal

This piece, mounted on the eastern entrance to Leutze Park, is a Venetian 5.75-inch bronze howitzer captured during the Barbary Wars. On the second reinforce is a winged lion, its paws resting on an open book. This is the ancient symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark indicates that these howitzers were cast at the famed Arsenal in Venice, a combined shipyard and munitions plant which, for centuries, built and armed the naval squadrons of this powerful Italian city-state. Unlike the early howitzers (Nos. 21-24) in this collection, this is apparently not chambered since, besides the midsection reinforce seen on the other pieces, it has a first reinforce at the breech as well. Cup-shaped vent pieces indicate that this weapon was made before the introduction of priming tubes in the 1760s.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-X
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Venetian 5.75 Inch Bronze Howitzer

Publisher/Studio:
Venice: Arsenal

This piece, mounted on the eastern entrance to Leutze Park, is a Venetian 5.75-inch bronze howitzer captured during the Barbary Wars. On the second reinforce is a winged lion, its paws resting on an open book. This is the ancient symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of Venice. The Lion of Saint Mark indicates that these howitzers were cast at the famed Arsenal in Venice, a combined shipyard and munitions plant which, for centuries, built and armed the naval squadrons of this powerful Italian city-state. Unlike the early howitzers (Nos. 21-24) in this collection, this is apparently not chambered since, besides the midsection reinforce seen on the other pieces, it has a first reinforce at the breech as well. Cup-shaped vent pieces indicate that this weapon was made before the introduction of priming tubes in the 1760s.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-V
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 6.5 Inch Bronze Howitzer

Date:
November 13, 1782
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This 6.5-inch Spanish howitzer was made on 13 November 1782 at Barcelona. Its prominent vent piece has two holes tapped in each side, possibly a vent cover. Trunnion markings give its weight as the equivalent of 726.01 English pounds, and refer to its material as bronzes viejos (old bronzes; that is, metal obtained by melting down earlier ordnance). Its name JUSTICIERO, is an adjective meaning just or fair.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-Z
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

4.63 Inch Bronze Howitzer

This 4.63-inch howitzer only has the founder's or user's identification number "249" for identification. Though its caliber is smaller than that of Nos. 21 and 22, its proportions are similar. A small vent piece is raised forward of the breech ring.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-E
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

5.5 Inch Bronze Howitzer

This piece is a 5.625-inch howitzer; the lack of identification on this weapon indicates that it may have been cast for the export trade. This howitzer, like most of its contemporaries, is chambered; that is, the powder chamber is"necked" down to a smaller diameter than the bore. The breech section of the tube is thus thicker and can withstand firing pressure without the need for a reinforce. This gives Nos. 21-24 the "potbellied" shape which characterizes most - though, as will be seen, not all - howitzers of their period.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-BA
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

5.5 Inch Bronze Howitzer

This piece, as well as the five which follow, are typical howitzers of the kind used from the late 1600s into the early 1800s. Unlike their longer-barrelled mid-19th century descendants in this collection (Nos. 1,3,4, and 7), they are only about four calibers long. This howitzer and No.22 are believed to be of British make, though neither bears any marking to confirm this.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AZ
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

4 Pounder Bronze Gun

This 4-pound gun lacks national markings, but records indicate that it was captured during the war of 1812; its vent field is conspicuously mutilated by extensive drilling or hammering with a pick-like instrument. Its general configuration dates it in the second half of the 18th century, or, possibly, the first years of the 19th. The 4-pounder, as noted under No. 2 above, was a Continental caliber although some iron 4-pounders were in British service until about 1800. It may well have been purchased or captured by the English, since trophy guns were often put to use. It was at the Norfolk Navy Yard when the Civil War began, making it likely that is was originally captured at sea. Its small caliber means that, in all probability, it armed a privateer or armed merchant.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AB
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
June 6, 1767
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

The legend cast into the breech ring of this Spanish 12-pounder gun shows that it was made at Barcelona on 6 June 1767. The royal cipher on the first reinforce is translated C III R, or Carolus III Rex, for Charles III, King of Spain form 1759 to 1788. Like many Continental guns, this one has an individual name cast into its chase. The name EL ALANO means a mastiff, a large hunting dog; not an inappropriate name for a piece of heavy ordnance. A 12-pounder gun would be considered heavy at this time for field use, but would be suitable for siege and garrison service and might be used in larger warships. It was sent to the Philippines for use in the defenses of Manila and was captured there by Rear Admiral Dewey in 1898. This cannon is currently undergoing conservation.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-N
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 6 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1686
Creator:
Andres Melendez

This is the oldest piece in Leutze Park, a Spanish 6-pounder saker cast by Andres Melendez in 1686 for King Charles II (1665-1700), whose arms it bears in high relief on the first reinforce. The founder's name appears around the neck of the muzzle; the gun is named, as many period guns were. It honors Saint Bruno, 11th-century scholar and founder of the Carthusian monastic order; S BRVNO (San Bruno) is cast into the second reinforce. The arms on the chase are those of the official in charge of the royal ordnance or in command of the service for which the gun was made. When this gun was cast, artillery pieces were still described by names which generally indicated their caliber and proportion. This 3.69-inch, 6-pounder weapon is 23 calibers long falling into the category of gun called sacre (saker). A sacre was lighter than the media culebrina (demiculverin), and heavier than a falcon. Its muzzle is strengthened by reinforcing bands or rings, rather than by the bell-shaped muzzle swell seen on later pieces; muzzle rings characterize guns cast into the first quarter of the 18th century.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AE
Institution:
Naval Historical Center