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The Role of Heavy Explosive Ordnance in Strategic Battles

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

The Role of Heavy Explosive Ordnance in Strategic Battles

The development of heavy explosive ordnance brought awesome destructive power to the battlefield never experienced before. But that power was not fully tested or understood before deployment under actual battle conditions, and could be destructive to the user as awell as to the enemy.

Every major engagement involving heavy explosive ordnance was a learning experience for both sides. However, a few represented historic “firsts” in warfare or turning points in tactics or strategy. Sometimes these “firsts” were accomplished only with great sacrifice. In a number of cases, the tactics and strategies used were wrong, and brought disastrous results. In other cases the “lessons learned” were incorrect and reversed when tested in later battles. Notwithstanding these failures and catastrophes, by the end of the war, the tactical and strategic landscape for the use of heavy explosive ordnance was changed forever.

Described in chronological order are highlights of seven major battles or attacks in which heavy explosive ordnance produced results that led to changes in the strategy or tactics of warfare.

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Harding

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Harding

The designer of the Harding family of projectiles has proved to be the most elusive of any of the designers of Civil War projectiles. The author searched in vain at the National

Archives, the Museum of the Confederacy, the Library of Virginia, and talked with librarians at the Charleston Historical Society and the Charleston Museum. No information was found to identify Harding.

This family of projectiles owes its “Harding” name to a series of photographs taken at the Charleston Arsenal shortly after the war. In preparing projectiles to be photographed, someone had meticulously assembled about 50 pieces of heavy artillery projectiles and torpedoes and painted the names and calibers on most of them. Among those, were more than a dozen projectiles labeled “Harding.” (See front of dust jacket.)

During modern times some 11 different types and calibers of projectiles from this family have been recovered in various locations around Charleston and along the South

Carolina coast. Based on their recovery locations, Harding projectiles may have appeared as early as 1863, certainly by 1864. They continued to be used until Confederate forces abandoned Charleston as General Sherman began to move north from Savannah towards

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Broun

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Broun

Lt. Col. William L. Broun became commander of the Richmond Arsenal in June

1863. It appears that he soon began to work on the redesign of rifled bolts and shells with copper ring sabots to improve their performance (and to reduce the consumption of scarce copper). Shells attributed to Broun’s designs appear on 1864 battlefields.

These designs simplified the manufacturing process by eliminating the lower bourrelet on the shell body, replacing it with a copper sabot that was wider than the shell base diameter. He attempted to improve the sabot effectiveness with lugs that were cast about one-half inch into the shell to hold the sabot firmly to the body. There is some evidence that these changes produced better performance, and manufacturing was simplified.

Large-caliber Broun shells have been recovered from two areas. The 4.2-inch caliber

Brouns have been recovered from late war Richmond-Petersburg lines and from Mobile

Bay. The larger calibers, 6.4-inch and 7.0-inch, are known to have been recovered only from the Mobile Bay area.

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Mirrors

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Furniture

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Furniture

59

SCRATCHES

• To disguise a furniture scratch, crush pecan or Brazil

nuts into a paste and rub into the wood.

• Dab some iodine over scratches in mahogany furniture.

• Choose a matching color of paste shoe polish. Rub polish into the scratch. Protect with furniture oil.

BURNS

• Burns are one of the most serious types of furniture

damage. The following method of treatment requires care and patience, but should postpone the need to refinish the entire piece.

Clean the burn area by carefully scraping with a sharp knife or single-edged razor blade to remove all loose dirt and charred wood. The area should then be cleaned thoroughly with odorless mineral spirits on a cotton swab. Smooth the area with fine steel wool (0000) wrapped around a pencil or stick. Clean and sand with the wood grain using 320 or finer sandpaper.

After cleaning again, a matching stain should be applied to the area. When the stain has dried, stick-shellac that matches the wood finish should be applied to level the damaged area.

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Vintage Clothing and Textiles

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Vintage Clothing and Textiles

125

• Vary the way you fold textiles/clothing.

• Stuff the sleeves of coats, blouses, or dresses with acid•

free tissue in order to prevent creases.

Cover cardboard rolls with polyester or cotton batting and muslin wrapping.

Check storage areas two to three times a year for insects.

Use padded hangers that fit the shoulders of the clothing.

Do not store vintage fabrics in plastic cleaners bags or plastic storage bags. Do not use zip-locked bags for small items. Moisture buildup can cause mold and mildew.

Do not store fabrics that have been starched. They will attract silverfish and other pests.

Sugar was a popular starching material in the old days.

Remove sugar by washing the piece before storing (consult a professional for vintage fabrics). Critters love to munch on sugar-starched textiles.

Do not store or display garments in sunlight. Bright light will fade the colors.

HOW TO PAD HANGERS

• Cut white cotton sheets or muslin into strips.

• Use wooden hangers, if available, because they are stur-

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Mildew Cleaner

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Metals: Identifying with a Magnet

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Brass

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
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Lacquered Items

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574411638

Lynall Thomas

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Lynall Thomas

Not much is known about Lynall Thomas, an Englishman credited with the design of complicated rifled shells of doubtful effectiveness supplied to the Confederacy. The shell consisted of a narrow shell body with a very large head. Behind the head a lead sleeve and lead disk were cast and a midshell thick iron band put on the outside of the lead sleeve. Another lead disk separated the midshell iron band from a thick rear iron band.

Upon firing, the iron bands were forced forward on the lead sleeve, squeezing the lead disks into the rifling.

Shells of this design have been recovered in three calibers: 4.62-inch, 5.82-inch, and

6.4-inch. Almost all the shells in each caliber come from only a single area. The 4.62inch shells come from Awendaw and Charleston, South Carolina. The single 5.82-inch shell is from the West Point collection, and all of the 6.4-inch Lynall Thomas shells come from the areas around Fort Fisher and nearby Fort Caswell.

Only one complete fired specimen has been noted (the 6.4-inch shell documented in this book). It appears to have taken the rifling effectively.

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Books

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Tips, Tools, & Techniques

12

• Clean books with a vacuum dusting-brush attachment,

a shaving brush, or a soft paintbrush. Dust from the back binding to the front, not allowing dust to gather in the headcap.

Check books periodically for insect infestation. Bookworms, moths, and silverfish love to chew on pages and bindings. Remove any insect carcasses with a soft brush.

Wipe mold and mildew off the bindings and pages with a clean soft cloth. If the pages are still moldy, wipe with an alcohol-dampened cloth, then fan out the pages and brush off after a few hours.

Use a dry chemical sponge available from janitorial supply stores to clean soot from fire damage.

Press a lump of untinted modeling clay over the dirt on soiled pages. Knead the clay frequently to get a fresh surface.

DISPLAY

• When arranging books on shelves, be sure there is

plenty of room for each one to be lifted out easily.

Books should be held upright on shelves.

Use bookends on partially filled shelves so that books stand upright. Prevent books from sagging and spines from bending.

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Audio Materials

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

Audio Materials

The field of audio materials has been developing and changing over the last 134 years since Thomas A. Edison developed his phonograph and cylinders to convey the spoken word and music. Edison invented the first machine that could record sound in 1877 using a tinfoil cylinder. In 1886,

Alexander Graham Bell obtained several patents for a commercial talking machine called a graphaphone. He replaced

Edison’s tinfoil with wax cylinders. By 1888, Edison had perfected his phonograph using a wax cylinder.

Some definitions of audio materials are in order. Audio records include 78s, 45s, and LPs (which are long-playing phonograph records designed to be played at 33 1/3 rpm).

CD is a compact disc that is a plastic-fabricated, circular medium for recording, storing, and playing back audio, video, and computer data. DVDs used to be known as digital video discs until they became more versatile, thus the name change to digital versatile discs.

CLEANING AUDIO RECORDS, CDS,

AND DVDS

• To clean really dirty or smudged records, CDs, or DVDs,

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Dyer

Jack Bell University of North Texas Press PDF

Dyer

Prior to the war, Alexander B. Dyer was a junior ordnance officer in the U.S. Army.

Before the war he went to England and observed the performance of Britten projectiles being fired from Blakely rifles. Upon his return home, Dyer designed a very similar projectile. He soon was promoted to captain and became chief of ordnance at Fort Monroe.1

It was while he was in that post that the Union Army began purchasing projectiles of his design. The ordnance officer who recommended the purchase of Dyer shells stated that the Dyer design differed only slightly from the Dimick projectile2 and was almost identical to the design of John A. Dahlgren.3

The Dyer design, like Britten’s and Dahlgren’s, had a heavy lead cup sabot cast on to the shell base. For field caliber shells, Dyer used the same method for sabot attachment as Britten. The rounded shell base was tinned, then a lead cup sabot was cast on to the tinned shell base. For the large caliber projectiles, Dyer designed the shell body with a flat base and used notches in the side of the shell base to hold the sabot in place, differing from the Britten design.

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Photography

Georgia Kemp Caraway University of North Texas Press PDF

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