Artillery / Shells
More Shells DUG BY ME, from the Historic, Bloody Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs/Bayou, Mississippi
RARER 3" No-Flame-Grooved Hotchkiss Shell
AND One 3" Hotchkiss Shell Cut-In-Half-- complete with Sabot, Case-Shot, Fuze, ALL Illustrating the Design & Function of Hotchkiss Shells
Precise Location Where I Dug to be Revealed to Future Owner (all private property) on Battle Map!
I only have a meager few pieces of treasure artillery that I personally dug, left from my once vaunted collection. ANYONE who KNOWS ME as a relic hunter, KNOWS that I desired nothing MORE than to DIG ARTILLERY--excepting ANY CS plate, of course--and being around the Vicksburg Sieges and Campaign...there's ALWAYS IRON to BE DUG! Offered here is a rare, unique, historic, and most education "combo"! I dug this and more at a very special "honey hole" spot that had been HARD to dig...but with permission and better detectors....I CLEANED-UP what everyone considered as "hunted-out"!
The battle is known by two names (as usual) : The Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs (as the Confederates would call it, as they were WELL-ENTRENCHED on/around the steep bluffs) or the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (as the Federals called it, since they had to navigate the Yazoo River around Christmas of 1862, lending in the SWAMPY, MUDDY, and easily FLOODING Bayou!) As annually enjoyed, remembered, and portrayed every year in December at the annual "Christmas Ball" in Vicksburg, on Christmas Night during a Grand Ball with all the high-ranking CS officers and high-society citizens of Vicksburg were busy waltzing and reeling, a rider burst into the ballroom, announcing that their pickets had spotted a LARGE FEDERAL LANDING FORCE with gunboats, attempting to find landing along the Chickasaw Bayou on the Yazoo River---the river just NORTH of Vicksburg. The ball was OVER for the CS officer's, who went back to their commands...but Pemberton was already WELL PREPARED for a northward attack to nab Vicksburg from the Yazoo River, and was HEAVILY fortified along many stretches with heavy cannon, and arrayed brigades of infantry. It was William Tecumseh Sherman, himself, under Grant's authority and "blessings," that deemed this DOOMED attack and bloody defeat. The poor Federals endured cold rain and sleet, maneuvering for several days--being shot-at, harassed, and skirmished by the Confederate pickets, just enticing the poor Federals into the "jaws of death" awaiting them at the bluffs--until finally on December 29th, 1862, Sherman order and launched the all-out attack. For hours, the battle rages like a blue sea of Federal soldiers, crashing into the impenetrable entrenched line of out-numbered and out-gunned Confederates...but they had terrain, tenacity, and mother nature on their side. The Federals POUNDED the out-gunned Confederates with ACCURATE rifles cannon fire, as exhibited from these Hotchkiss 3" shells---but the result was only muddy, bloody thousands of Federals and casualties, to the mere hundreds lost by the Confederates. Sherman noted the "high-water marks" on the surrounding trees....some 15' to 20' above ground level, knowing the winters in Mississippi were PRONE to FLOODING in our wet wintry season. After the days of futility and casualties of several thousands without making a dent into the Confederate northern defenses above Vicksburg along the Chickasaw Bluffs, he withdrew his cold and weary troops back into their transports, and back to Federal supply depots and encampments above Vicksburg/Yazoo.
What is left TODAY---after over 50 YEARS of relic hunting--only the "hardcore" relic hunter, with the BEST, NEWEST technological metal detectors can find! And I was privy to being allowed access to a sweet "honey-hole" that had long been considered "too hard" and "hunted-out"...but oh....I FOUND MUCH! Several of us found MANY of these 3" Hotchkiss shells--some, like MINE being offered, were the RARER NON-FLAME-GROOVED shells (designed for a percussion-fuze, though the ones we found were all paper-timed fuzed adapted shells)--were found in a shell "impact area" just in-front and behind the CS entrenched lines. The future owner will receive a battle-map and aerial map showing PRECISELY where FOUND! The COMPLETE shell is the head of a rare NON-FLAME-GROOVED Hotchkiss shell, but found WITH the base having "flame-grooves"....gee...no WONDER IT DIDN'T EXPLODE! Reminds me of the Hotchkiss Shells found at Kennesaw Mountain (in Charlie Harris' "Relic of the Western Campaigns" book) where the Arsenals filled the shells with SAWDUST instead of POWDER! This wasn't THAT BAD...but obviously mating a non-flame-grooved warhead with a flame-grooved base, AND the fuze hole CLEARLY for a paper-timed fuze...NO WONDER they fired almost a DOZEN we recovered that NEVER EXPLODED! Entirely cleaned-out and inert, this is a beautiful shell, with the sabot (as usual) spun-off in flight. The HALF-CUT Hotchkiss shell was a BETTER specimen, having the lead SABOT INTACT, but more pitted iron, so that one got cut in-half as the BEST DISPLAYING and EDUCATIONAL example of the very specialized Hotchkiss Shell design---from the lead sabot, the two parts of the actual "warhead" and the "base" that would "mash" upon firing, thus the soft lead sabot digging into the rifling of the 3" rifled cannon bore, and the lead case-shot inside as well as the paper-timed fuze adaptor.
Here's some of the LAST of my PERSONALLY DUG "IRON" for YOU to now OWN and ENJOY!
Both Sale Pending!!!
Both Shell and Half-Cut Pictured Above Together
The Whole Shell I Dug (above)
Both Sides of the Cut-In-Half Shell (above)
Battle Map & Aerial Shot of the Chickasaw Bluffs/Bayou Battlefield
I'll Show YOU PRECISELY Where Dug....a Secret Little "Honey Hole"!
Click On Thumbnails Below For More Pictures