Artillery / Shells
My Excellent CS-Used Small Riverboat Deck Cannon!!!
Used by Small River-Steamer on the Tennessee River
IDENTICAL in EVERY WAY to one Recovered from the CS small Riverboat Steamer "Dot" at Big Black River, MS
Almost Certainly made by A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg, Mississippi, THE only near Cannon-Maker Before/During the war Making Non-US Model Cannon
HERE SHE IS!! In ALL her glory! I've just been handed pre-pay tuition bills, another medical procedure coming-up for me....AND POSSIBLY MOVING out to Champion Hill....I'm READY to see WHO IS SERIOUS about OWNING a CS Deck Cannon!!! As explained with the "teaser" a couple weeks ago, she was used on a small CS river-steamer up and down the Tennessee River, until the Federals "came to stay" in northern Alabama--excepting when Forrest and Hood (in his disastrous late-1864 Tennessee Campaign) came through to use the fords THIS CANNON and her crew guarded. It is IDENTICAL in EVERY WAY to the one pulled-off the CS river-steamer "DOT" that was used by the Confederates at the Big Black River crossing (by the Southern Railroad LONG trestle), and was burned in the Confederates hasty retreat being whipped at the Battle of Big Black River. Now, this is NOT in ANY WAY some kind of "US MODEL" cannon. Never was, and too small. It is based upon the designs/models of larger 6-pounders (like the US Model 1834 six-pounder gun) but this was a PRIVATELY-MADE and sold cannon. Given it (and two others with it originally) are IDENTICAL in EVERY FACET/MEASUREMENT/EVERYTHING, we do a little "detective work" and "process of elimination" to answer "who made this cannon!?!?" If THREE of these were on small steamers used byt he Confederates up and down the Tennessee River during the war, and ANOTHER on ANOTHER CS small river-steamer in Big Black River (only 9 miles form Vicksburg), WHO were making cannon prior-to, or during the war, that would be making NON US-REGULATION/NON-US Model cannon for small riverboat steamers? Nope...no cannon-makers in St. Louis before the war, or making for the SOUTH during the war....none in Memphis...none in Natchez....the only two KNOWN cannon-makers anywhere NEAR to have been sold to arm these small river-steamers (NOT the Mississippi River-sized riverboats able to "comfortably" traverse the Mighty Mississippi!) were the US Arsenal in Mount Vernon, Alabama, and the A. B. Reading Foundry in Vicksburg. We KNOW by records that Mt. Vernon did NOT make anything but US Model cannon....so that pretty much makes it clear the ONLY POSSIBLE/LOGICAL maker of this gun was the A. B. Reading Foundry, who privately was already making 6-pounder cannon BEFORE the war started, and did so in earnest once the war came. The foundry made so many things to "feed" the most vital and lucrative river-trade, and with most steamers made for "transport" and not as "gunboats," such smaller deck guns were enough to fend-off local partisans, river-"pirates" trying to steal cargo, a nice "shotgun" with cannister to scatter any Yanks along the shore, etc. NO MARKINGS whatsoever....too bad....but as logically and FACTUALLY just explained, I have NO DOUBT it's from the A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg.
The bore diameter is 2.25", the tube length itself is 33" long, TOTAL length on the carriage is 49" long, and 26" wide. Tube weighs (guessing--had Brian Akins and another dealer lift it, and I gingerly tried a slight lift, and Brian lifts weight like me, and he said it feels like it's just over 100-pounds.put in with the lead-filling--this was done by the family in order to make sure no one would try to shoot it, get hurt, and then come after them---so I can't blame them! One can EASILY have the lead removed (it's melting temperature is WAY lower than the cast-iron), and someone like the Paulson Brothers could do it, SLEEVE the bore, and SAFELY fire BLANK charges---I'd NEVER recommend ANYONE to "live-fire" any Civil War weapon, not just for safety, but it ruins the value! The tube was half-way filled with lead, and you see the modern hex-bolt was also The reproduction carriage is SOLID and EXCELLENTLY made. Thanks to the PERFECT-made carriage, the weight-balance is such that with the 4 wheels, even I with a hernia can move it with EASE. There is a wooden "V" block (you'll see in pics) that you can put under the breech to elevate the barrel DOWN, and can stick it under the front, to keep it from moving in-transit. One could easily buy a turning-screw like the REAL deck guns to lift breech up, or let down. The reproduction carriage alone is SO GOOD, THAT was a "steal" of a deal, and would COST YOU $2,000+ just to have one made!!! THIS ONE HAS IT FOR YOU, already!!! It has the proper "recoil" rope-holes and rearward pulling rope-holes. GREAT detail with the decoratively beveled edges...JUST PERFECT!
With the Tube being somewhere in the 100-pound weight range, and carriage far less, both could be shipped separately, and the cost via UPS would be around $500-$600 total, as I guesstimated it. OR, you can come-by and pick it up, OR I can deliver at a show!
I'm NOT "giving it away"....I love it WAY too much--as does my children (even my wife!)
Here's a NO BS, CS-used, almost CERTAINLY A. B. Reading of Vicksburg-made small riverboat deck gun that you can afford to own! And WHAT a KILLER "CENTERPIECE" this WILL BE in ANYONE'S COLLECTION and DISPLAY!!!
$7,000 Sale Pending/Layaway - Congrats to New Owner!
Click On Thumbnails Below For More Pictures
SLICK & RARE CS 10-Inch Mortar Shell, Dug by ME !!!
Rarity 8 out of 10 (see George & Dickey Excerpts), Having the Tong/Lifting "Ears," Classic CS Wood-Plug Fuzed
Fired from the ONLY CS Mortar in Vicksburg, Within the Southern-Most Fort along River/CS Lines, "South Fort"
Has MOST Unique, Crude Casting Flaws, Believed to be Made by the Vicksburg A. B. Reading Foundry
Everyone and anyone who "knows me," KNOWS that when it comes to relic hunting....I'd rather dig a shell/cannonball ANYTIME over some US plates! I'm truly in to "heavy metal"! I've dug the RAREST CS ordnance ever known, to the most common 6# solid shot and 10#/3" Parrotts-Reads. I LOVE THEM ALL!!! My last "good find" after our son was diagnosed with cancer was THIS RARE BEAUTY! Going from relic-hunting on average 3 days a week, 52-weeks a year....then our son's cancer....it really brought my relic-hunting days to what is now virtually "closed". But this was one I recovered in early 2007, with my old-faithful digging buddy, Lonnie Bell. Thanks to a great "hint" about where to go to dig Yankee siege/camp stuff, as well as CS IMPACT-AREAS for CS-fired artillery rounds, we went to this special "area" which I will ONLY REVEAL TO THE FUTURE OWNER! After all...it's still a GOOD SPOT! Our first trip, we fumbled around the ravines and hill-tops, through brush, thickets, and dense trees...but sure enough, Ol' Lonnie pops-out a US boxplate--as pretty as the ones they have been digging since the 1950's! Since the soil all over Vicksburg is Loess soil, it's SO KIND to relics in the ground--virtually NO mineralization, and with great, porous sand for ground, it lets the water quickly and easily seep down hundreds of feet to the water-table, thus allowing relics (especially IRON) to have very little ground-action (unless dug in the "bottoms" or creeks). The SECOND TIME we went out, we found the usual dropped Yankee Minnie's (being behind their siege lines of Vicksburg, on the southern-most end), some grape and canister, as well as shell frags...and then that verrrry faint....deeeeep, "womp...womp...". With my machine, I know it's something DEEP. And sure enough, just over 3 feet deep, on the top of a thin ridgeline, HERE SHE WAS! As you can see by the Ed Bears' Vicksburg NPS siege map provided below, I KNEW what I had! It was fired from the Confederate's southern-most fortification of the siege line, and anchored against the bluff over the Mississippi River--the "South Fort". Many of you who have come to Vicksburg always go here, for it's literally RIGHT OFF the 1st exit into Vicksburg (driving EAST into V'burg on I-20) or LAST exit heading west on I-20. This is where the ONLY CS MORTAR in Vicksburg was...and it was a 10" mortar! You can see on the map below. Again, I'll ONLY SHOW THE EXACT SPOT WHERE FOUND to the future owner. There's MORE in THERE!
As the seminal Artillery reference Book "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War" co-authored by Thomas Dickey and Peter George, the 1993 edition shows these rare beauties--and MINE IS AS SLICK as a BABY'S BUTT! The one pictured in the book is UGLY with pitting! [See excerpt below!] These are a rarity 8 out of 10, and as it describes, measures around 9.75" in diameter. Mine is a classic CS wood-plug fuzed shell, and has the most UNUSUAL, CRUDE casting "flaws" or "anomalies" I've ever seen. When it comes to artillery ammunition for CS General Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg, it's either from the Selma Arsenal, some from the Jackson Arsenal (before it BLEW-UP, killing dozens in October of 1862), or Vicksburg's own A. B. Reading cannon and casting Foundry. Since this is NOT the quality of Selma Arsenal AT ALL, and the Jackson Armory only made 6-pounders and small arms ammo, that leaves only the hard-pressed, besieged A. B. Reading foundry as the obvious, no-brainer conclusion as to "who" made this rare CS 10" mortar shell. Despite virtually NO PITTING/GROUND-ACTION, you clearly see where there are two "roll-marks" going across the shell, on either side of the fuze-hole and tong/grip "ears" are. IF they were going into the fuze-hole, one would logically conclude it was made for acting like a "flame-groove," as some rare large naval projectiles did. But this clearly shows how CRUDE it was casted, and only could have been done while it was in the die-cast, OR JUST AFTER being casted, still HOT enough to allow the iron to be "malleable" such that it looks like once they casted it, they rolled it out of the die, down two rails on either side. Having WORKED in a steel mill, I've SEEN THIS...and that's what I firmly believe was happening in such hurried desperation within the besieged A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg. It wasn't from "banding" to any sabot--they would criss-cross. It was something to do either in the mold-die to release it from the mold, or allow it to roll out of the mold.
I'm down to my LAST artillery projectiles, and my LAST plates I've dug....here's another one for the taking! AND THE SHIPPING EXPENSE will be calculated with the future owner--unless we meet at an upcoming show, or you come by to pick it up---I sure ain't gonna get any more HERNIAS lifting this heavy thing (over 90 pounds--cleaned inside cavity, NO powder inside).
$350 Sale Pending
Below Shows the Lone CS 10" Mortar of the "South Fort"
Click On Thumbnails Below For More Pictures