War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0325 Chapter XL. OPERATIONS ON MORRIS ISLAND, S. C.

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army and navy have reported favorably concerning it, having observed experimental practice.

From these reports I extract the following description: This rifle battery is a device for multiplying and accelerating infantry fire from rifle barrels, and appears in principle to be a substitute for a 6-pounder rifled gun whenever grape and canister are needed, and, to the extent of its range, case shot, over each of which it possesses greater precision and much less liability to fail in producing desirable results.

It consists of twenty-five rifle barrels, each 24 inches long, arranged upon a horizontal plane and held in position upon a light field carriage by an iron frame. Upon this frame, in the rear of the barrels, is fitted a sliding bar, worked by two levers (one at each side), by which the cartridges are forced into the rear of the chambers. By a lever under the frame, the barrels may be diverged so as to scatter the balls 120 yards in a distance of 1,000. The weight of the battery, complete, is 1,382 pounds.

when served by 3 men, the battery is readily fired 7 volleys, or 175 shots, per minute. It id not foul. Nine degrees elevation gave a range of 1,200 yards, at which distance, the barrels being diverged, the shot scattered into an effective line. Thirteen hundred yards is probably its effective range, although 2,000 yards is claimed for it. The axis of the barrels is 30 inches above the plane on which the pieces stands.

During the siege, four emplacements were constructed for the Requa rifle batteries in the first parallel, five in the second, two in the third, five in the fourth, two in the fifth, and one in advance of it; in all, nineteen positions, built successively s the approaches advance. All these positions were occupied for a longer or shorter time by these batteries. They were located on the flanks or in the salient angles of the works. About one-third were in embrasure. The platforms were built of boards 8 feet square, well nailed to five sills of same material. They were moved forward with the pieces. These batteries constituted, up to the 23rd of August, the only artillery in advance of the second parallel; at that date three Coehorn mortars were moved forward into the fourth parallel.

On several occasions these batteries were used against the enemy's sharpshooters and working parties, apparently with good effect. On the evening of August 25, the two batteries int he fourth parallel took an active part in a brisk skirmish. Three infantrymen, who were not thoroughly drilled, served each piece. they were fired rapidly, and apparently with good effect.

Being breech-loading, and easily handled, scarcely any exposure above the parapet was required on the part of the gunners. But one piece was disabled during the siege, and it was quickly repaired.

Although the defensive properties of the Requa rifle battery were not severely tested in the small amount of service above recorded, I feel quite satisfied that it is adapted to the defense of earthworks, particularly in a flat country like this, where the horizontal line of dispersion afforded by the fire of this piece is more effective than the cone of dispersion of the howitzer. It should be noticed that the angle of dispersion can be varied to suit the case in this battery, which is not true of the howitzer.

These properties, together with its small recoil, and its loading at the breach, and lightness, are the qualities most desirable in a gun for boat service.