War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0065 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

both in range and penetration, and especially their maximum endurance, the attention of all officers using rifled guns of large calibers is called to the following rules: Sponges well saturated with oil shall alone be used; and for this purpose the necessary supply of oil shall be provided for all batteries of position in which rifled guns form the part or whole of its armament. A little grease or slush upon the base of the projectile adds much to its certainty, and should be always used when possible. The bores of the guns should be washed, and the grooves cleaned of all residuum and dirt subsequent to the firing, after the guns has cooled. Great care must be taken to send the projectile home in loading, that no space may be left between the projectile and the cartridge.

Before using shells, unless already loaded and fused, they must be carefully inspected both on their exterior and interior, and scrapers should be used to clear the cavity of all molding sand before charging the shell. Special attentionn should be given to the insertion of the fuses, and the threads of the fuse-hole should be carefully cleaned before screwing in the fuse. In all Parrott projectiles it should be carefully observed that the brass ring or cup is properly wedged, and that, in the case of the ring, the cavities between it and the projectile are not clogged with dirt or sand.

In loading shells care will be taken to fill them entirely with powder, leaving no vacant space after the fuse is screwed in.

For the 10,20, and 30 pounder Parrott guns powder of too large a grain should not be used. The best powder for the projecting charge of these guns is what is called "mortar powder."

26. Pole-straps and pole-pads of field limbers, not belonging to horses batteries, are to be kept in the implement room or in the trays of the limber chest. They should be occasionally washed and oiled, as prescribed for the care of harness in Field Artillery Tactics.

27. The forts will be inspected daily by their commanding officers; and by the brigade, division, district, or department commanders, and by the chief of artillery, as frequently as possible. Particular attention will be paid at all inspections to the drill and discipline of the garrison and police of the work; to the condition of the armament, ammunition, and magazines, and as to whether the proper supply of ammunition, implements, & c., is on hand at the post.


1. The firing in action should be deliberate - never more than will admit of accurate pointing. A few shots effectively thrown is

better than a large number badly directed. The object in killing is to inspire terror so as to deter or drive off the enemy, and precision of fire and consequent certainty of execution is infinitely more important in effecting this than a great noise, rapid firing, and less proportional execution.

2. To secure accuracy of fire the ground in the neighborhood must be well examined, and the distance to the different prominent points within the fields covered by each gun measured and noted.

The gunners and cannoneers should be informed of these distances, and in the drills the guns should be accurately pointed at the objects noted in succession, the gunner designating it, calling the distance in yards, and the corresponding elevation in minutes and degrees, until all the distances and corresponding elevation are familiar to the men.