- Paperback: 72 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Publications (PA); 1 edition (May 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0939631032
- ISBN-13: 978-0939631032
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cannons: An Introduction to Civil War Artillery 1st Edition
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What struck me especially about Thomas' discussion is the vicious killiing power of Civil War artillery. Solid shell, when used against soldiers, was fired so as to ricochet for maximum physical and psychological effect. Case shot, canister, and grapeshot could rip apart not only individual soldiers but entire columns and files of men. And these weapons were used in unimaginable quantities. Thomas ends his book with a "Summary of Federal Purchases" of artillery. Between 1 January 1861 and 30 June 1866, for example, the army purchased slightly under 3 million projectiles for smoothbore guns, just over 3 million for rifled guns, 6.5 million pounds of grape and canister shot, almost 10 million pounds of cannon powder, and nearly 8 million pounds of mortar powder. Trying to translate these figures into an appreciation of what all this did to human bodies and hopes and families is impossible. But really: we ought always to try, lest we forget the true cost of war.