Howitzers


an HMS American Cultures collaborative production

external image 12pdrhowitzervicks.jpg
During the American Civil War, the Confederates mostly used the Howitzer class cannon. The Union did not favor the lower range of the cannon and more advanced weapons such as the Napoleon quickly replaced them. The Confederates did not have the option to replace the Howitzers so they used them the entire Civil War. There were two main types of Howitzers used by the South: one type that fired twelve-pound shots and another that fired twenty-four pound shots. The twelve-pounder was favored for its easy maneuverability on the battlefield. The gun was so light soldiers could push it around with their hands and move it without horses. The twenty-four pounders were very heavy, and were hard to maneuver on the field so they mostly spent time defending fortifications against attack. Howitzers also served a double purpose to the South. The cannons were unique in their own way; they could be used as a mortar that could fire exploding shells over the heads of troops. The general for artillery in the South frequently called them "his favorite guns."
The Howitzers were used heavly during the defence of Petersburg.

Online Sources:

“The 12 pound Howitzer.” Civil War Talk. 19 May 2009 <http://civilwartalk.com/Resource_Center/Arms_and_Ordnance/Field_Artillery/artillery-profile-12-pdr-howitzer-a81.html>.

“The 24 pound Howitzer.” Civil War Talk. 19 May 2009 <http://civilwartalk.com/Resource_Center/Arms_and_Ordnance/Field_Artillery/artillery-profile-24-pdr-howitzer-a82.html>.

“Field artillery in the American Civil War.” Wikipedia. 19 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_artillery_in_the_American_Civil_War#Howitzers>
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