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"American artillery loadouts" Topic

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Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

I haven't been able to locate any definitive information on artillery loadouts during the AWI. What I mean when a battery deployed where and what quantity was the powder and shot for the guns carried? Was it in an attached general service type wagon, farm cart, or was there specialized transport?

Any help is appreciated.

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

Let me see if I can find it now, but I've seen some paintings of an AWI artillery park. They had a wagon for the powder. But the specifics on the load out I'm not sure. I know a link for the ACW artillery load out. Which is not what your looking for.

Try this link: link

At the bottom of the webpage is a French artillery park, showing limbers, powder wagons and ammunition wagons.

Bill N09 Feb 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting that Ironwolf.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2017 8:45 p.m. PST


Thank you that is very helpful.

historygamer10 Feb 2017 6:44 a.m. PST

That is a really neat painting, but I am not sure how accurate that would be for the field. Artillery guns carried their rounds in the ready boxes on both sides of the gun. The guns were brought forward by civilian contractors for the Crown, deployed, and the team of horses moved out of the area. The ready boxes were detached from the gun and put behind them – about 10 or so yards. The ammunition was then brought forward, one round at a time, from the boxes (whose lids were kept shut for safety).

When needed resupplied they gun would either have to retire (more likely) or an ammunition cart brought forward (not common in the middle of a battle). The ammo wagons were kept out of the battle area for safety reasons (no one wants and exploding powder cart).

Here is a painting of such ammo wagons:


Here are some more in the background:


Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

Glad it could help, but I took the artillery park painting as how it was while in camp, not on the battlefield? I guess maybe for a siege it could have been set up like how its shown in the painting? The link above does explain how the lighter guns were assigned to brigades to support the battalions of infantry. Only thing I can't find is what was the load out for the ammunition left with the guns once they were set up for battle??

historygamer11 Feb 2017 10:30 a.m. PST

No offense, but while that artist concept painting is pretty neat to look at, I can guarantee you that is not what a siege line looked like. Placing all that equipment and tents in the line of enemy return fire would never happen. That is unless you want it all destroyed or blown up. :-)

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

No offense taken historygamer, you are well versed on the AWI and one of the go to people I look for when I have a question. I took the painting as a depiction for a camp. Since it said it was at Yorktown, I threw the siege out there as a question for those with more knowledge on the subject than I have. Thanky

historygamer13 Feb 2017 4:57 p.m. PST

If you can get a good look at the one Warley camp painting, you can see the civilian drivers for the limbered gun – which is being escorted by an infantryman and a Royal gunner. The drivers are on the far side of the team or horses, one mounted, one on foot.

Wagons are a trickier question. I suspect most wagons used to supply the guns were purpose built – as you see in the Ligonier photos. The limbers, guns and RA wagons would all be painted grey.

Civilian wagons were more likely used for transporting infantry articles.

Having just finished the excellent Preston book on the Braddock campaign, many of the wagons used to haul supplies were civilian – much like the Conestoga wagon of later use in the move west. But I doubt these were used for artillery. They weren't during the Braddock campaign.

Getting back to the artillery question, let me ask one of my friends who is more knowledgeable on the subject. He has spent some time at Woolwich too, as he has connections there. He is also a re-enactor who owns a period gun.

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