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"US artillery" Topic

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688 hits since 6 Oct 2017
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martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

Just a brief question. Any answers appreciated. What would be the standard (?) artillery piece and transportation for units operating on the plains against the Indian and against the Apache.

I would expect the guns to be les than the usual 12pdr Napoleon with 6 horse limber due to the highly mobil nature of US forces attacking Indian camps and places such as the lava beds.

Maybe a light howitzer??

The information is for the next edition of PP "western battles".

Thank you in advance.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 7:54 a.m. PST

Good question

Post ACW the US Army had five artillery regiments, each with one battery of 12-pounder Napoleons and one battery of 3-inch Ordnance rifles; the surplus of muzzle loaders made the US Arm slow to adapt

You will find this a helpful reference

PDF link

mwindsorfw Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

At the First Battle of Adobe Walls, the U.S. Army brought two mountain howitzers, which were reported as being instrumental in holding off the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache in the eight hour battle. They were deployed enough that ammunition became a concern.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2017 8:00 a.m. PST

The internet is your friend.




Atomic Floozy06 Oct 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

There wasn't a standard artillery piece on the plains. The 12" mountain howitzer, 10pdr Parrot, the Hotchkiss 2pdr, & the Gatling gun were the most used.

In the 1874 campaign, the Red River War:

Mackenzie took no artillery into the field. Miles had a 10pdr Parrot & 2 Gatling guns in his column. Price had one mountain howitzer in his column. Davidson stripped his column of tents, chairs, cots, and all other baggage to travel light, but it is not clear if he left the artillery behind at Ft. Sill or not. And there is no mention of artillery in Buell's column.

jdginaz06 Oct 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

Other than the Battle of Apache Pass, where the California Column used 2 moutain howitzers, I've never heard of any artillery being used against the Apache in Arizona or New Mexico. Very rough ground and not many roads.

RudyNelson06 Oct 2017 7:43 p.m. PST

Despite movie plots, most wagon trains were escorted by infantry. Among the infantry companies detached for escort duty were a number of red leg units as well.
The infantry did not require the large amounts of fodder to feed horses that cavalry detachments required.
Artillery guns used were unusual. Did you check the Moroccan war?
Inretesting responses so far. I will have to check my notes from the ‘Under One Sun' articles.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

From reading I think guns were often found in western battles. More so when the Indians stayed for a while to fight. eg lava pits.Stationary army posts would also usually have gun(s).

Thank you very much for the information provided. It will be of great use as always


RudyNelson07 Oct 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

Boy I hate spelling auto correct. That should br Modoc wars.

cplcampisi10 Oct 2017 9:02 p.m. PST

I think the 12lber Mountain Howitzer was popular, usually with the Prairie Carriage.

mghFond11 Oct 2017 6:06 p.m. PST

I know the army used artillery against the Nez Perce.

Early morning writer Inactive Member13 Oct 2017 12:01 a.m. PST

I was under the general impression that artillery was rarely used in battle against the American Indian – though they certainly were used during the Nez Perce War. Since Indians were usually very much dispersed – not in Hollywood masses – artillery would have negligible impact except for the psychological effect.

If you can find it – and if it even exists – find statistics comparing wounds, both fatal and non-fatal caused against Indians in battle. That is likely to provide the most definitive information. Though it won't, necessarily, identify actual pieces of artillery, or maybe it will in some limited instances.

I'd say the most useful rule for artillery use would be the psychological impact of the "guns that fire twice."

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