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"AWI artillery in War of 1812?" Topic

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John the OFM18 Oct 2021 1:47 p.m. PST

Could AWI artillery pieces be used in the War of 1812?
If possible, I'm guessing that Canadian militia and Americans would be more likely.

This is of course a theoretical historical question. Frugal gamers, in the privacy of their own homes can do what they please. Flaunting this publicly is of course a different concern.

rustymusket18 Oct 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

John, If I had this question, you would be the one I would ask. I now have no anchor.

John the OFM18 Oct 2021 3:16 p.m. PST

Kevin might chime in.
He has a nose for artillery questions. grin
Note my emphasis on the "frugal gamer".

I have a faint hope for Hessian Guns captured at Trenton, and French guns captured at Quebec in 1759. But that's a stretch. A loooooong stretch.

But, seriously, back in the frozen time vortex of the previous century, when you could get good music on the radio, I used French Napoleonic guns with no questions asked for the AWI. Even Hinchliffe, who had 4 gunner poses, and produced beautiful artillery models, made few suitable guns for the AWI.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2021 3:44 p.m. PST

I found this:


Grelber18 Oct 2021 4:13 p.m. PST

There's a lovely 1890s Gatling gun at the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming, that was still in the US Army inventory in the 1950s. Somebody thought it would be interesting to hook an electric motor up to it and see how that worked out. Pretty well, as it turned out. This was the prototype for our modern Vulcan miniguns. Similarly, I have a list of WWII Greek artillery pieces that includes guns made in the 1870s. So, yes, AWI artillery was probably around, though it probably didn't serve with the first line field armies, just the militia or maybe in forts, and might have been refitted with a new carriage.


DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2021 4:34 p.m. PST

Some interesting pieces about smaller howitzer pieces – from the time period

In letters between Wayne and Know – Wayne points out how he can effectively a 3" Howitzers against the Indians

"Although 6-pounders and 5.5-inch howitzers had fallen into disfavor for campaigning in the field, Wayne insisted upon using the 3-inch howitzer against the Indians. In a series of letters to Secretary Knox in 1792 and 1793, Wayne outlined plans to show that the howitzer could be employed against Indians in the wilderness or mountainous country because the tube and carriage weighed between 212 and 224 pounds and could be easily transported by a pack horse. Moreover, the howitzer fired canister and shell that burst into small fragments over the target if the fuse were properly set. Thus, the 3-inch howitzer had unprecedented mobility and firepower to support the Army in Indian warfare and could be deadly when served by trained crews. As his correspondence with Knox suggested, Wayne favored employing field artillery as a potentially decisive weapon against the Indians.23"
PDF link

For the Company of Military Collectors and Historians
THE 2 3/4-INCH U.S. HOWITZER, 1792-1793

Digital Copy of Anthony Wayne, a name in arms
A lot of good information on artillery here – but in 1792, it does talk about an initial 8 howitzers and talks about if he needs more – getting them cast – also discusses the President authorizing more in 1793.

The Carriages were in the process of being standardized at the time and I dont recall reading much about changes there

Rakkasan18 Oct 2021 4:55 p.m. PST

Here is link that provides some data:

Using the same guns with the appropriate crews would be OK but color of the carriages may be a concern.

Old Contemptible18 Oct 2021 5:04 p.m. PST

Assuming you're doing 28mm. Foundry on their website says they have US artillery for the War of 1812. But when you go to their War of 1812 catalog there aren't any. In 1808 they change the design of the carriages. If it was me I would buy artillery made for 1812. Then I would use the AWI guns as filler. I know you are trying to save money but how many do you actually need? Not many I suspect. But you may not be able to find any.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2021 5:15 p.m. PST

Don't forget guns captured at Saratoga and Yorktown, John. And 79th PA's link points out variations in carriage colors--including red used in the War of 1812.

If you were building a diorama, there would be necessary fussiness. But for a wargame, I wouldn't hesitate to use them.

Old Contemptible18 Oct 2021 8:45 p.m. PST

Looks like they used French carriages. Brigade Games has them in 12lb and 8lb. If it was me this is what I would go with.



Old Contemptible18 Oct 2021 8:55 p.m. PST

The United States adopted the Gribeauval System ca 1809-except for the gun tubes. The US used their own with the Gribeauval gun carriages, limbers, and caissons. So French carriages with American tubes.

John the OFM18 Oct 2021 9:58 p.m. PST

That's one of the things that continue to improve miniature gaming since I started out.
Sure, Hinchliffe et al made fine artillery "back then". But there were always gaps, and now manufacturers are filling those gaps.

Brechtel19819 Oct 2021 5:24 a.m. PST


There was little variation in the development of field artillery between the War of the Revolution and the War of 1812.

The French Gribeauval System was developed in the mid-to-late 1760s; the Austrian Liechtenstein System was developed in the 1750s; The Russian Arakcheev System was put into effect in 1805, but used older Prussian and Austrian 'designs' for their gun carriages and elevating system.

So, using War of the Revolution artillery material, especially field pieces, would be accurate. Depending on design and manufacture as well as maintenance, a gun tube is a gun tube. They all were loaded and fired the same way regardless of national origin.

And the US did adopt the Gribeauval System in 1809 without adopting the gun tubes as they had plenty and plentiful iron to design and cast more of them.

Regarding color of gun carriages and artillery vehicles, the 1812 Correspondence of Colonel Decius Wadsworth, the Chief of Ordnance, 'indicated that French carriages were being used as models for those he was having manufactured.' It logically follows that the French artillery color would also be used.

The US artillery of the War of 1812 was excellent, and those artillerymen who were employed as infantry performed as well or better than the regular infantry. Winfield Scott was an artillery officer and rose to the command of the 2d Regiment of Artillery from March 1813 until promoted to Brigadier General in March 1814,

The one US artillery battalion that was employed as a battalion, that of Jacob Hindman, who commanded his battalion in the battles on the Niagara peninsula in 1814. The battalion and its four companies performed excellently and received the ultimate compliment from their British adversaries: 'We thought you were French.'

As to color, French artillery green was indeed used by the US Artillery.

John the OFM19 Oct 2021 11:28 p.m. PST

Thank you, all.
It seems that the "frugal gamer" could get away with French guns, while the anal gamer could take AWI gun tubes and mount them on French Gribeauval carriages.
As if anyone, except the painter, could tell the difference. grin

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