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"Cannon in the American Revolution" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2023 9:07 p.m. PST

"Revolutionary war period cannon used by all armies was the standard smooth-bore muzzle-loading weapon that had not changed its design in the previous two hundred years. It would go on to remain very much the same for another hundred years.

Cast in iron or bronze, a cannon was loaded with prepared cartridge of paper or cloth containing gunpowder. The ball or grape was then inserted and rammed home on to the cartridge, unlike a musket cartridge that combined powder and ball in the same paper. Often these prepared cartridge and projectiles were transported on caissons, a two-wheeled cart designed to carry artillery ammunition drawn by hand or horses. Other times they were laid in a box or ammunition chest and strapped to the limber, a two-wheeled cart that attached to the trail of an artillery piece by an iron bolt or rod that was secured into a pintle. Sometimes, the munitions may have been strapped directly onto the carriage, the two-wheeled cart upon which the cannon rested, or on either side of the chase, the barrel itself…"

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42flanker22 May 2023 3:13 a.m. PST

Oh- 'galloper guns' – hurrah!
Hurrah for Harry Shenawolf's 2015 Revolutionary War Journal!

"What remained the same were the light infantry accompanying guns ['Battalion cannon']. The tails of these carriages were modified to be drawn by horse, thereby giving the term ‘galloper guns.'

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2023 4:31 a.m. PST

If the term 'designed' is in the meaning of a gun tube that was muzzle-loaded, then the assertion is correct. If meant in the sense that no improvements in gun tube design had occurred, then it is incorrect.

Improvements in gun tube design had begun with Gustavus Adolphus in the 17th century and continued into the nineteenth century. The improvements included increased accuracy, better production methods, making the gun tubes lighter, improvements in metallurgy, and much better casting methods, etc.

An excellent reference is Roundshot and Rammers by Harold Peterson, among others.

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2023 4:33 a.m. PST

In addition to the light 3-pounder galloper guns, there were the grasshoppers and butterflies that could be carried by the gun crew.

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2023 5:27 a.m. PST

Other useful references for the period are:

-The Light 6-pdr Battalion Gun of 1776 by Adrian Caruana.

-Artillery Through the Ages by Albert Manucy.

-Grasshoppers and Butterflies: The Light 3-Pounders of Pattison and Townsend by Adrian Manucy.

-Muller's Artillery Treatise.

-The Book of the Continental Soldier by Harold Peterson has a solid chapter on period artillery.

Renfield22 May 2023 10:44 a.m. PST

Brechtel198 knows his stuff regarding artillery.
I'd rather trust him than a Google clickbait article.

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse22 May 2023 3:05 p.m. PST

Thank you very much for the high compliment. It is much appreciated.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2023 3:26 p.m. PST



42flanker22 May 2023 8:06 p.m. PST

It seems there is no evidence of 3-pdrs on 'galloper' carriages, as commonly understood, being employed in America (the lighter amusettes used by jager and Queen's rangers being a different category).

I'm not sure Congreve's Light 3-pounder, the gun most commonly referred to as 'butterfly,' was man-portable whereas the lighter Pattinson's 3-pdr apparently was.

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse23 May 2023 3:07 a.m. PST

You can find a photo of a galloper 3-pounder in Peterson's The Book of the Continental Soldier.

Have you taken a look at Grasshoppers and Butterflies by Caruana?

42flanker23 May 2023 10:28 a.m. PST

The 'galloper' in the Peterson book, based on the projected carriage depicted in Muller's 1757 Treatise,is a modern replica commissioned by the National Park service. According to Ranger Jason Howell, it was displayed at Moore's Creek NMP until it was stolen some time in the 1980s.

I have indeed read Adrian Caruana's 'Grasshoppers and Butterflies.'

Brechtel198 In the TMP Dawghouse23 May 2023 10:35 a.m. PST

There is a photo of a galloper gun here:


42flanker23 May 2023 12:50 p.m. PST

That is a re-enactor's piece, if I recall correctly; also based on the carriage in Muller's treatise.

I'm guessing that the image was made some time after the AWI period.

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