Civil War Weaponry

1085 Words Feb 20th, 2018 4 Pages
Ketchum patented the Ketchum Hand Grenade. Shortly after, in the years of 1863 and 1864, the grenade was implemented in the American Civil War.
With a lemon-shaped piece of iron and a tail made of paper or cardboard, the handheld explosive greatly resembled a dart. On the front of the grenade’s body was a plunger, which held a percussion cap filled with explosive material.When the the grenade fell onto its nose and applied pressure to the plunger, an explosion was triggered, only to be met by more gunpowder inside. Although the resulting explosion caused a great deal of mayhem and shrapnel, it was not very reliable because its detonation depended on the grenade falling directly onto its nose. Because of its temperamental behavior, the grenade got a reputation for not being very accurate.
During its use by the Union army, the weapon was still in its earliest stages. Although the Confederate army did not adopt this specific weapon, they had similar ideas such as the Raines grenade, which was similar in appearance, but completely inadequate for battle. Instead of cardboard fins for a stable flight, the Raines grenade had a cloth streamer.
Ketchums were used in several important battles such as the battle of Vicksburg and the siege of Petersburg. Union soldiers threw the grenades at the Confederate troops and stood back for the explosion. They were faced with an unpleasant surprise when the Confederates found a way to avoid any…

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