The Battle Of Gettysburg : The Role Of Artillery

1921 WordsNov 1, 20168 Pages
The Battle of Gettysburg: The Role of Artillery One of the largest casualty producing battles in American history was the Battle of Gettysburg, and it was largely attributed to the artillery. Due to effective leadership, advanced tactics superior fires, the Union Army was able to influence the tide of the battle. The Artillery used during the Battle of Gettysburg was essential to the Union forces’ victory. In total, there were over 370 Union Army artillery units at Gettysburg during the battle on November 19th, 1863 (Newton, 2005). This gave the Union Army a stout advantage over the Confederate Army, who only had about 280 artillery unit’s available (Newton, 2005). Of the different pieces used, the 12 pound smooth bore Napoleon was the most common. With a range of 1,300 yards, this artillery piece was used for direct fire on enemy troops and advancing artillery (Newton, 2005). In most cases, the Napoleon used a canister shot, which consisted of one round and one charge (Newton, 2005).When massing artillery fires on enemy artillery, it was common for artillery sections to use a double canister, a canister with two rounds and one charge (Newton, 2005). This was done to increase the chance of critical damage to enemy pieces. Often times when engaging enemy artillery directly, Union artillery would focus the battery on one enemy piece at a time, using the double canister (Newton, 2005). The second most common piece was the rifle bored 3 inch Ordnance Rifle, which had a range

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