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Thread: Richmond Howitzers Battalion

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    Richmond Howitzers Battalion

    Join the Richmond Howitzers Battalion today!
    An elite battalion, the Howitzers served with distinction from 1st Manassas to Appomattox during the Civil War, and are still active as the 111th Field Artillery in the Virginia National Guard.





    Apply for the Howitzers here!





    Main Battery

    Richmond Howitzers, 1st Company
    Commanding Officer: Capt. E. S. McCarthy

    Battlefield: West Woods | Against: Gorman's Brigade's
    Arms:
    2 10-pdr. Parrott
    2 6-pdr. Gun




    Reserves

    Richmond Howitzers, 2nd Company Reserve
    Commanding Officer: Capt. D. Watson
    Arms:
    2 10-pdr. Parrott
    1 12-pdr. Howitzer
    1 6-pdr. Piece that could shoot Hotchkiss shells (After talks with Historical Adviser George Crecy this is probably a Blakely. Less Likely but also possible this could be a Wiard of which a few where captured from Union forces.)

    Richmond Howitzers, 3rd Company Reserve
    Commanding Officer: Capt. Benjamin H. Smith, Jr.
    Arms:
    2 10-pdr. Parrott
    1 12-pdr. Boat Howitzer
    1 12-pdr. Rifled Howitzer

    From the diary of a 3rd Company member
    [Before the 6th August 1862:
    1x 10 pdr. Parrot
    2x Boat Howitzer]

    August 6th.- Our Parrot gun was ordered to the south side of the James river about a week since, and we, as yet, have heard nothing from it. The second Company Howitzers left at the same time, and placed in the Third Company's charge their Rifled Howitzer. A few days ago since we exchanged one of our little brass boat howitzers for another 10 pound Parrot gun .... etc.

    2x 10 Pdr. Parrot
    1x Rifled Howitzer
    1x Boat Howitzer

    used up to and during Antietam september 1862




    10 pdr. Parrott Rifle



    Type: Rifled gun
    Rarity: Common
    Years of Manufacture: Between 1861 and 1865
    Tube Composition: Cast Iron, Wrought Iron Breech Band
    Bore Diameter: 2.9 inches (Model 1861); 3.0 inches (Model 1863)
    Rifling Type (US): 3 grooves, right hand gain twist
    Rifling Type (CS): 3 groves right hand twist, or 12 grooves left hand twist
    Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb. Black Powder
    Projectiles: 10 lb. solid bolt, case, common shell, cannister
    Effective Range (at 5): up to 1,900 yards (1.1 miles)
    Projectile Flight Time (at 5): about 8 seconds
    Max Range (at 35): 5,000 yards (2.8 miles)
    Projectile Flight Time (at 35): about 21 seconds
    Tube Length: 78 inches (US); 81 inches (CS)
    Tube Weight: 890 lbs. (US); 1,150 lbs. (CS)
    Total Weight (Gun & Carriage): 1,800 lbs. (US); 2,060 lbs. (CS)
    Carriage Type: No. 1 Field Carriage (900 lbs.), 57" wheels
    Horses Required to Pull: 6
    No. in North America: approx. 630
    Cost in 1862 Dollars: $180 (US); $ 300 (CS)
    Cost in 1865 Dollars: $187 (US); $3,000 (CS)
    Invented By: Robert Parker Parrott in 1860
    US Casting Foundry: West Point Foundry, Cold Springs, NY
    CS Casting Foundry: Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA
    Special Notes: Easy to Manufacture, Inexpensive, Reliable, and Accurate to Shoot

    One famous U.S. inventor was a former West Point graduate and ordnance officer named Robert Parker Parrott.

    Robert Parker Parrott In 1836, Parrott resigned his rank of captain and went to work for the West Point Foundry at Cold Spring, New York. This foundry was a civilian operated business and Parrott, as a superintendent, was able to dedicate some forty years perfecting a rifled cannon and a companion projectile. By 1860, he had patented a new method of attaching the reinforcing band on the breech of a gun tube. Although he was not the first to attach a band to a tube, he was the first to use a method of rotating the tube while slipping the band on hot. This rotation, while cooling, caused the band to attach itself in place uniformly rather than in one or two places as was the common method, which allowed the band to sag in place. The 10-pounder Parrott was patented in 1861 and the 20- and 30-pounder guns followed in 1861. He quickly followed up these patents by producing 6.4-, 8-, and 10-inch caliber cannons early in the war. The Army referred to these as 100, 200, and 300-pounder Parrotts respectively. By the end of the conflict the Parrott gun was being used extensively in both armies


    6-pdr. Gun



    Type: Smoothbore gun
    Rarity: Common to Uncommon
    Years of Manufacture: 1841 to 1863
    Tube Composition: Bronze or cast iron
    Bore Diameter: 3.67 inches
    Standard Powder Charge: 1.25 lbs.
    Projectiles: Solid shot (6.1 lb), spherical case, common shell, and cannister
    Effective Range (at 5): up to 1,523 yards
    Tube Length: 60 inches
    Tube Weight: 884 lbs.
    Carriage Type: No. 1 Field Carriage (900 lbs.), 57" wheels
    Horses Required to Pull: 6
    No. in North America: approx. 700
    Special Notes: Workhorse of Mexican War, but considered obsolete by Civil War

    Model 1841 6-pounder Gun
    This popular workhorse of the Mexican War era was regarded as superseded by the Union artillery, but was still heavily employed by a Confederate army that could not afford to pass up any opportunities.



    6 pdr. Wiard Rifle



    Type: Rifled gun
    Rarity: Rare
    Years of Manufacture: Between 1861 and 1862
    Tube Composition: Puddled wrought-iron (semi-steel)
    Bore Diameter: 2.6 inches
    Rifling Type: 8 grooves, left hand twist
    Standard Powder Charge: 0.75 lbs. Black Powder
    Projectiles: 6 lb. Hotchkiss bolt
    Effective Range (at 35): 7,000 yards
    Tube Length: 53 inches
    Tube Weight: 725 lbs.
    Carriage Type: Wiard Field Carriage
    No. in North America: about 60
    Invented By: Norman Wiard



    12 pdr. Howitzers

    Type: Howitzer
    Rarity: Uncommon to Rare
    Years of Manufacture: 1841 to 1863
    Tube Composition: Bronze
    Bore Diameter: 4.62 inches
    Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb.
    Projectiles: 8.9 lb. round balls
    Effective Range (at 5): 1072 yards
    Tube Length: 53 inches
    Tube Weight: 788 lbs.
    Carriage Type: No. 1 Field Carriage (900 lbs.), 57" wheels
    Horses Required to Pull: 6



    3-in. Ordnance Rifle

    Also Known As: 3-Inch Wrought Iron Rifle
    Type: Rifled gun
    Rarity: Common
    Years of Manufacture: 1861 to 1865
    Tube Composition: Wrought iron
    Bore Diameter: 3.0 inches
    Rifling Type: 7 rifle grooves
    Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb. Black Powder
    Projectiles: 10 lb. Bolts, 8 to 9 lbs. Hotchkiss or Schenkel shells
    Muzzle Velocity: 1,215 fps
    Effective Range (at 5): up to 1,850 yards
    Tube Length: 73 inches
    Tube Weight: 816 lbs.
    Total Weight (Gun & Carriage): 1,720 lbs.
    Carriage Type: No. 1 Field Carriage (900 lbs.), 57" wheels
    Horses Required to Pull: 6
    No. in North America: approx. 1000+
    Cost in 1861 Dollars: $330 (US)
    Cost in 1865 Dollars: $450 (US)
    Invented By: John Griffen in 1855
    US Casting Foundry: Phoenix Iron Company, Phoenixville PA
    CS Casting Foundry: Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond VA (CS castings are called: 3-inch Iron Field Rifles)
    Special Notes: Lightest and strongest rifled tube. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Rodman gun






    12 Pdr. Blakely

    Type: Rifled gun, 6 or 7 saw-tooth rifle grooves
    Rarity: Very Rare
    Years of Manufacture: 1860 - 1861
    Tube Composition: Wrought Iron or Steel
    Bore Diameter: 3.5 inches
    Standard Powder Charge: 1.5 lbs.
    Projectiles: 12 lb. bolt
    Tube Length: 59 inches
    Tube Weight: 800 lbs.
    Effective Range (at 5): 1,850 yards
    Invented By: Royal Artillery Captain Alexander Theopilis Blakely
    Casting Foundry: Fawcett, Preston & Co., Liverpool, England
    Special Notes: At least seven different varieties of Blakelys have been discovered in the many battlefields an museums across the country.





    Richmond Howitzers History


    George Wythe Randolph, the first captain of the Richmond Howitzers, was born in 1818 at Monticello, the home of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Jefferson. Randolph was appointed a midshipman at the age of thirteen, and served in the navy for six years. Afterwards he studied law at the University of Virginia, and in 1850 moved to Richmond to practice his profession. He conceived the idea of the "Howitzer Battery", which began organization on November 9, 1859, himself as captain and Gaston Otey as First Sergeant.





    George Wythe Randolph, the first captain of the Richmond Howitzers, was born in 1818 at Monticello, the home of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Jefferson. Randolph was appointed a midshipman at the age of thirteen, and served in the navy for six years. Afterwards he studied law at the University of Virginia, and in 1850 moved to Richmond to practice his profession. He conceived the idea of the "Howitzer Battery", which began organization on November 9, 1859, himself as captain and Gaston Otey as First Sergeant.

    The Richmond Howitzers grew into a battalion of three companies by May 1861. The original company, reorganized on May 8 with the election of Captain John C. Shields, was thereafter known as the 1st Company. In November 1861 Captain Shields was promoted to Lt. Colonel and transferred, to be replaced by Lt. Wm. Palmer. In March of 1862 Captain Palmer, who desired to go into army medical service, was replaced by 1st. Lt. Edward McCarthy.

    An elite unit, the Howitzers served with distinction. The 1st Company Richmond Howitzers, a four-gun battery, participated at First Manassas, the Peninsular Campaign, Seven Pines, the Seven Days' Battles, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the retreat from Richmond to Appomattox.

    At Gettysburg, on July 2, 1863, its two rifled guns expended 200 rounds of ammunition in less than two hours at Devil's Den, and the next day, one piece alone expended 300 rounds in support of Pickett's Charge. The battery saw its commander, Edward S. McCarthy, killed at Cold Harbor; felled instantly by a sharpshooter’s minie ball.

    The book: "Four Years Under Marse Robert," by Major Robert Stiles of Cabell's Batallion offers these observations of the Richmond Howitzers:




    "The composition of the three companies was very similar; that is, all of them were made up largely of young business men and clerks of the highest grade and best character from the city of Richmond, but included also a number of country boys, for the most part of excellent families, with a very considerable infusion of college-bred men, for it was strikingly true that in 1861 the flower of our educated youth gravitated toward the artillery. The outcome was something quite unparalleled, so far as I know. It is safe to say that no less than one hundred men were commissioned from the corps during the war, and these of every rank from a Secretary of War down to a second lieutenant."


    "Few things have ever impressed me as did the intellectual and moral character of the men who composed the circle I entered the day our guide led my brother and myself to the Howitzer Camp. I had lived for years at the North, had graduated recently at Yale, and had but just entered upon the study of law in the city of New York, when the war began... To my surprise and delight, around the camp fires of the First Company, Richmond Howitzers, I found throbbing an intellectual life as high and brilliant and intense as any I had ever known."





    Time Line:
    November 9, 1859 - George Wythe Randolph founds the Richmond Howitzers, a light artillery unit, and is elected captain. The Howitzers march to Charles Town to help guard John Brown during his trial and subsequent execution.

    1860 - The Richmond Howitzers become Company H, 1st Virginia Volunteer Regiment.

    May 3–9, 1861 - Three companies organize as the Richmond Howitzer Battalion and are mustered into Confederate service.

    September 13, 1861 - The 2nd and 3rd companies, Richmond Howitzers, become a part of the 1st Virginia Artillery Regiment.

    April 9, 1865 - The 1st Company, Richmond Howitzers, disbands near Red Oak Church, and the 2nd and 3rd companies surrender with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House.

    April 10, 1871 - The Richmond Howitzers reorganize as a light artillery company of the Virginia militia.

    1917–1918 - The Richmond Howitzers serve as Company A, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, during World War I.

    February 3, 1941 - The Richmond Howitzers enter federal service as a part of the 111th Field Artillery Regiment in the 29th Infantry Division.

    1942–1945 - The Richmond Howitzers serve as Battery A, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, during World War II.

    1972 - The Richmond Howitzers become Battery A, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, in the Virginia National Guard.






    Monument of the Richmond Howitzers





    The battery was commanded at the Battle of Gettysburg by Captain Edward S. McCarthy, who was wounded on July 3. It brought two smoothbore 12-pounder Napoleons and two 3″ Ordnance Rifles to the field.

    On July 2 the battery took a position north of the Snyder farm where the marker is today. The rifles opened fire around 4:00 p.m. to support Longstreet’s attack, with the shorter ranged Napoleons in reserve. The rifles fired 200 rounds at the Devils Den. The battery received the heaviest artillery fire they had experienced, losing seven men wounded and thirteen horses killed.

    On July 3 the battery was placed well in advance of the skirmish line and drove back a Federal advance with twenty rounds. It then repositioned to the center of the Confederate line on Seminary Ridge for the grand barrage preceding Pickett’s Charge. The barrage opened around 1:30, firing 300 rounds. A wheel was shot off one of the rifles and a caisson was abandoned when its team was killed. Two men were killed and two wounded and ten horses were lost. During the two days of the fighting the rifles fired about 600 rounds and the Napoleons 264.








    Battalion HQ

    Captain George (Field commander)
    1st Lt. Dutch (Administrative/ coordination)
    2nd Lt. Danish Raven (Assistent field commander)
    1st Sgt. Freddie


    Last edited by Dutchconfederate; 12-04-2019 at 08:22 AM.

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the CSA! Best of luck!
    To the Colors!

    Captain Lance Rawlings
    Company K, 38th North Carolina, Pender's Brigade, A.P. Hill's Division, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
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    Thank you Captain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchconfederate View Post
    Thank you Captain.
    You're welcome! Now go and blow the yanks minds.
    To the Colors!

    Captain Lance Rawlings
    Company K, 38th North Carolina, Pender's Brigade, A.P. Hill's Division, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
    http://www.warofrightsforum.com/show...lina-Boys-quot


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    Welcome to the CSA! For Southern rights!

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    Welcome to the Confederacy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Kipler View Post
    Welcome to the CSA! For Southern rights!
    Quote Originally Posted by Saris View Post
    Welcome to the Confederacy!
    Thank you both! Glad to be with such friendly people.

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    Looking for at least 8 more members :-) Must be some guys out there who like the Artillery!
    Edited:



    I have 10 members looking for more to join! This battery has some special history to it! I would love to have folk from Richmond joining!
    Last edited by Dutchconfederate; 12-27-2016 at 12:56 PM. Reason: updated number of members

  9. #9

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    For those who are interested but don't want to sit around waiting. We don't have to, if you have acces we can drill as infantry or fall in with one of the other fine infantry companies around.
    Richmond Howitzers Battalion EU/NA

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