Sep 4



Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton is standing by a U.S.-made 12-pounder Napoleon on West Howard Avenue. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.

Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton is a native of Baltimore, an Air Force Vietnam War Veteran, a retired insurance executive, and the author of Silent Sentinels: A Reference Guide to the Artillery at Gettysburg.

In part one of our artillery series we featured a Napoleon manufactured by Quimby and Robinson in Memphis, Tennessee, and a 10-pounder Parrott Rifle, manufactured by the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York.

In part two we concentrated on 24-pounder howitzers at Moody’s Battery, A 12-pounder howitzer, manufactured in 1837, and the oldest gun on the field, and some 20-pounder Parrotts.

In part three George showed the only 6-pounder displayed on the battlefield, and showed us how fifteen 6-pounders at Gettysburg National Military Park were converted into “false Napoleons.”

In our fourth post, George Newton showed us the artillery pieces used on headquarters markers, and the two monuments on East Cemetery Hill to Cooper’s Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania.

In our fifth post on artillery, George presents the highest numbered 3-inch Ordnance Rifle at Gettysburg National Military Park, and the positions of the artillery pieces today representing Cooper’s Battery and Rickett’s Battery.

In our sixth post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton explained the advantages of 3-inch ordnance rifles, and the artillery bombardment involving East Cemetery Hill on July 2, 1863.

In our seventh post, Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton shows us the British-made Whitworths, and explains how they were loaded, and their advantages and disadvantages.

In today’s post, George Newton presents a 12-pounder Napoleon at Dilger’s Ohio Battery on West Howard Avenue.

For George’s previous posts on Gettysburg Artillery please click here.



This map shows the locations of the videos that we shot on Oak Hill. Videos #1-#24 were presented in our previous artillery posts. Videos #25 through #27 were taken north of Gettysburg on West Howard Avenue near the position of Dilger’s Ohio Battery. This map was created facing north at approximately 7:30 PM on Tuesday, August 11, 2009.



The Napoleons George is showing us are located at the position of Dilger’s Ohio Battery (Battery I, First Ohio Artillery) on West Howard Avenue. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



The twelve-pound cannon “Napoleon” was the most popular smoothbore cannon used during the war. It was named after Napoleon III of France and was widely admired because of its safety, reliability, and killing power, especially at close range. This view was taken facing south at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



The markings on the muzzles of both of the pieces at Dilger’s Battery are difficult to see. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.

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In Video #25 (Videos #1-#24 were shown in our previous artillery posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton is standing on East Howard Avenue near the location of Dilger’s Battery. He gives us an introduction to the 12-pounder Napoleon. This view was taken facing south to southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



The patina on the Napoleons made in the United States have their blueish-green patina evenly covering the barrel. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



The Napoleon did not reach America until 1857. It was the last cast bronze gun used by an American army. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



Dilger’s Battery consisted of six Napoleons and 127 men. During the Battle of Gettysburg, 13 members of the Battery were wounded for a casualty rate of approximately 10%. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



Artillery batteries are divided into sections with two guns for each section. This marker in front of the monument (as shown in the previous picture) provides information on the location of two of Dilger’s sections. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.

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In Video #26 Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton is still standing on East Howard Avenue near the location of Dilger’s Battery. He shows us the even coloring of the patina on the U.S. made bronze tubes, and tells a story attributed to Dilger’s skills on July 1, 1863. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



One of the characteristics of the U.S. made, 12-pounder Napoleon is its flared muzzle. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



Another characteristic of the smoothbore is that it IS smooth on the inside of its barrel. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



This Napoleon has an iron pendulum hausse bracket, the rust from which is staining the breech. A pendulum hausse was a bottom weighted brass sight hung on a mount that allowed it to swing. This view was taken facing north at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.

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In Video #27 George Newton is still standing on East Howard Avenue near the location of Dilger’s Battery. He shows us the maximum range and the effective range of the 12-pounder Napoleons. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



The effective range for the Napoleon was in the vicinity of the red McClean Barn at the foot of Oak Hill/Oak Ridge. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday, August 9, 2009.



George’s Book, Silent Sentinels: A Reference Guide to the Artillery at Gettysburg, was published in 2005 by Savas Beatie LLC, 521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3400, New York, New York, 10175. The telephone number is (610)-853-9131. The book is 259 pages with 235 pages of text, photographs, and illustrations. It is currently retailing on Amazon.com for $29.95. If it is not retailing from Amazon (or for that price), you may order it directly from the publisher, Savas Beatie. The cover of this book was scanned at approximately 8:30 PM on Friday, November 21, 2008.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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