Catch your hat full of grapeshot


The yellowish tinge to the iron balls of this canister round fired by 12-pounder Napoleon cannon is from the sawdust they were packed in. The Mississippi Brigade that attacked Fort Sanders had previously encountered canister at Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg, and Gettysburg. At Knoxville they got two quick, surprise bursts of it from the First Rhode Island Light Artillery as they were nearing the fort’s Northwest Bastion.

Years after the war Private Judge E. Woodruff. a former lieutenant of the 13th Mississippi’s Winston Guards, told Confederate Veteran magazine that the canister at Gettysburg, particularly from the federal guns at the Peach Orchard, was so thick “It seemed as if you could hold up your hat and catch it full of grapeshot.”

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Civil War armament, First Rhode Island Light Artillery. Bookmark the permalink.

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