12-Pounder Confederate Bronze Napoleon, No. 28 - Gettysburg, PA
N 39° 47.890 W 077° 15.354
18S E 306862 N 4407790
Quick Description: There are two Confederate, bronze-12-pounders which flank the Manly N.C. Artillery battery Monument. This waymark is for the cannon to the immediate left of the monument. The cannons were made in Columbus. Georgia, with the other bronze Napoleons.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/30/2012 4:44:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMEB4T
There are hundreds of cannons at Gettysburg, many of them flanking monuments and markers but a handful of these 1864 models of Confederate origin. I know near the end of the war, resources were hard to come by in the south which may account for the lack of production, comparatively speaking to 1863. The Manly's North Carolina Battery - CS Battery Marker & two cannons are located on West Confederate Avenue, on the right or west side of traveling west. To the rear or north of this position is the Confederate Avenue Observation Tower. The monument faces the east. Parking can be had at the side of the road at small, intermittently placed cutouts. Please do not park on the grass, park on the side of the road. I cannot emphasize that enough! You will be ticketed. I visited this monument on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM, just before the clocks were set ahead for the Spring. I was at a 589 foot ASL elevation.
The gun faces due east. The firing tube is no longer shiny but green as the bronze has long since oxidized. The carriage, wheels and other tube carrying mechanisms all look well tended to and in good shape sporting what appears to be fresh paint. My usual SOURCE for cannon documentation provided me with the following line of information (the same information I had trouble reading on the outer muzzle face) about this specific cannon:Columbus - Reg# 28 - INSP FCH - FDY# 42 - YR 64 - WT 1227
Columbus refers to the Columbus Arsenal, a foundry out of Columbus GA and the place where this gun was manufactured. Read below for a more in depth look at this armory. Reg #28 is simply the registration number and the foundry's way of documenting and identifying each individual gun produced by their company. INSP FCH refers to the military officer responsible for inspecting the final product to make sure it meets all standards. (More on the inspector below). FDY #42 represents the word 'Foundry' and refers to the foundry's own internal control number. YR 64 is the year of manufacturing and WT 1227 refers to the weight of the cannon or bronze tube which fired projectiles, each cannon being distinct and having its own weight. More information about the specifics of this weapon can be found HERE.
I did some digging to find out who these inspectors were or at least learn their name. I found a decent site HERE which lists those responsible in the 19th century for inspecting the guns and cannons at the various foundries. This cannon was inspected by FCH who Frederick Clinton Humphreys, a Major commanding the Columbus Arsenal.
Major Frederick Clinton Humphreys commanded the Arsenal and Armory in Columbus from the time of its construction in the summer of 1862 until it’s burning at the hands of Federal troops in April of 1865. Humphreys was an ironic choice to command a Confederate Arsenal in the heart of the deep south. For it had been Captain F.C. Humphreys, of the U.S. Army who commanded the United States Arsenal in Charleston, South Carolina that was seized by South Carolina state troops in late December of 1860 after South Carolina left the Union.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume I, Chapter I
For the last eight months of the war, the Columbus arsenal was one of the major armament works of the Confederacy." Diffee Standard, Columbus Georgia in the Confederacy, (New York, The William-Frederick Press, 1954), 42. Federal cavalry force commanded by Major General James H. Wilson was approaching Columbus, Georgia, the last major industrial center in the Confederacy. A battle for the city was fought on April 16th, and on April 17th, 1865, the occupying Union forces, led by Winslow, proceeded to burn everything that could be used by the Confederate government. And so ended the life of the Confederate Arsenal, Armory, and Laboratory at Columbus, Georgia. SOURCE This source details the work Humphreys did for the Confederacy through a series of notes and other correspondences.
The nearby tablet describes the actions of McCarthy's Battery for the three days at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863.
Army of Northern Virginia
Longstreet's Corps McLaws's Division
Cabell's Battalion Manly's Battery
First North Carolina Artillery
Two Napoleons, Two 3 inch Rifles
July 2 Took position here 3.30 p.m. and became actively engaged. At 5 p.m. advanced to Peach Orchard and continued firing until dark. Returned here after night.
July 3 The Napoleons remained here. The two rifles with the two rifles of Fraser's Battery took position at 5 a.m. under Capt. Manly on crest beyond Emmitsburg Road and North of Peach Orchard were engaged in the great cannonade and after Longstreet's assault aided in checking pursuit. Continued firing at intervals until 7.30 p.m. Then resumed this position.
July 4 At 10 a.m. aided in checking an advance of three regiments. After night withdrew from the field.
Ammunition expended 1146 rounds.
Losses killed 3, wounded 4, missing 4.
Horses killed or disabled 20.