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24-Pounder Austrian Bronze Field Howitzers, No. 35 - Gettysburg, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 48.112 W 077° 15.371
18S E 306848 N 4408201
Quick Description: There are two 24-pounder Austrian Bronze Field Howitzers flanking the Taylor's Virginia Battery Tablet, representing the armaments used by the battery during July 1-3 @ the Battle of Gettysburg. This waymark is for the cannon to the left.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 5/5/2012 8:54:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMEC4J
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member PTCrazy
Views: 4

Long Description:

There are hundreds of cannons at Gettysburg, many of them flanking monuments and markers. Such is the case with this artillery piece. The Moody's Madison Artillery - CS Battery Marker and cannons are southwest of Gettysburg, on the left or east side of West Confederate Avenue if traveling south and just before the Millerstown Road Intersection. Parking can be had at the Confederate Avenue observation tower which is a few hundred feet to the south. The lot is good for 15 cars. Cars are also allowed to park on the side of the road at intermittent cutouts. When visiting this and other monumentation and tablets, avoid parking on anything green or you will be ticketed by the park police. They almost got me. I visited this monument on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at approximately 3:00 PM, just before the clocks were set ahead for the Spring.

The two guns placed to represent the Madison Light Artillery are Austrian made. Both were imported during the war to supplement a shortage of weapons in the Confederacy. However, the battery was more likely armed with U.S. manufacture 24-pdr Field Howitzers at the time of the battle. The Austrian howitzers were shorter and weighed half as much as the American types, yet were able to fire comparable projectiles. Curious that Americans were not able to duplicate the Austrian efforts to save on resources (bronze).

The gun faces due east and the monument faces the west. 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. These cannons are very unusual as they were made by a foreign country, Austria and fired a heavy 24-pound projectile. 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:
Vienna - Reg# 35 - YR 59 - WT 665 - W. Confederate Ave

Vienna refers to Vienna, Austria and the place where this gun was manufactured. Reg #35 is simply the Army or Navy Registry Number. YR 59 is the year of manufacturing and WT 665 refers to the weight of the cannon or bronze tube which fired projectiles. Each weight of evey firing tube was unique to the weapon, like an individual's fingerprint. More information about the specifics of this weapon can be found HERE. I found it strange the firing tube is half the weight of the 20 pounders yet able to fire a 24-pound projectile.

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 Artillery Reserve
Alexander's Battalion Moody's Battery
The Madison Light Artillery

Four 24 Pounder Howitzers

July 2 Arrived here and opened fire at 4 p.m. Following the infantry charge upon the Peach Orchard took position near there and with other batteries supported the infantry in its further advance. Aided in so harassing the retiring Union forces as to compel the temporary abandonment of several guns. Kept up a spirited fire until nightfall and prevented pursuit of the Confederate advanced lines when they fell back shortly before dark.

July 3 In position at dawn in the artillery line on the ridge running north from the Peach Orchard and on duty there all day. Took part in the cannonade preceding Longstreet's assault and retired from the front after night.

July 4 Remained near here until 4 p.m. and then withdrew to Marsh Creek on the Fairfield Road.

Losses heavy but not reported in detail.

What type of artillery is this?: Cannon

Where is this artillery located?: Monument grounds

What military of the world used this device?: United States Army

Date artillery was in use: 7/1/1863

Date artillery was placed on display: 7/1/1910

Cost?: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Artillery is no longer operational: yes

Still may work: no

Are there any geocaches at this location?:
No


Parking location to view this Waymark: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Two pictures are required for this Waymark. Please take a close up picture of the artillery. Take a second with the artillery in the distance and capture as much of the surroundings as possible. Name the Waymark with first the name of the area and second what the artillery is. An example would be if it were a cannon in front of the Montgomery Armory you would name the Waymark: Montgomery Armory Cannon.
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