These cannons are much smaller than the other Confederate cannons used here in 1863. The tubes are black, very smooth, in terrific shape and represented at the time, some pretty serious weapon technology. The carriages are also equally pristine. This is an 1861 model but was manufactured in 1862. This model was also mass-produced by the Confederates, once they got their hand on a Federal version. I found it to be rather interesting that this gun is supposed to represent the Confederate weaponry deployed at this position, yet it is a Federal gun, inspected by a Federal officer. So much for authenticity at Gettysburg. In fairness, it must be difficult to locate these guns in the 21st century so I am sure they are doing the best they can. Thankfully, both gun muzzles still have well-defined stamps, which list all the manufacturing information (more on that below). In fact, this gun represents the most well-preserved stamping I have yet to find at Gettysburg.
The Lewis' Artillery Tablet and four accompanying cannons are across from a patch of woods and in line with many other similar tablets and cannons along West Confederate Avenue, on the left or east side when traveling south; the marker faces the west. The tablet is in front of a huge tree and is flanked on the right and left by two cannons for a total of four cannons altogether. This cannon is to the immediate left of the tablet, if facing the east or front of the tablet.Parking is rather easy in this area as there are intermittent cutouts along the sides of the roads for cars to pull over. Stay off the grass when pulling over or you will be ticketed by Park police. There are many monuments and cannons in this area so expect to be here for at least 30 minutes or more to see everything. I visited this monument on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at approximately 11:46 PM, just before the clocks were set ahead for the Spring. I was at 471 feet ASL elevation.
My SOURCE for all things weapons at Gettysburg provided me additional information about this weapon which did not appear on the muzzle. I used red to designate that data. The rest is as it appears exactly on the muzzle, starting at the top and moving clockwise:
No 240 - PICo - 1862 - 816 lbs. - TTSL - FDY #251 - GRVS 7RH .
No 240 refers to the Army registration number, a way for the military to keep track of the guns delivered from each foundry. PICo refers to the Phoenix Iron Company in Phoenixville, PA, the foundry where the fun was manufactured. I believe when the Rebels were able to capture one of these guns, they copied it and produced their own, although this one was federally made. 1862 refers to the date of manufacture (1862) even though this is an 1861 model. 816 lbs refers to the weight of the firing tube. This number is on the bottom of the muzzle. Each gun is usually very unique and has its own weight which distinguishes it from every other gun, like a fingerprint. For some reason, there are a whole bunch of these guns with the same weight. I am unsure how that is even possible given the lack of precise manufacturing technology foundry's had in 1864. TTSL are the initials of the inspector who gave the gun a once over before it was shipped out to the army. The initials stand for the very famous Union Army Inspector Major Theodore Thadeaus Sobibski Laidley. FDY #251 is information not found on the muzzle but provided by the website. This is an internal control number specific to the foundry. The carriages were approximately 900 pounds which makes this entire weapon over 1,700 pounds. The GRVS 7RH, more information provided by my source, refers to number of rifling grooves, left or right twist. In this case, 7 right hand twists were made to rifle this cannon.
About the Inspector
Theodore Thaddeus Sobieski Laidley (1822 - 1886) was an army officer specializing in ordnance. He was also an inventor and author. Laidley was born in Guyandotte, Virginia April 14, 1822. He graduated in 1842 from the U.S. Military Academy and chose a commission in the ordnance corps and served in the Mexican War. At the end of the war, he returned to the arsenal at Watervliet, New York, as Assistant Ordnance officer. Laidley was put on detached service to write a new ordnance manual published in 1862 which served as an important guide during the Civil War. He served on several ordnance boards designing and testing weapons, taking out eight patents. He was later president of the commission to test the strength and value of all kinds of iron, steel, and other metals at the Watertown, Mass. arsenal 1871-1881, retiring in 1882. Laidley wrote government reports and A Course of Instruction in Rifle Firing, Philadelphia, 1879. Theodore Laidley died in Palotka, Florida April 4, 1886. He was inducted into the Ordnance Hall of Fame in 2008. SOURCE, SOURCE, & SOURCE
About the Foundry
The Phoenix Iron Works (1855: Phoenix Iron Company; 1949: Phoenix Iron & Steel Company; 1955: Phoenix Steel Corporation), located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, was a significant manufacturer of iron and related products during the 19th century and early 20th century. Phoenix Iron Company was a major producer of cannons for the Union Army during the American Civil War. The company also produced the Phoenix column, a significant advance in construction material. Phoenix Iron Works is a core component of the Phoenixville Historic District, a National Register of Historic Places site and in 2006 was recognized as a Historic Landmark by ASM International. SOURCE & SOURCE
About the Gun
The second most common rifled field artillery in both Armies generally, and the most common on the Maryland Campaign, the 3 inch Ordnance gun was made of hammer-welded, formed, machined iron. It was popular because of its accuracy and reliability, at least those examples built in Federal shops. Less precise machining and lower-grade iron gave their Confederate counterparts more trouble. Those built by the firm of Burton and Archer were know to be problematic. The 3-inch rifle normally fired Hotchkiss or Schenkel shells that weighed between 8 and 9 pounds. In an emergency it could use 10-pounder Parrot ammunition. It could also be used to fire cannister but, as a rifle, was not as effective with this as howitzers or Napoleons. The maximum range of this weapon was 1830 yards, with the barrel/tube Length 69 inches, the bore 3 inches (hence the name) and the total combined weight (already mentioned above), approximately 1720 pounds. Johnson, Curt & Anderson, Richard C., Artillery Hell: Employment of Artillery at Antietam, College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995; and
Schwartz, Peter, Artillery at Gettysburg online. SOURCE & SOURCE.
The tablet, which marks the position of Maurin's CS Battery on July 2-4, 1863 and narrates those events reads as follows:
Army of Northern Virginia
Hill's Corps Heth's Division
Garnett's Battalion Lewis's Battery
The Lewis Artillery
Two 3 inch Rifles and Two Napoleons
July 1 One of the rifles at 3.30 p.m. relieved one of Pegram's guns on the ridge west of Herr's Tavern and was engaged until the fight ended.
July 2 Both Rifles were in position here and took an active part in the artillery duel in the afternoon and evening with the Union batteries on Cemetery Hill.
July 3 Moved under orderes to a point south of McMillan's Woods but not engaged at any time although from time to time under fire.
July 4 The Napoleons were never actively engaged in the battle but on this day were placed in position here. At night they rejoined the Rifles and with them began the march to Hagerstown.
Losses not reported in detail.
This area is loaded with all types of cannons and guns, a veritable outdoor museum. I would suggest allowing up to an hour to fully inspect all the tablets, monuments and weapons in this area.