<< You are not logged in. Please Login or Register. >>  
Home Documents Forum Reenactment Calendar Links
Basics Units Weapons Battles Sources
Topic List
"whitworth cannon research" created by cplbrown
I belong to the 4th Texas Light Artillery Battalion, Co. A, Shea's Battery. We are in possession of a breechloading cannon that I've been told is a 6 lb Whitworth. The backstory as I've heard it is that there was a 6 lb breechloader Whitworth captured by the Union at the Battle of Atlanta and the gun we own was supposedly blueprinted from that one. I've been researching this info and thus far have come up empty handed. The gun is proportioned the same as a 12 lbr, just smaller. The only 6 lb Whitworths I've found any reference to were muzzleloaders. I haven't taken any measurements for comparison, but I have a feeling that this gun is actually a 3/4 scale repro of a 12 lbr on a full size carriage. If anyone has any info that could shed some light on this, I would be greatful.
Posted: January 30, 200712:12AM EST
Reply posted by John on January 30, 200712:31AM EST
Sounds as though you have an interesting piece.  Has it the correct hexagonal bore? can you measure the bore (both across the 'flats' and the corners)?  I found a late 1890s photo of a small Boer Whitworth breech-loader which might be similar to yours.

Reply posted by cplbrown on January 30, 200712:08AM EST
Therein lies some of the controversy, the gun has a round bore with multiple grooves. I haven't counted them, but from memory I'd say there were at least six grooves maybe 8. That's one of the reasons we have the gun now. The group we purchased it from used the gun for competition shooting and they claimed they could put 10 shots in a 4x8 sheet of plywood at 400 yards and it got to the point that nobody wanted to shoot against them. The sanctioning body involved inspected their gun and disqualified them on the grounds that it wasn't authentic Whitworth bore. The guys said if they couldn't shoot it competatively, they didn't wan't the gun so we bought it from them. They have contacted our battery commander a couple of times wanting to buy it back, but he's told them thay don't have enough money to buy it back. Everywhere we go with it it draws a crowd because of its uniqueness.
Reply posted by John on January 30, 200712:39AM EST
Again, very interesting.  IF a genuine Whitworth, it's been bored and re-rifled (awfully unlikely).  If you're still in touch with the group you bought it from, they ought to know the gun's origin (I'd think?).  So, are we the only ones besides the moderator who've used this forum?
Reply posted by cplbrown on January 31, 200712:28AM EST
To answer your last question, looks like it.

The gun was purchased before I joined the group, so I'm not sure what the current relationship to the original group is. I do know that they are from somewhere in Tennessee.

I'm sure the gun is not an original period piece. I'm  just trying to  verify the existence of a 6 lb breechloading Whitworth for authenticity sake.
Reply posted by John on January 31, 200712:07AM EST
My fault-I misread.  The story about a Whitworth in the Atlanta campaign sounds bogus, but I haven't read everything there is.  There were 6-pounder Whitworths used in the War, but these are usually believed to be muzzle-loaders.  There were two 6-pounders at Galveston at the end of the War, but not stated whether they were BL or ML.  But, breech-loading Whitworth 6-pounders were made, the question is : Were any used in the American war?  As for authenticity, there is as good a case to be made that they were here as that they were not (simply because no-one knows).  Not too satisfying, perhaps?
Reply posted by cplbrown on February 01, 200712:24AM EST
I haven't been able to find out anything specific about the Atlanta campaign capture or possible present location of the original gun either.

Any idea what may have happened to the Galveston guns? I live in Lumberton, TX which is only 85 miles NW of Galveston and about 40 miles north of Sabine Pass. (Dick Dowling, Davis Guards, Southern Thermopoly and all that)If those guns are still around and on display somewhere close, I'd love to examine them even if they weren't BL.
Reply posted by John on February 01, 200712:58AM EST
To the best of my knowledge there is only one 6-pounder Whitworth in the USA, and that is supposedly at the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, VA.  The two Galveston Whitworths exist only as an entry in an inventory of guns in the Trans-Mississippi. The nearest Whitworth (depending on memory here, quite risky) which is a 12-pounder muzzle-loader, is at the Field Artillery Museum, Ft. Sill, OK.
Reply posted by cplbrown on February 05, 200712:29AM EST
Sorry about the silence for the last couple of days. I have this marked on favorites at work and have been off since Thursday.

It figures that the Galveston guns went away. My sister lives in Norman, OK. Next time I go up for a visit I'll include a brief side trip;-)
Reply posted by John on February 05, 200712:30AM EST
No problem - You might want to check ahead about security at Sill & what you will / might need to get in.  Let me know how neat it all is !!
Please Login or Register to post a reply.

  ©2005 Richard McCoy. View Copyright Info or learn more About the Author.