Civil War Battery

A Civil War battery consisted of six cannons with over 100 men. A Confederate battery was a bit smaller usually numbering only four cannons.

Each man in a battery had multiple duties he had to perform on a daily basis. Some of these duties included taking care of the horses, the gun, the gun carriage, and other routine duties.

Now during battle each man in the battery had one specific duty he had to do perfectly in order for the gun to even fire.

A Union battery always had 6 guns that were very similar in type and caliber and each of them had their own limber and caissons that held the ammunition. The cannons were pulled by a team of six horses.

Gunners would typically walk next to the gun as it was being moved, however when the situation called for extremely fast movement the crew would ride on the gun carriage instead of walking.

Civil War limber and caisson

Civil War limber and caisson

Now when the gun was finally in it’s desired firing position the crew would unlimber the gun, the limber would then move to a position directly behind the gun, the caisson would also do the same.

What about the rebel batteries? Well they were smaller than their Union counterparts, composing only 4 guns and these were more often than not different types of guns and calibers. They were not as uniform as the Union batteries.

The Confederates often would also have transportation problems. Horses quickly became scarce in the south so the gun crews would either have to limit their horse teams to four animals or simply replace the horses with mules. Mules were not a very good alternative however because they were difficult to control.

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