Today in History:

33 Series I Volume XXVIII-I Serial 46 - Ft. Sumter - Ft. Wagner Part I

Page 33 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.

care was taken that the gun should be clear from sand and dirt when fired. The went of the gun was bushed twice during the time it was used; the bushing in use when the gun gave out was somewhat eaten, but very regularly and not badly, the diameter of vent at the exterior being, 25 of an inch, and at the interior, 375.

The gun when it burst when into seven pieces, the muzzle and chase back to the acids of trunnions being one piece, that part of the cast-iron re-enforce from 6 inches in rear of the front of the wrought-iron band, with the band, breach, and sascable, being a second piece. The metal between these two pieces went into five fragments, two below the acids of the gun and three above, one of the latter being quite small, and located in front of the trunnions. The fracture within the band took place nearly in two planes, each being perpendicular to the axis of the gun. Three cracks extended back to the bottom of the bore, each long the junction of a band and groove, one immediately to the left of the vent, but not through it, one 1 1/2 inches to the right, and the third 3 1/2 inches to the left of the vent. The locality of the above fracture is at the point where the ring of the projectiles rested when the gun was discharge.

The upper side of the bore, over and in front of the projectile when at rest, is much eaten by the gas. In some places along the junction of a band and groove, these gutters are one-half inch in depth and 12 inches long. The surfaces of both bands and grooves are much guttered, though not deeply. On the lower side, 9 inches from the bottom of the bore, the edge of the lower band is entirely worn away, and this extends forward 12 inches. From 12 inches in rear of the trunnions to within 4 inches of muzzle, the grooves are apparently unworn. At the muzzle, on the lower side, the band is entirely worn away, down even below the bottom of the grooves. This wearing took place mostly to the right of a vertical plane through the axis of the piece.

The diameter of the wrought-iron band at the front is increased about .375 of an inch, caused by the fragments in escaping from within it. It is presumed that mortar powder was used in this gun, as that was the order. The records are not explicit on this point. Plates -- to --, inclusive, each exhibit drawings and a brief history of a busted gun. They were prepared by Captain Mordecai.

Greek fire.

160. The composition of Short's solidified Greek fire, the only incendiary material called Creek fire which we attempted to use, I am unable to give.

Captain Mordecai reports as follows upon it:

It was furnished in tin tubes, closed at one end, about 3 inches long and 3 1/4 inches in diameter. These tubes were covered with one layer of paper, such as is commonly used for cartridges. The paper was folded down over the ends of the tube, that part covering the open end having upon it a priming of powder and coal-tar.

The directions for using this fire were furnished from the manufactory, and were as follows: "As many of the cases containing the composition must be drooped into the shell, with as much powder as can possibly be shaken among them." After the failure of shell filled in this manner to give satisfactory results, Mr. Short visited Morris Island. He altered the manner of filling the shell, putting several inches of powder in the shell before inserting the cases. He also covered some cases with several thickness of thick cartridges paper, and other with several layers of muslin.

Into all the shell filled by him, powder was first placed.


Page 33 Chapter XL. GENERAL REPORTS.