Confederate Rook

12-pound Howitzer “Napoleon”

The 12- lb Howitzer, which was commonly called the ‘Napoleon’ after Emperor Napoleon III, of France, adapted the gun for solid and canister shot. It was the most widely used and respected Artillery piece used by both sides of the war. King of the battlefield was how some referred to it.

The Napoleon had an effective range of 1,500 yards, although it was capable of firing a shell over a mile. It had a smooth bore barrel, which was 5feet 6 inches long it could fire solid and canister shot. The gun was mounted on an iron framed wooden carriage, which also carried its own rammer, sponge bucket, sponge and rope. Crewed by five men, one gun and crew were called a ‘piece’. 2 guns made a section, three sections made a battery; a captain commanded a battery. Two guns ‘a section’ commanded by a lieutenant, and a sergeant commanded one gun a ‘piece’.

General Lee had ordered an artillery barrage from 150 odd guns before ‘Pickett’s charge’ in the hope it would break up the Union position. The barrage started a 1.00pm and lasted roughly one and a half hours. It was said to be so ear shattering that it could be heard as far away as Philadelphia.

Weight in Bronze 120.48g (4½oz)

Height 4.8 cm (1 7/8 inches)