Civil War Cannons

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
What can you tell me about civil war error cannons?
I'm interested in all the details such as:
How much did they weigh?
How far can they shoot?
What size ball did they shoot?
How much damage did they do?

Pictures would be awesome. For some reason I would love to have a cannon in my front yard. Anyone have an extra be sure to let me know. :D
 

BigAl

New member
SUPER Site Supporter
I can't tell you much about the cannons of the Civil War ,but I can about the Privates of the Caribbean . We have a lot of them old cannon balls . My wife’s grandfather was a collector and treasure hunter and this was his hobby . We have a bunch of 16 pounder cannon balls that he dug up around Black Beards Tower in the Nassau . We also have a really neat sword with the scabbard and one flint lock pistol with the wood handle eaten away . Lots of pieces of 8 .
 

Jim_S

Spammer Hammer
GOLD Site Supporter
Kewl Al.
Tell me, what is 'pieces of 8'?

Doc, I'm disappointed he was only able to find pieces, not a whole "8" :yum::yum::yum::yum:

Pieces of 8, a Spanish Coin

The Spanish dollar (also known as the piece of eight, the real de a ocho, or the eight-real coin) is a silver coin, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empire after a Spanish currency reform in 1497. It was legal tender in the United States until an Act of the United States Congress discontinued the practice in 1857. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century. Many existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, United States dollar, and the Chinese yuan, as well as currencies in Latin America and the Philippine peso, were initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-reales coins.
 

Doc

Administrator
Staff member
In the Pirates of the Caribbean movie it was 8 different items, some were coins but some were not. So I was confused. Thanks Jim.
 

Rusty Shackleford

Automotive M.D.
SUPER Site Supporter
In the Pirates of the Caribbean movie it was 8 different items, some were coins but some were not. So I was confused. Thanks Jim.

in the movie there was actually 9 pieces of 8. :whistling: the pieces of 8 being whatever item they had at the time
 

Erik

SelfBane
Site Supporter
Doc, Dixie Gun Works is a black powder supply company - they sell firing and non-firing reproduction cannon. One of my favorites is the mountain howitzer, which I think fires a 4 pound round ball.
 

loboloco

Active member
Field, Siege, naval, or coastal?
There were different weights or calibers of each type.
Field guns were generally based off the Napoleon.
 

fogtender

Now a Published Author
Site Supporter
I was always told that Pieces of "Eight" were the Spanish gold coins that were cut into eight pieces to pay the crew... "Change" that you can believe in!
 

fogtender

Now a Published Author
Site Supporter
What can you tell me about civil war error cannons?
I'm interested in all the details such as:
How much did they weigh?
How far can they shoot?
What size ball did they shoot?
How much damage did they do?

Pictures would be awesome. For some reason I would love to have a cannon in my front yard. Anyone have an extra be sure to let me know. :D

When I was stationed in Yorktown, VA in the Coast Guard, there were battlefields and cannon sets all over the place. A few museums were here and there too. Seems that many of the Civil War Cannons were also used during the Revolutionary war as well. The technology was pretty much the same until they started using breach loaded guns and the cannon were made obsolete almost over night.

The Cannon Balls weren't all that consistent in size due to the wide variety of sizes, four, five, six pounders and such.

By the way, the Confederates when they lost Fort Sumter towards the end of the Civil War, they put some of the cannon balls in a fireplace as a booby trap. When the "North" took over the fort, it was a cold winter day when the soldiers finely got around to lighting a fire in the fire place. The shell went off, nobody was hurt and it was over a hundred years after the war was over, it was a National Guard unit in the mid 1970's or so was doing training there.

Basically the South got in the last shot.... and they missed!
 

fogtender

Now a Published Author
Site Supporter
Ok, I was wrong... Full story with pictures at: http://blindkat.hegewisch.net/pirates/money.html


Pirates of the Caribbean: Pirate Money


Return to Pirates of the Caribbean --Return to A Pyrates Life
PirateMoney.gif





[SIZE=+1]Pieces of Eight and Doubloons -- Reales and Escudos [/SIZE]During the Golden Age of Piracy, Spain minted coins in silver and gold. The silver coins were known as Reales (Reals) and the gold coins, Escudos (Escudo) The chart below shows the denomination of each coins minted. The famous "Piece of Eight" was an 8 reale silver coin that had a distinctive "8" stamped into it. It was the largest of the silver coins weighing approximately one ounce.

  • The gold coins were known as escudos and also came in a several denominations with the largest of these coins, the 8 escudo, weighing approximately one ounce.
    The chart below gives the common Spanish Coins used in the American Colonies, including the English Colonies in North America. Contrary to the movies and books, the 8 reale coin was not normally called a Piece of Eight; it was more often referred to as a Peso, Spanish or Miller Dollar or simply Dollar**. This was especially the case in the English Speaking American colonies.
    There is often confusion about what constitutes a doubloon. Doubloon comes from the Spanish Doblón which means to double; thus a doubloon is a coin of double value. As you can see on the chart below all Spanish coins double in value as you go from the smallest to largest denomination.
    Some online sources claim that the 2 escudo coin is a doubloon while others claim it to be the 4 escudo. According to the 2002 edition of Encyclopedia Americana the doubloon was the 8 escudo coin*. Because gold coins were not commonly used among most of society it is possible that any Spanish gold coin could have been called doubloons by the common sailor or shop keeper. Doubloon was slang and was not used to officially denote any of the Spanish gold coins.
    Each reale was minted to contained an approximate weight of 0.1209 to 0.125 ounces of silver. Each escudo was minted from 0.1209 to 0.125 ounces of gold. Thus 8 reales equaled one ounce of silver and 8 escudos equaled approximately one ounce of gold. The 8 escudo piece was also known as the Onza.
    Ingots (bars)of gold starting at one ounce and increasing in size were also cast and stamped with a royal seal..
    By comparison the British Shilling was 1/20 ounce of silver. Thus 20 shillings made up the British Pound ( £ ). The British pound was the equivalent worth of the Colonial dollar ($) or piece of eight. (at least in weight) However, the British Crown frowned up foreign currency being used in its colonies and would often give a much lower rate of exchange on official transactions. By the time of the American revolution, Spanish or "Miller Dollars" as they became known were being exchanged at the rate of 4-8 shillings to the dollar. This is between 1/4 to 1/2 their actual value in silver!
    Also by comparison there were 240 British pennies (240 pence) to £1.00 Stirling. Because of this the smaller British coins were often used interchangeably with the Spanish coins, 6 pence being worth slightly less than a 1/4 reale. The English 1/2 penny (pronounced hay-penny) was one of the smaller coins in common usage.
 
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