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[ Weapons of Antietam ]

12-pounder Blakely Rifled Muzzleloader



Common name:   Blakely

Description:   This relatively rare, rifled, cast steel weapon had a reinforcing band at the breech, similar to the Parrotts. It was invented by English Captain Alexander Blakely, and imported from England by the Confederacy. It was not in Federal service.

It was known to be reliable and accurate, but also for its significant recoil.

Employment at Sharpsburg:   There were probably 8 Blakelys in service on the Maryland Campaign, all Confederates. Find units equipped with these.

Ammunition Used:   solid shot (10 lb), spherical case, common shell, cannister

Manufacturer:   Contract Foundries for Blakely (England)    Where made:   various    Maximum Range:   1850 yards     Muzzle Velocity:   1250 fps

Barrel/Tube Length:   59 inches     Bore:   3.4 inches     Weight:   1700 pounds

Other notes:   Weight figure is for standard gun carriage (same a 6-pounder at 900 lb) + tube (800 lb).
Max range is for 1 lb black powder charge behind a 10 lb. solid shot at 5 degrees elevation.

More on the Web:   See more about this and other Civil War artillery at the comprehensive Civil War Artillery Page, by Chuck Ten Brink or the very nice Basic Facts page from Jack W. Melton, Jr. The NPS has a fine general introduction to Civil War artillery in a 3-page presentation.

Source Information:   Johnson, Curt & Anderson, Richard C., Artillery Hell: Employment of Artillery at Antietam, College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995.

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