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Artillery Weapon

12-pounder Dahlgren Boat Howitzer

Naval Howitzer


Naval (Boat) Howitzer

Naval (Boat) Howitzer


Originally designed for use on ships' boats, these bronze guns were equipped with basic wrought-iron carriages for use ashore. They were in service in both smoothbore and rifled versions. These were prized by the units that had them for light weight and reliablility.

Employment at Sharpsburg

Only two units, Company K of the 9th New York Infantry, and Grimes' Portsmouth (VA) Battery were known to have these guns on the Maryland Campaign.


Find units equipped with these.


4.6 inches

Maximum range

1085 yards

Barrel Length

55 inches

Other notes

Max range is for 1 lb black powder charge behind a 10 lb. solid shot.

760 lb. tube wieght (smoothbore).

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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