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Antietam Artillery Weapon

Model 1841 12-pounder howitzer

12-pdr. howitzer


Manufacturer: various Federal Arsenals

Where made: various

Model: 1841

Year(s) made: 1841-

12 -lb. Howitzer (with limber)

12 -lb. Howitzer (with limber)


A bronze smoothbore, the howitzer was designed to fire at higher trajectories to hit targets obscured to guns. It was part of the 1841 US artillery series which also included the 6-lb gun. By the time of the Civil War, these weapons were considered obsolete, and most were replaced with the more effective Napoleons when available. Some iron tubed versions of this piece were in service during the War, but were only common in Confederate units.

Employment at Sharpsburg

There were 3 12-pdr. howitzers in Federal Service at Antietam and 56 pieces in Confederate batteries.


Find units equipped with these.

Ammunition Used

spherical case, common shell, cannister


4.62 inches

Maximum range

1072 yards

Barrel Length

53 inches


1688 pounds

Other notes

Weight figure is for standard gun carriage (900 lb) + tube (788 lb).
Max range is for 1 lb black powder charge behind a 8.9 lb. shell.

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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