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Antietam Artillery Weapon

12-pounder Blakely Rifled Muzzleloader



Manufacturer: Contract Foundries for Blakely (England)

Where made: various




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


3.4 inches

Maximum range

1850 yards

Muzzle Velocity

1250 feet per second

Barrel Length

59 inches


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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