Civil War Cannon A.B. Reading & Bros 6 pounder bronze
Confederate Civil War Cannon and Carriage 1864 carriage by U.S. Watertown Arsenal with Paulson Brothers Ordinance Corp. #281 plaque, Vicksburg Mississippi
Replacement Value: $100,000
Smoothbore guns were designed to fire solid shot projectiles at high velocity, over low trajectories at targets in the open, although shot and canister were acceptable for use. The barrels of the guns were longer than corresponding howitzers, and called for higher powder charges to achieve the desired performance. Field guns were produced in 6-pounder (3.67 inch bore), 9-pounder (4.2 inch bore), and 12-pounder (4.62 inch bore) versions.
Although some older iron weapons were pressed into service, and the Confederacy produced some new iron field guns, most of those used on the battlefields were of bronze construction. The 6-pounder field gun was well represented by bronze Models of 1835, 1838, 1839, and 1841 early in the war. Even a few older iron Model of 1819 weapons were pressed into service. Several hundred were used by the armies of both sides in 1861. But in practice the limited payload of the projectile was seen as a shortcoming of this weapon. From mid-war on, few 6-pounders saw action in the main field armies