The Artillery at Gettysburg
1-3 July 1863

caisson and limber
Maj. Gen. Henry Hunt, USA
Brig. Gen. William Pendleton, CSA
The Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia brought a total of 612 guns--272 (CSA), 360 (USA)--into Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg Campaign. Henry Hunt was the Chief of Artillery for the Union and William Pendleton served in that capacity for the Confederates. While the artillery chiefs maintained control of the reserve batteries, most of the tactical control of the artillery took place at the corps and division levels.

Causing an estimated maximum of 10% of the total battle casualties in the Civil War, the effectiveness of the artillery often has come into question. What is overlooked is that the purpose of the artillery is not to inflict mayhem, but rather to cause confusion and shock. It is designed to break up formations and to give the enemy officers and troops question about their ability to take a position successfully. Only at close quarters, where the preferred artillery round was canister, sometimes double- and triple-canister, and the artillery piece essentially a huge shotgun, was the purpose one of physically stopping an assault. Judged by these standards, the artillery during the Civil War was quite effective.

 Go to the Gettysburg Artillery Park and see examples of artillery used from 1-3 July 1863
 Civil War Artillery Page

Peter Schwartz'

Little Round Top

Cemetery Hill

Gettysburg NMP

CWi 3 1/2 stars

Inspired by Gregory A. Coco, A Concise Guide to the Artillery at Gettysburg. Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, 1998.

Caisson and limber photograph by Peter Schwartz, taken at Gettysburg NMP, July 1999.
Hunt and Pendleton from Coco, loc. cit.

Created 17 OCT 1999; Modified 29 JUN 2004