12 LB Mountain Howitzer
The Mountain Howitzer was designed to be lightweight and highly portable. Because of this, and its ease of disassembly, it did not require roads for transportation making it well suited to Indian fighting and mountain warfare. In addition to the pack carriage, a prairie carriage was also created for traditional draft using only two horses. This versatility permitted their use with mounted forces in areas where roads were little more than paths. These small howitzers provided artillery support for forces where it would otherwise be unavailable. However, their shorter range made them unsuitable for dueling with other field artillery weapons
1863 Hughes Gun
Invented By: D. W. Hughes (patented) in 1861. He provided an innovative breech design which he incorporated in his rifled breech-loader for the Confederacy. Hughes’ patent dealt specifically with his unique breech design which utilized lugs instead of threads and an elastic gum gas check.
The gum gas check (sabot), cylindrical and of gutta-percha elastic material, has a hole through its length and fits onto a spindle which protrudes from the front of the breech. In front of the gas check is a steel washer of the same diameter that also fits on the spindle. A screw at the end of the spindle serves to retain the washer and gas check on the spindle.
Upon discharge, pressure against the washer moves it rearward compressing the gum cylinder causing it to deform and expand against the walls of the chamber thus sealing the breech.
The washer serves to distribute pressure onto the face of the gum cylinder and to protect it from direct contact with flame. After discharge, the gum cylinder returns to its relaxed diameter and the breech plug is then rotated, unlocking the lugs, and the entire breech is free to be removed for reloading.
· Manufactured By: Street, Hungerford & Company of Memphis, Tennessee. The barrels of the Hughes Cannons were supposedly turned from locomotive axles.
· Special Notes: Barrel includes a copper sleeve water jacket, it surrounds the barrel. When filled with water, it helps to improve cooling during rapid fire. It fired by a falling hammer, using a regular musket percussion cap.