12-Pounder Light Fun known as the "Napoleon"Length: 6"
Weight: 0.5 lbs
In December 1862, General R. E. Lee complained to the Confederate Secretary of War that his army desperately needed more Napoleon guns to counter those in use by the Northern army. The lack of Napoleons, Lee wrote, left his artillery "very unequal" to their opponents, with results which were "discouraging to our artillerists" Lee proposed that large numbers of his armys bronze cannon be melted down and recast into Napoleons. He summarized his position by stating that "the best funs for field service, in my opinion, are the 12-pounder Napoleons" and two other varieties of field pieces.
The Napoleon acquired its name because its design was first sponsored by Emperor Louis Napoleon of France in the 1850s. In United States service, the Napoleon gun was formally designated as "Light 12-Pounder Gun, Model 1857." There were only a few dozen in existence in the United States when the Civil War began in 1861, but by the time of the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Napoleons had become the most popular smoothbore cannon for both sides. Before the war ended, more than 1100 Napoleons had been produced in the North and more than 600 in the South. Late in 1864, General Lees army was using more Napoileons than all others varietes of cannons combined.
The Napoleon gun was so very widely used because it was as effective as its predecessors, but much lighter and moer mobile. it was popular because rit did its cruel work so well. Solid shot, explosive shell, spherical case shot (containing many small balls) and canister could all be fired with deadly effect. Effective range was about 1000 yards, and maximum range was nearly one mile. Rifled cannons could fire farther and more accurately, but were not so successful with canisters. Confederate ammunition for rifled guns suffered from such damaging shortcomings that Southern gunners were particularly partial to the use of Napoleons. On either side of the line, no type of civil War artillery was more widely or effectively used.
Any Civil War aficionado would appreciate this miniature cannon, which is a smaller version of miniature cannon models. It can serve as a reminder of the conflict that cost so many lives, a token of quiet respect for those soldiers and their service. And when somebody remarks about it, you can use the opportunity by encouraging them to support Civil War Battlefield preservation! Makes for a great office or showcase item in a display case.
Miniature Civil War Napoleon Cannon M1857.
Made in the USA.