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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Confederate Arsenal: 1865

Confederate Arsenal: 1865

April 1865. Ruins of the State Arsenal at Richmond showing stacked and scattered ammunition. From photographs of the main Eastern theater of war after the fall of Richmond, compiled by Hirst Milhollen and Donald Mugridge. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Grape shot and canister..

Grape shot was the larger of the two types with the shot running an inch or more in diameter. It's also made of iron. Canister was smaller, with the rounds being about the same size of a musket ball (a bit over half an inch in diameter).

Re: Canister Shot

As usual, these pictures take me on other journeys in education and I found this site:
which has an illustration of how these things are put together. The site is in German I think but you can see from the pictures what they are talking about. Very interesting. I had no idea a cannon ball was so deadly. But then, I'm just an old girl learning new tricks.


The War

I am from Arkansas. The particular conflict was referred to by my grandparents as "The War of Northern Aggression." Since their great uncles were veterans, and they knew them well, it was still a relevant event for them. This was passed down to me, and geez, I was born in the early 60s. The South has longer memories.

Canister Shot

To the left of center, in front of the man standing on the piled roundshot, there's a whole mess of canister shot or grape shot (I'm not sure which).
In either case, when fired, they acted like giant shotgun shells and were gruesomely effective against massed troops.

What those guys are saying

From my contact with friends and family in the Deep South I'd guess those men in the arsenal were much more likely saying, "Save these bricks and your Confederate money, boys, the South's goin' to rise again!"

On a recent trip to Charleston, SC our tour guide whose family had fought for the Confederacy made a point of telling about "what the Yankees did to us." It was still personal after 150 years.


State of the art in weaponry. Cast-iron balls thrown a great ways with a kick of gunpowder. I like how the chaps in the background have been piling up the bricks from the fallen buildings - bricks not only stand the test of time and fire, but are reusable. "Well fellers, might as well start pilin up them bricks..."

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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