The World's Biggest Gun


This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination


Site Search

Civil War Links


Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas


Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Civil War Harper's Weekly, March 30, 1861

The March 30, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of important Civil War news events.  We have posted the newspaper below.  Scroll down to see the complete page, or the Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the specific page of interest.


April Fool's Day 1861

April Fool's Day History

New Orleans

New Orleans

Jefferson Davis Veto of Slave Trade Act

Peter Cooper and the Cooper Institute

The Cooper Union

Vassar Female College

Vassar College

Founding of Vassar (Cont.)

Sam Houston

General Sam Houston

Biggest Gun

Biggest Gun in the World

Lincoln Cartoon

Abraham Lincoln Cartoon





MARCH 30, 1861.]



(From Previous Page)

Distance between rimbases                 48 inches.

Diameter at muzzle                                     25 "

Thickness of metal behind the chamber...  25   "

Thick. at junction of bore with chamb. 16 1/2 "

Thickness at muzzle ..                                 5 "

Weight of gun                                         49,100

This gun is usually loaded with 35 pounds of large-grained powder, which projects shells of 305 to 335 pounds weight. A solid shot for a gun of this size would weigh 425 pounds. The following table will show the range of the gun with the shells above-mentioned, at various elevations:

At 6° elevation (and 35 pounds powder), 2017, 1937, 1902, 1892, and 1873 yards.

At 10° elevation (and 40 pounds powder), 2700, 2900, 2754, and 2760 yards.

At 28° 35' elevation (and 50 pounds powder), 5298, 4950, and 5375 yards.

Major Barnard thinks that at 39° elevation, and 40 pounds powder, a range considerably beyond 4 miles might be attained.

The events of the past few weeks have unfortunately directed no small share of public attention to the subject of coast

Do this look like a forge ?" replied Orlick, sending his glance all round him with an air of injury. " Now, do it look like it ?"

I asked him how long he had left Gargery's forge?

" One day is so like another here," he replied, " that I don't know without casting it up. However, I come here some time since you left."

" I could have told you that, Orlick."

"Ah !" said he, dryly. "But then you've got to be a scholar."

By this time we had come to the house where I found his room to be one just within the side-door, with a little window in it looking on the court-yard. In its small proportions it was not unlike the kind of place usually assigned to a gate-porter in Paris. Certain keys were hanging on the wall, to which he now added the gate key, and his patchwork-covered bed was in a little inner division or recess. The whole had a slovenly, confined, and sleepy look, like a cage for a human dormouse : while he, looming dark



defenses, and Major Barnard's able refutation of Sir Howard Douglas's fallacies in relation to land fortifications have been much discussed. The state of the controversy may be briefly summed up. The Crimean War proved the worthlessness of wooden ships as opposed to land-batteries, when properly manned and worked. Accordingly, at the conclusion of that war, fighting nations began to think of arming their vessels of war with iron plates : the result of that movement is to be seen in the new iron-clad ships Warrior and La Gloire, of which we published engravings in a recent number. It is demonstrated that the old cannon carrying 24-pound, 32-pound, and 42-pound balls and shells produce no impression upon vessels of this class. But it is also admitted that even such iron-clad vessels as La Gloire and the Warrior could not withstand shots fired from 10, 11, and 15 inch guns. Hence it follows that, if our forts are to be placed in a condition to resist the assault of iron-clad ships, they must be armed with cannon of the class which we now illustrate. To convince the public of this truth has been a constant effort with such distinguished soldiers as Major Barnard.

One difficulty with regard to big guns has arisen from the fact that guns beyond a certain calibre (found by experience to be 10 inches) are deficient in strength when cast in the usual way —viz., in one single piece, and afterward bored out. This difficulty was obviated by Captain Rodman, in the case of the 15-inch Columbiad at Fort Monroe, by casting the gun hollow, and cooling it from the interior by introducing a stream of water into the core. In England, the new guns of great calibre are cast in several pieces.

It is to be hoped that no time will be lost by our Government in acting upon the successful experiments of the past, and in providing our forts with guns which can overmatch the iron plates of the navies of foreign nations.



BETIMES in the morning I was up and out. It was too early yet to go to Miss Havisham's, so I loitered into the country on Miss Havisham's side of town—which was not Joe's side I could go there tomorrow—thinking about m) patroness, and painting brilliant pictures of her plans for me.

She had adopted Estella, she had as good as

adopted me, and it could not fail to be her intention to bring us together. She reserved it for me to restore the desolate house, admit the sun-shine into the dark rooms, set the clocks a going and the cold hearths a blazing, tear down the cobwebs, destroy the vermin—in short, do all the shining deeds of the young Knight of romance, and marry the Princess. I had stopped to look at the house as I passed ; and its seared red brick walls, blocked windows, and strong green ivy clasping even the stacks of chimneys with its twigs and tendons, as if with sinewy old arms, had made up a rich' attractive mystery, of which I was the hero. Estella was the inspiration of it, and the heart of it, of course. But though she had taken such strong possession of me, though my fancy and my hope were so set upon her, though her influence on my boyish life and character had been all-powerful, I did riot, even that romantic morning, invest her with any attributes save those she possessed. I mention this in this place, of a fixed purpose, because it is the clew by which I am to be followed into my poor labyrinth, such as it is. Ac-cording to my experience, the conventional notion of a lover can not be always true. The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her because I found. her irresistible. Once for all ; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me than if I had devoutly and conventionally believed her to be human perfection.

I so shaped out my walk as to arrive at the gate at my old time. When I had rung at the bell with an unsteady hand I turned my back upon the gate, while I tried to get my breath and keep the beating of my heart moderately quiet. I heard the side-door open and steps come across the court-yard but I pretended not to hear, even when the gate swung on its rusty hinges.

Being at last touched on the shoulder, I started and turned. I started much more naturally then to find myself confronted by a man in a sober gray dress. The last man I should have expected to see in that place of porter at Miss Havisham's door.

" Orlick !"  "Ah, young master, there's more changes than yours. But come in, come in. It's op-posed to my orders to hold the gate open."  I entered and he swung it, and locked it, and took the key out. " Yes !" said he, facing

round, after doggedly preceding me a few steps toward the house. " Here I am !"

" How did you come here ?"

"I I come here," he retorted, "on my legs. I had my box brought alongside me in a bar-row."

Are you here for good ?"

I ain't here for harm, young master, I sup-pose?"

I was not so sure of that. I had leisure to entertain the retort in my mind; while he slowly lifted his heavy glance from the pavement, up my legs and arms, to my face.

"Then you have left the forge ?" I said.

and heavy in the shadow of a corner by the window, looked like the human dormouse for whom it was fitted up—as indeed he was.

" I never saw this room before," I remarked; "but there used to be no Porter here."

"No," said he; "not till it got about that there was no protection on the premises, and it come to be considered dangerous, with convicts and Tag and Rag and Bobtail going up and down. And then I was recommended to the place as a man who could give another man as good as he brought, and I took it. It's easier than bellowsing and hammering.--That's loaded, that is,"


World's Largest Gun
Fort Monroe
Great Expectations



site stats


Site Copyright 2003-2018 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,


privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.