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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    The real world
    Posts
    17

    Re: Ammo boxes?

    Hey Bill;

    The fall of 1861 was a busy time for the US Army. A number of letters were transmitted between the War Department, Ordnance Department and the various Arsenals about the ammunition requirments for the American and British rifles. By January 1862 Watervliet was producing only the reduced size round at about .574 .

    By 1864 there was still some variation in the rounds produced by the various Arsenals. A portion of a report by Maj. J.G. Benton dated August 3, 1864 stated in part "...Two different Bullets were found in the packages of the cartridges made at Frankfort-one weighed 574 grains and the other 539 grains. The true weight of the Regulation bullet is about 500 grains.
    The diameter of the Frankfort and Watertown bullets is .573 in. while that of the Watervliet bullet according to careful measurement is only .57 in. and the weight of the bullet is 496 grains...".

    Die wear increased the size plus a number of firms produced bullets for the various arsenals. The new dies started at .573 and were used until they wore to about .57425 . They did not use .574 dies because they would have worn too quickly. So a summation would be that the rounds got smaller as the war went on and that there would be slight variations within each box as to actual size.

    More detailed information can be found in the book Round Ball to Rimfire by Dean S. Thomas. It's a great source for Boxes, Bundles, Wraps, Loads and much more.

    Jim Peterson

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bath, Maine
    Posts
    574

    Re: Ammo boxes?

    Comrade,
    In "Ready, Aim, Fire..." there is a letter in the back (pp72) from Ord. Major W.A.Thornton of the Watervliet Arsenal dated 27 May 1862 to Captain M.R.Stevenson of the 7th US Infantry, Madison Barracks, NY. The good captain had returned some ammunition to the arsenal because he had found it to be labled .58 calibre, but actual only 57/100 inch calibre. The Major replies..." Respecting this matter, I have to inform you that no cartridges are made of .58 Calibre they are all of .57 Calibre, which makes them answerable for the Enfield muskets of .57 and the American muskets of .58 Calibre. The advantage of this is that one kind of ammunition answers for two kinds of arms and gives greater ease and rapidity in loading the American musket. For the same reasons we have but one kind of ammunition for the American rifle of .54 and the Austrian rifle of .55 Calibre as we only furnish rifle cartridges of .54 Calibre.
    For the reasons I have explained, I have directed the M.S.K. to remark the 3 boxes containing 3000 rifle musket cartridges .57 Cal. and return to your address pursuant to order of supplies from Washington."

    Respects,
    Tim Kindred
    Medical Mess
    Polar Star Lodge #114
    Bath, Maine

  3. #23
    Qb17Joe Guest

    Wooden AMMO boxes

    I was wondering what was written on the top of an ammo box from a richmond arsenal, and what the demensions roughly were. also if there were seperators or what. I am trying to make a couple of them


    Thanks for your Help,
    Joe Whitehead

    5th Va Co. G

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    204

    Re: Wooden AMMO boxes

    Joe,

    While I have no knowledge of arsenal boxes specifically from a Richmond arsenal I will call your attention to the 1863 Ordnance Manual for the Confederate States. There are dimentsion for Packing Boxes for 1000 cartridges. They are on page 257 of my Morningside reproduction.

    If you need the actual information, email me and I'll get it for you. I'm getting married on Saturday, so speak quickly or be willing to wait until after the 24th of February.

    Good luck,

    Will Eichler
    Will Eichler

    Member, Company of Military Historians
    Saginaw City Light Infantry
    Hubbard Winsor Lodge #420
    Stoney Creek Lodge #5

    Historic Fort Wayne Coalition
    www.historicfortwaynecoalition.com

    150th Franklin LH - 44th Missouri
    150th Sailor's Creek - 121st New York

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    124

    Ammunition Crates

    Okay fellows. I have been looking for the proper marking for small arms ammunition crates. I have read the ordnance manual 1861 and know the sizes and the colors for the various rounds. And even where the markings belong..."on both ends with the number and kind of balls, and on the inside of the cover with the place and date of fabrication." As there are several interpretations to this and with so few of origanl items in existance...the question what is the wording?
    1000 Cart.
    type of ball
    calibre

    1000
    type of ball

    should the type of weapong they are for be listed?
    if so, then if you are shooting .69, does this mean....m.1816, m. 1842
    and in the .58 category....you get the picture.

    or what ever varient the one can come up with. I mean look at what is usually knocked out and sitting on sutler row.
    The topic is brought up not to see hwo many folks cn come up with variations, or what they have seen on the market. I am looking for some info that is a bit more definative.

    Any infor would be great.

    Thanks
    Joe Blunt

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lafayette IN
    Posts
    1,331

    Re: Ammunition Crates

    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebucket
    Okay fellows. I have been looking for the proper marking for small arms ammunition crates. I have read the ordnance manual 1861 and know the sizes and the colors for the various rounds. And even where the markings belong..."on both ends with the number and kind of balls, and on the inside of the cover with the place and date of fabrication." As there are several interpretations to this and with so few of origanl items in existance...the question what is the wording?
    1000 Cart.
    type of ball
    calibre

    1000
    type of ball

    should the type of weapong they are for be listed?
    if so, then if you are shooting .69, does this mean....m.1816, m. 1842
    and in the .58 category....you get the picture.

    or what ever varient the one can come up with. I mean look at what is usually knocked out and sitting on sutler row.
    The topic is brought up not to see hwo many folks cn come up with variations, or what they have seen on the market. I am looking for some info that is a bit more definative.

    Any infor would be great.

    Thanks
    Joe Blunt
    Hi Joe,

    I would suggest you look through previous threads as this subject has been repeatedly discussed in the past. Here's a start:

    http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...searchid=69827

    I have also attached an enlarged view of a Confederate ammo box depicted in one of the Fort Mahone "death studies" made in the Petersburg trenches on 3 April 1865. Doing a search through other contemporary images will provide you with additional photographic examples.

    Regards,

    Mark Jaeger
    Last edited by markj; 06-04-2007 at 04:11 PM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    204

    Re: Ammunition Crates

    Joe,

    The Ord Manual is a good place to start. To go further, especially for markings, I direct you to "Round Ball to Rimfire: A History of Civil War Small Arms Ammunition, Part One" by Dean S. Thomas.

    The work is primarily about the ammunition but Dean has provided photos of many Ammunition boxes from his collection and others to support. They are entirely Federal but represent most arsenals from (I believe) all years of the war. It's a great read and you should be able to deduce what you need from the pictures. When I dropped Dean a letter last year to ask about sizes of the boxes, he refered me to the ord. manual.

    A note of caution. From my inspection of his photos (and no more), it seems there are several different methods of jointing the box sides used, not just the dovetail called for in the Ord Manual. If my eyes are correct, I saw butt joints, half lap joints and dovetail joints all used. You might decide which box to build and use the appropriate joint as well.

    Best of luck,

    Will
    Will Eichler

    Member, Company of Military Historians
    Saginaw City Light Infantry
    Hubbard Winsor Lodge #420
    Stoney Creek Lodge #5

    Historic Fort Wayne Coalition
    www.historicfortwaynecoalition.com

    150th Franklin LH - 44th Missouri
    150th Sailor's Creek - 121st New York

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Martinsburg
    Posts
    77

    Re: Ammunition Crates

    Hey Mark,

    The attachment you posted of the ammunition crate is, in all likelyhood, a federal one. The markings on it closely resemble a known federal one that is pictured in the book "From Roundball to Rimfire Vol. I." Either way it is still a very interesting close-up.
    En Obtien!...James T. Miller

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lafayette IN
    Posts
    1,331

    Re: Ammunition Crates

    Quote Originally Posted by justthemiller
    Hey Mark,

    The attachment you posted of the ammunition crate is, in all likelyhood, a federal one. The markings on it closely resemble a known federal one that is pictured in the book "From Roundball to Rimfire Vol. I." Either way it is still a very interesting close-up.
    Hi James,

    This is a vexing subject. However, given that the box is shown directly adjacent to a dead Confederate soldier in the Petersburg trenches, it was almost certainly Confederate in origin. There are one or more Petersburg-area photographs depicting Federal troops, and taken around the same time, that also show ammunition boxes in the scene(s). As I recall, William Frassanito's "Lee and Grant" book, about photography during the Overland Campaign and Siege of Petersburg, includes at least one of these.

    I can believe photographers moved rifles, and even bodies, to "improve" a photograph but I find it hard to believe they'd take the extra time and effort to track down an ammo box to toss into a scene. Guess we'll never know beyond a reasonable doubt!

    Regards,

    Mark Jaeger

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Centreville, VA
    Posts
    563

    Re: Ammunition Crates

    Guys,

    For comparison, here is an original August 1864 dated Richmond Arsenal ammunition crate.





    Markings are:

    96 Lbs
    ~1000~
    Cart. Cal. 57-58
    ELONGATED
    BALL
    Richmond Arsenal
    Augt. 1864


    I have pictures of a Selma Arsenal crate at home. Markings are very similar except that crate is not marked with the overall weight as this example is.
    Last edited by Yellowhammer; 05-11-2004 at 10:25 AM.
    John Stillwagon

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