— July 2 1863 - Second Day —
"For God's sake, men, don't let them take my guns away from me!"
Capt. James E. Smith, U.S.A.
Commander, 4th New York Battery
On July 2, Capt. James E. Smith hauled four of the six cannon of his 4th New York Battery onto this craggy ridge, positioning them along the crest behind you. The cannon were 10-pounder Parrotts - rifled guns with a three-inch bore and a range of up to 2 miles.
At about 3:30 p.m., Confederate cannon about a mile in front of you began pounding this position, and Smith's guns thundered in reply. Within an hour, long lines of Confederate infantry began advancing in this direction, and Smith tried to cripple them with rounds of case shot and shell. So destructive was the fire that advancing Confederates believed they were facing twice the number of cannon. But the men in gray could not be stopped.
When the Confederates came within 300 yards, Smith ordered the ammunition changed to canister. However, the Confederates found cover behind a stone wall at the base of the field below you where their deadly rifle fire threatened the gun crews. Smith pleaded with the supporting infantry to save his guns, but after a long struggle the Confederates captured three of them when they seized the ridge.
Solid iron. Used at longer ranges against massed troops, fortifications, and other batteries. Also to fell timber on enemy soldiers in the woods.
Iron shell filled with musket balls sealed in rosin or molten sulphur. Powder charge in core ignited by fuse. Designed to explode before impact. Also called "shrapnel."
Cast-iron shell filled with black powder. Time fuse ignited by cannon's discharge. Shell exploded into fragments that could kill or maim.
Tin can filled with iron balls packed in sawdust. Used at close range - 400 yards or less - against infantry. Double or triple canister could be used in a crisis.