Artillery was a major factor at the Battle of Bentonville, as fired cannonballs traveled for up to a mile across the 6,000 acre battlefield.
A March 11, 10:30 a.m., webcast live from Bentonville Battlefield will demonstrate and explain the workings of Civil War era cannons. (from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)
Students, teachers and members of the general public can register for the webcast here. There will be opportunities for question and answers via email during the webcast.
Historic Weapons Program Coordinator Andrew Duppstadt, N.C. Division of State Historic Sites, will explain the magic of black powder and other bits of science and physics.
A team of historians in period uniforms from the Division of State Historic Sites will explain the different types of artillery and projectiles.
What’s the difference in a smooth bore or rifled bore cannon, and how each performs in battle? Why the order of loading and firing a cannon matter? What impact did artillery have on the war? These are some of the areas to be explained during the 45 minute presentation.
“We want our students and everyone interested to understand how these weapons performed in battle,” Duppstadt observes. “They represent the best military technology of the time, and were used to great effect.”
Special training is required to handle black powder and period weaponry, as it is still dangerous and can be fatal if improperly handled. Duppstadt has been trained by the National Park Service to conduct and supervise historic re-enactments. These activities should not be tried at home.