Saturday, May 25, 2013

A New Weapon In The Army – "Coffee Mills"

The correspondent of the Philadelphia Press with Gen. McClellan’s army says:

“In one of the brigades of the Union army they have six guns of a new construction, and terribly effective.  We have not yet learned their names.  The men designate them ‘coffee mills.’  It is a heavy rifle barrel mounted on wheels.  At the breach is a kind of clock-work machinery, surrounded by a hopper similar to the hopper of a coffee mill, at the side is a crank.

One man turns the crank, while another supplies the cartridges, and a third sights the gun.  By means of a leaver he moves it laterally, or raises or depresses it at pleasure.  Its effective range is 1¼ miles.  It throws 240 balls per minute, the size of an ordinary minié ball.  When operated with, the rebels were utterly amazed, not knowing what to make of them.  One of these guns properly worked, and well supplied with cartridges, is estimated to equal about 300 men.”

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, June 7, 1862, p. 1

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