This weekend, my husband and I visited Monocacy Battlefield to see their artillery demonstrations! This was a great way to learn more about the way battles were fought during the Civil War as well as seeing them in action! When I was a kid living in my home state of Missouri, I rode a train with my family out into the country and watched a Civil War reenactment. Given how young I was, I don’t remember much except the loud cannon fire, my poor young cousin crying, and I dropped my snickers bar on the dry grass. I know…..that was a travesty. I did not understand at the time that I was watching a reenactment of something very real that occurred in our nation.
Artillery can be scary for both sides of the battle. No infantry wanted to be within range of a cannon due to grave injury and likely death. But those manning the cannons had no guns or other means of defending themselves. As explained during the demonstration, the cannon was manned by up to 8 people and a horse. One in charge of ammunition, one in charge of running ammunition to the loader, the loader loading, one with a “worm” to make sure no hazardous residue was left in the cannon from a previous fire, the one in charge of saying fire, and the one who fires it. I may be missing other parts, and if I am, I apologize. However, this was a pretty eye-opening experience as to the complicated system of Civil War era battles. Several men operating just one big piece of artillery says a lot about that time frame, and a lot about how far we have come in terms of weaponry. That being said, I was able to get some good photos from the event, and I look forward to returning to Monocacy to visit historical sites that I have yet to visit, which will likely be the subject of my next post. Enjoy!