batteries had a limited choice of ammunition with which
to kill the enemy - roundshot (cannonballs), canister, or
were solid balls of iron that varied in size and their weight
- 3-pounder, 6-pounder or 12-pounder - decided the guns
from which they would be fired.
balls would be aimed at various types of targets - formed
infantry, strongpoints - and the success of it would depend
upon how it bounced, rolled or hit them.
scores of men could be flattened by one bouncing roundshot
on dry ground, in wet weather the ball could just hit soggy
earth and stop.
or case-shot, was a lethal short-range choice to cause maximum
casualties among the enemy.
of thin tin, the case was filled with lead balls of up to
200 grams each and would break apart upon leaving the barrel
of the gun.
spread of shot could shatter enemy ranks, leaving them with
huge gaps to plug.
third choice a gunner had was shell, which again was thin-skinned,
but had a timing fuse cut so that it would explode within,
or near, large bodies of enemy troops.
shell would disintegrate spraying shrapnel across a large
area and, in the artilleryman's mind, injure or kill as
many opponents as possible.