Federal & Confederate

Conical Canister

12-pounder (4.62-inch caliber) canister

This specimen was reconstructed to illustrate the interior view of a standard 12-pounder (4.62-inch caliber) canister.  Sawdust filled the spaces between the 27 iron balls found in the pictured specimen.  The iron canister balls ranged from 1.46-1.49 inches in diameter and weighed approximately .43 pounds each.  A complete non-excavated canister would weight 14 pounds.  The tin sides are missing, as is the wooden sabot.  Note that the top plate is thinner than the bottom plate, which had to absorb the initial discharge force during firing.  This pattern of construction is typical of both Federal and Confederate canisters.  Go here for a complete specimen.