James Pattern I, Sub-pattern I


DIAMETER: 3.74 inches
GUN: 14-pounder James rifle, 3.8-inch caliber
LENGTH: 7 inches
WEIGHT: 10 pounds 7 ounces
SABOT: Lead ring covered with a tin sleeve (missing)
FUZING: James percussion

This specimen illustrates the distinctive ribs of the Federal James projectile. Most of the James Pattern I projectiles lost their lead sabot after leaving the cannon. When fired over friendly troops, this tendency of this projectile to lose its sabot was found to be unacceptable. This pattern was patented by Charles Tillinghast James on February 26, 1856, patent #14,315, and is classified as Pattern I, Sub-pattern I, due to the date of the patent.  Attempts to correct this problem led to the development of the James Pattern II projectile which was patented on June 10, 1862, patent #35,521.  This pictured James shell was recovered from the 1863 Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Note the brass safety wire protruding from the right side of the projectiles nose.  This wire held the slider or striker in place during handling and broke upon initial discharge of the cannon allowing the striker to make contact with the anvil cap, thus causing the projectile to explode.  To see a cross section of a James projectile and fuze click here.