DIAMETER: 2.87 inches
|Robert P. Parrott and
Dr. John B. Read were both projectile inventors before the Civil War. Read patented his
wrought iron ring sabot projectiles on October 28, 1856, patent #15,999. Parrott purchased
from Read the rights to manufacture Read's projectile before 1861, and a royalty was to be
paid to Dr. Read. On August 20, 1861, with patent #33,100, Parrott patented an improvement
to Read's projectiles. Parrott's patent stated, in part: "This invention consists in
an improvement upon the elongated projectile for which letters Patent of the United States
were issued on the 28th day of October, 1856, to John B. Read....the cups [Read ring
sabots] became so weak as to be liable to break away from the body of the projectile....to
prevent this, I make the said cup, more especially at its edges, of greater thickness, and
to insure its proper entrance into the grooves I swage or otherwise form the said cup
before the insertion of the projectile in the gun in such a manner that in loading it will
enter into the grooves in such a manner that if will not interfere with the free loading
of the gun, but that in loading it will be driven completely into the grooves and caused
to fit the grooves and lands by the force of the explosion of the charge of powder without
any danger of its being broken."
According to a letter written by Parrott, this projectile pattern was tested at the Washington Arsenal under the command of Brigadier General George D. Ramsay in June 1861 and was used exclusively by Ricketts' Battery at First Manassas. The projectile shown here, which was recovered from the site of the Battle of First Manassas, is exactly like that drawn and described in Parrott's patent #33,100. Although the projectile is of Federal manufacture, the sabot design falls under Read's patent of October 28, 1856; Parrott only made an improvement upon Read's wrought iron ring sabot. Therefore, all wrought iron ring sabot projectiles similar to the above example should properly be classified as the Read-Parrott pattern. Parrott later patented a brass ring sabot which should properly be referred to by his name only. The later Parrott patterns have been threaded for fuzes and have brass sabots.
For additional information click here.