part of a series
We followed the route of Grant’s supply train from the Mississippi up toward the modern Raymond battlefield. One of the myth’s of the campaign is that Grant lived off the land, a la Sherman’s later March to the Sea, but in fact, he had a well-protected supply line.
At Raymond, we did a two-part Facebook LIVE (parts one and two) so that we could visit the two ends of the battlefield, which is maintained by a great Friends of Raymond Battlefield group. Historian Parker Hills is a former president of the group.
Parker Hills lays out the battle for Kris White, while the Trust’s social media guru, Connor Townsend, broadcast’s the program.
The Confederate artillery position has a reconstructed Whitworth cannon and two Napoleons. The Whitworth had a range of six miles, although no artillerists could actually see that far.
Whitworths were breech-loading pieces, so Parker opened up the breech to offer us a look inside.
Whitworths had hexagonal rifling to allow for greater accuracy over its longer range. This piece was loaded with “birdshot”–filled with birds nests!
The Federal position at Raymond is marked by a line of 22 cannon (Ruggles’ battery at Shiloh, by contrast, has only 14). Spaced 12 yards apart, they would have normally been deployed with 15 yards between them, but space limitations required improvisation.