Miniature 12 Pounder Napoleon Civil War Cannon - Americana Souvenirs and Gifts



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Product #: 70156
Civil War Miniature 12-Pounder Napoleon Model 1857 Cannon


12-Pounder Light Gun known as the "Napoleon" In December 1862, General R. E. Lee complained to the Confederate Secretary of War that his army desperately required additional Napoleon guns to withstand those used by the Northern army. A deficiency of Napoleons, Lee wrote, left his artillery "very unequal" to their attackers, with results which were "discouraging to our artillerists" Lee offered that substantial quantities of his army’s bronze cannon be melted down and recast into Napoleons. He described his position by proclaiming that "the best guns for field service, in my opinion, are the 12-pounder Napoleons" and a couple of other models of field units. The Napoleon earned its name because its design was initially subsidized by Emperor Louis Napoleon of France in the 1850s. In U.S. service, the Napoleon gun was officially designated as "Light 12-Pounder Gun, Model 1857." There were just a few dozen in existence in the United States when the Civil War started in 1861, but by the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, Napoleons took over as the most in-demand smoothbore cannon for both sides. Before the end of the war, in excess of 1100 Napoleons had already been made in the North and greater than 600 in the South. Late in 1864, General Lee’s army was using more Napoleons than all other kinds of cannons total. The Napoleon gun was so frequently used mainly because it was as good as its predecessors, but lighter and more portable. It was preferred because it worked very well. Solid shot, explosive shell, spherical case shot (containing many small balls) and canister could very well be fired with deadly effect. Successful range was approximately 1000 yards, and greatest range was just about one mile. Rifled cannons could shoot farther and even more perfectly, but just weren’t so effective with canisters. Confederate ammo for rifled guns endured such damaging disadvantages that Southern gunners were significantly a fan of the use of Napoleons. Any Civil War buff would appreciate this miniature cannon, which is a smaller version of the original.

  • Stylish accent decor piece
  • Makes a nice collection
  • Historical gift item - super for the history buff
  • Made in the USA

  • Measurements
  • Length: 8"
  • Height: 3.5"
  • Weight: 1.5lbs

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