24 PDR Coehorn Mortar M-1838
I have been wanting to add a Coehorn Mortar to my collection of Artillery models from the 1800's for some time, and I had been admiring this particular Coehorn in the pages of 'Field Artillery of the Civil War'.
From the beginning of time, improved defenses have encouraged development of new offenses. When fortifications became too strong to breach by direct fire, high angle plunging “vertical” fire was adopted. At Namur in 1692 the Dutch under Manno, Baron van Coehoorn, faced the French under his rival, Marshall Vanban. During the siege Coehoorn introduced lightweight, short-range bomb-throwing mortars. This mortar was reintroduced in 1838 as the 24-pounder Coehorn Mortar.
A 24-pounder bronze Coehorn mortar weighing 160 pounds by itself, or just under 300 pounds with its four handle bed, could be lugged into action by 2 men, but four men could rush it into many unprepared locations where it could lob explosive shell into masked targets at ranges of 20 to 1,200 yards. The piece fired a standard 24-pounder shell (weight 16.8 lbs.) and a half-pound of powder. General Grant wrote of the improvisation of 6-prd. and 12 pdr. wooden coehorns to throw common shell into the trenches of the defenders.
The drawing included in the chapter on mortars includes the full size dimensions for the coehorn, making it a simple task to scale it down to 1/4 scale for a very nice display model.
I will make the wood bed from either oak or walnut, and once the mortar is finished it should display very nicely.
The following photos show some of the steps it took to turn a 2.125" X 3.375" length of brass bar-stock into a Coehorn Mortar barrel.
Click on the photo for a closer look.....
Here is a sequence of photos shot in my shop as I build the model.