CIVIL WAR ARTILLERY LANYARD

$395.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 696-86

The propellant charges of Civil War artillery rounds were ignited by friction primers set in the vent hole at the breech of the piece once it was loaded. A small wire with a loop on the end was yanked out of the cross bar of a small T-shaped tube containing a chemical composition that would ignite from the friction. Needless to say, it was advisable to stand off a bit from the process, if for no other reason than that the recoil of the gun could take out anyone immediately behind it. Gunners thus used a rope lanyard with a small hook on one end to engage the primer wire and a wood toggle handle on the other to give a good solid yank to set it off.

This one is in very good shape. The twisted rope is full-length and intact. The tapered handle is firmly secured and the small iron hook is there, too.

Along with vent picks, augurs and other essential tools, the lanyard was one of the essential pieces carried in the artillery fuse pouch, worn by the gunner on a simple waist belt. Civil War photos of artillery posed for action often show the gunner with arm out, holding the lanyard semi-taught, with back turned slightly to the gun and legs spread, ready to step away from the piece as he set it off on command.  [sr]

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