Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cool doings on New Year's Day in Norwich

As part of a citywide celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation that also included bell-ringings and historical portrayals,  Norwich hosted a 100-gun salute by six CivilWar-era field pieces on the waterfront.

To say that it was "way cool" would be an understatement. Actually it was damn cold temperature wise, but that's another story.

In any case, it was fascinating as the six guns, belonging to four New England re-enactment groups, fired 100 times to commemorate the signing. It took about an hour for the entire shoot.

There was a good mix of weapons, two 12 lb mountain howitzers, a 12-lb Napoleon, a 10 pound Parrot, a 12 lb James Rifle and a 6 lb Model 1841 gun. The four re-enactment groups were the 2nd Conn. Light Artillery, Battery B, RI Light Artillery, the 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery and the Mounted Artillery of New England. In the Civil War, "light" artillery regiments manned the field artillery, while the "heavy" artillery regiments were used in forts. Towards the end of the war, many of the heavy artillery units found themselves used as infantry.

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