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They Don't Teach That in School Anymore: The Physics of Artillery

  • DeLong Reservation on Missionary Ridge (map)

On Saturday, February 9, at 2 pm, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will present a special 1-hour talk exploring the science involved in Civil War artillery. This is a free program and will take place at the DeLong Reservation on Missionary Ridge.

Artillery was essential to both the Union and Confederate Armies during the Civil War. In order for artillery to be an effective support during battle, the men attached to each cannon needed to understand the process of aiming and firing each piece. This required knowledge of mathematics, projectile motion, and elemental mechanics. Unfortunately for some Confederate artillerists on Missionary Ridge, this knowledge was fleeting on November 25, 1863. As the 64th Ohio attacked the ridge, a Rebel battery opened fire at the advancing troops, yet, “their range was poor,” noted one of the blue-clad captains. Practice your artillery skills by joining a ranger in an introduction to some of the elements of physics that made artillery vital to the war.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park website at