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Civil War Artillery Bormann Fuse, dug at Alexandria, Louisiana


Product Description

This is another nice piece being offered, it is an excavated Federal Bormann time fuse.       The fuse is named after its inventor, Belgian Army Captain Charles G. Bormann. It was employed by the United Stated Ordnance Department as early as 1852. The time fuse is contained in a tin and lead disk (see pictures).

The disk has time markings indicated in seconds and quarter-seconds graduated up to 5 1/4 seconds. The artillerist used a metal punch to pierce the thin metal at the desired time marking. This exposed a section in the horseshoe-shaped horizontal mealed powder train, which is covered by a thin sheet of tin. When the cannon discharged, the flame from the explosion ignited this powder train.

It was recovered in the area of Alexandria, Louisiana. During the Civil War, the town twice suffered the ravages of Federal occupation. In the spring of 1863, Alexandria was occupied by Union forces. On May 13, 1864, when the Union decided to abandon Alexandria, the city was set afire, and 90% of the town burned in what became known as the Red River Campaign.

The Episcopal and Methodist churches were also burned by the Union forces, as well as every building on twenty-two blocks. Many libraries, plantations, businesses, and residences were also destroyed during the campaign. The only church that was left standing was the Catholic church, now known as St. Francis Xavier Cathedral on Fourth Street.

Being constructed of the soft metal combination of lead and tin, and the resulting wear from ground action, its raised hashmarks and numbers are nearly all gone. The threads, while present, are also distorted from ground action. It appears that the fuse was punched at about the "1" second mark. This is a nice and interesting piece.

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$4.50 (Fixed shipping cost)