American Civil War field artillery was made up of relatively light artillery pieces that travelled with infantry and cavalry commands. These pieces had to move across country - often without roads - and prepare to deploy quickly to engage enemy forces and to just as quickly move to new positions or leave the field at a moment's notice. The movement and supply for the cannon was by use of the artillery limber, a horse-drawn two wheeled carriage that carried a large ammunition chest, and all the smaller implements to work the piece. The limber was also the front part of the artillery caisson, battery wagon, and forge, which would each connect to the pintle (hitch) at the rear of the limber, which allowed them to pivot through turns. The cannon was wheeled into position, then the limber was turned in an arc and brought up behind the cannon, regulations calling for there to be 6 yards between the lead horses and the piece. If the cannon was to be in position for any amount of time, the horses would be taken to the rear for safety. (The easiest way to immobilize a cannon so it could be captured was to kill the horses.) The ammunition would be supplied from the limber chest, and when that was used, the limber from the caisson was brought up and exchanged with the empty limber.
Last year, I made a phenomenal buy on ebay, that included numerous Civil War figures, loose uniforms and equipment and a SST 10 pound Parrott Rifle. I hit "Buy it now" after the first two pictures, and only afterwards did I see that it included a 1/6 scale LIMBER! The limber was a heavy, all metal piece painted a darker green and had few details. The wheels aren't convex, but it works for me. I believe it came from Gillmor Ordnance, a company that makes firing cannon in different scales:
The first thing it needed was the large handles at either end of the chest. These were shaped from brass rod and soldered in place.
Then I Dremeled down the pintle piece and drilled a hole, which had to be slotted, and made a pintle hook, which keeps the cannon from coming un-hitched.
Wire pieces were shaped to create the irons on the front for attaching the harness. The limber had a pole underneath in front that supported it when parked, and this was made from an old paint brush and two small eye bolts. BGT didn't have their grease bucket available, so I made one from a piece of thick dowel.
Then the whole thing was re-painted olive drab (close to the original color) to match the SST cannons better. The pole was too short and had no detail, so it was lengthened with a dowel and I made the hardware. I hope to detail the inside of the chest, but for now, I covered the lid with Bare Metal Foil and added straps for a canvas tarp.
Please don't wait for me to make up six horses with harness. This baby is permanently PARKED! But there are plans to build another limber and caisson for background. Time will tell.
These are some of my other artillery posts:
CW 12 lb Napoleon Cannon - my Grail find and then some!
Battle Damaged CW 12 lb Napoleon Cannon
Some Sideshow Toys Artillery Upgrades