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ORIGINAL CIVIL WAR .56 CALIBER BILLINGHURST REQUA BATTERY GUN CARTRIDGE:  Patented late in 1862, the Billinghurst Requa Battery Gun was one of the many innovations in firearms and artillery developed during the Civil War.  Utilizing fixed ammunition in the form of brass case cartridges an advancement, in and of themselves loaded in piano-hinged steel strips, the battery gun was capable of firing 25 rounds in a single discharge, each through an individual barrel.   

Employing a crew of three soldiers, and with the fixed metallic ammunition preloaded in the hinged strips, the battery gun was capable repeated discharges with a short cycle time, providing a significant amount of fire power on the battlefield of the day.  The barrels were adjustable laterally to increase or reduce the concentration of fire on the impact area, and the battery of barrels could be elevated or depressed as a group.   

The Union Army purchased a small quantity of these guns and they are recorded as being used in the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, at Ft. Wagner, and to guard the approaches to Washington D.C.  There is some belief that the Confederacy may have purchased a very small number of these guns prior to the embargoes, but definite records have not been found.   

The .56 caliber cartridge features a brass rimmed case with a pinhole in the base to allow the ignition to reach the powder.  This specimen is full form with no dents, damage or other signs of abuse, the brass has a nice patina and the lead bullet is full form.  

Manufactured in relatively limited numbers when compared to other Civil War ammunition, and rendered obsolete by the firearm developments in the post war years, these Billinghurst Requa cartridges have never been particularly common, but they are an interesting innovation to display with your Civil War cartridges.  (1036) $175



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